The LaunchBar service I use the most

March 25, 2011

As you all know by now, I'm a huge fan of LaunchBar (and of Quicksilver before it), and use it for an absurd number of tasks. (Some examples of how I've put it to use include: 1) Create a simple timer using LaunchBar and AppleScript; 2) Use FlexTime, LaunchBar, Spaces and AppleScript to get things done; 3) Restart Flash without quitting Safari or Chrome (using AppleScript and LaunchBar); and 4) Use LaunchBar to execute, in the "background," commands via a shell.)

The other day Justin Williams noted that his favorite LaunchBar feature is the clipboard history. I agree that it's a fantastic tool, and implemented well. I use it daily. That said, my use of it pales in comparison to the "Look Up In Dictionary" service, which I probably summon 100 times a day. (Clearly I'm an idiot.)

With LaunchBar you can get to the text field simply by hitting the spacebar once you've highlighted the service you want to set in motion. Thus, when I want to look something up with the built-in dictionary app (which, as you no doubt know, includes a thesaurus and an interface to Wikipedia), I:

  1. Invoke LaunchBar (I use cmd-space).
  2. Start typing out "look…," until the service is highlighted.
  3. Tap the spacebar and bang out whatever word I'm looking up.

The entire process takes 2-3 seconds. It's a beautiful thing. I can't believe I'm crying.

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