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Platform: OS X (10.3 or later)
License: Freeware
Cost: $0
Download Size: 2.3MB
Site: http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/


[edit] Description

Quicksilver is a really rather tremendous launching n' everything application developed by Blacktree, Inc. Quicksilver is a small but powerful application that creates a catalog of your applications, folders and documents. It allows you to keep your fingers on the keyboard and stop rummaging through your system to find items you need now. It is extremely easy to use on the surface, but a powerful tool that becomes more powerful as you learn its full capabilities.

The application lives in perpetual beta. The most recent betas require Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The latest version for 10.3 Panther, Quicksilver β36, is available from Quicksilver's home page.


Activated by a simple keystroke, a customizable search entry appears and allows you to limit your search term as you type. The search is adaptive, so Quicksilver will recognize which items you are searching for based on previous experience.


A quick tap on the tab key puts you in action mode where you can open, e-mail, lookup, send, compress, copy, and otherwise do lots of useful things with what you just looked up.

Adding Capabilities

By installing any of a number of plug-in modules, your capabilities can expand to include interacting with your bookmarks, email, IM, the command line, and much more.

[edit] Testimonials

I've been using QuickSilver for what must be about a month now, and it just has so many features! The way it loads plugins is nice, so that I don't have to have the added bloat of stuff I'm never going to use, but the way it works with just one page of plugins and the plugins menu means I'm not searching everywhere for them. Using it in beta mode can be a bit buggy (I've had it crash on me a couple of times) but that's why it's in beta. Overall, I'd recommend it to every mac user out there as a faster way to do a lot of things. --Akchizar 16:57, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

Quicksilver is essentially a keyboard-based interface for your Mac (think of it as the command-line updated for the 21st Century). It can do just about anything you might want to do with your files, programs, and data. And if there is something it can't do then you can either wait for someone to write a plug-in that will do it or you can write an Applescript to do it (see below for some Applescripts I wrote to manage my GTD set-up). -sean-e

[edit] Hacks

[edit] Same Action, Many Files

--Akchizar 17:07, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

  1. Find your first file and hit "," (comma). Note how it makes a little icon beneath the main window.
  2. Find your second file and hit "," again.
  3. Repeat until you have every file you wanted. Now hit "tab" and type "move" or "copy" or whatever...it'll perform the action on every file you selected.

[edit] Stuff Folder

If there's often a directory you'll move files to a lot - perhaps the Applications folder, or your own personal Stuff folder. I've simplified my installation process a lot by using the following method. --Akchizar 17:07, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

  1. Go to the catalogue page in the QuickSilver preferences window.
  2. Click add file/folder and find the folder you want to add. Add it and hit the "i" button. Make sure "include contents" is set to "none".
  3. Next time you install something from a disk image, simply click on the file you need to copy across, hit cmd+shift+esc, and copy it to the folder you added.

[edit] Electronic Tickler File

(using Quicksilver and iCal)

Here are two Applescripts that allow you to use Quicksilver and iCal to quickly defer actions and objects (files, folders) to some future date. This basically allows you to use iCal as an electonic "Tickler File." These scripts are set up as Actions in Quicksilver (meaning they will show up in the second box). There are detailed instructions in the comments of each script.

  • defer.scpt (processes text that you type in the QS input box and allows you to quickly set how many weeks you want to defer the action for. Example: "call Bob about fishing, 6" will create an all-day event 6 weeks from today with "call Bob about fishing" as the summary text.)
  • defer file.scpt (processes a file. also allows you to set the number of weeks to defer, but not as niftily as in defer.scpt. Like defer.scpt, an all-day event is created however many weeks out you specify; in this case the event has a URL pointing to your selected file, and the summary text of the event is "Review file: whatever file name". Limitations: the event links to the file using a URL, so if the file is moved the link is broken. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any better way to link a file to an event in iCal. The Applescript dialog to set the number of weeks is a bit cheesy.)

[edit] Hide the Shelf

More of a Tip than a Hack, but I just noticed on the quicksilver wiki that if you sidle the shelf up to a screen edge it will auto-hide itself. Previously I kept opening and closing the shelf because normally it floats in front of all other windows.

[edit] Alternatives for Windows Users

[edit] See Also

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