QuickSilver : recommended, but how do I use it?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I finally fired up QuickSilver this evening to test it, since I planned to use several apps not on my Dock. My initial reaction is that it is a useful app for its basic launching feature, and suits how I "think" when computing.

    Ctrl-Space, "cybe", Enter, and CyberDuck is launched.

    I guess I think more word-oriented than visual-matching: typing names is easier than recognizing the icon. If you don't work this way, then QS may not be for you.

    Apps like Cyberduck that I'm not going to clutter my Dock with -- infrequent use -- are slow for me to launch. I've got an Applications folder in my Dock and TigerLaunch in my menu bar. QuickSilver is faster for me in absolute terms and just fits how I like to work better. I'm more comfortable with this keyboard-drive launch method than track-padding over to TigerLaunch and searching for Cyberduck's entry.

    Spotlight offers a very close method: Cmd-Space, cyber, and the list is populating. CyberDuck is the first option. But Spotlight, as much as I like it, is slower than QS. And it requires that extra keystroke (down-arrow) to select the app.

    This is a gut reaction, from five minutes of use, but it immediately felt right. Longer term use will hopefully affirm this impression.

    But while I know QS is more than just a launcher, I've not dug into it and the interface doesn't immediately reveal its additional power. So I'm hoping QS users can explain how they use it.

    And for Ron: Activity Monitor says QS takes 35 MB real memory with 0.0% CPU while idling. And I found this by Ctrl-Space, application monit, (no that's not it), monit, (that's it, Activity Monitor), Enter. And it hopped up to about 15% CPU when actively being in use, on my MBP 2.4 GHz.
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I use QS primarily as an app launcher, but also use it to control iTunes. Butler actually had this integrated a little better, but it seemed that as soon as I moved my iTunes music folder out of the default location the iTunes controlling feature in Butler broke.

    I agree with your observations on Spotlight vs. QS. Others have noted that Spotlight does the same thing, but there IS that extra arrow down for Spotlight, making QS that much more efficient. I haven't used Spotlight enough in this way to know if it "learns" your abbreviations in the same way as QS. So my preference remains with QS.
     
  3. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    This question needs to be answered. Thanks Dave, for posting. Hopefully Christ and others will respond.

    From my experience, MacBreak podcasts have at least one episode dedicated to QS. If you check out Youtube, you'll find a series of films called "Insert Title here" that give QS hints, and there's info on the QS website, but none of this has helped me in the past.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Dave,

    I look forward to your experiences.

    All I have heard is how great Quicksilver is, but I
    have yet to hear from a newbie like yourself on that subject.
     
  5. Daryl L

    Daryl L Supporting Actor

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    I not only use QS to open apps, files and folders but I also use it to move or copy files to different locations and open bookmarks in my default browser (opera) plus in firefox and safari. I plan on experimenting more use of it like including images or adding attachments to and sending e-mails without needing to open the mail client and clicking compose. There's alot more it's capable of I'll also try over the next few months. LivingWithMac.com has a few great QS tutorial clips.
    http://www.livingwithmac.com/software/quicksilver
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I finally downloaded Quicksilver today.

    On the surface, it is a rather cool launcher. No mouse needed,
    all you need is to type whatever you need to find/launch.

    I downloaded a whole mess of plug-ins but have no idea how to
    use them. I'll look at some of the videos on the website Daryl
    recommended above over the next day or so.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I still use QS, but I've found it to be slightly less responsive under Leopard. With Spotlight's speed boost, most people would be happy with it as a launcher. But the subtle thing I like most about QS is that it's front and center when summoned; that just feels right.

    I still haven't gotten to learning how to use the deeper power of QS -- in part I've found my computer usage doesn't seem to benefit from that type action. And in a recent interview with the creator, QS may be end-of-lifed. It's now open source; outsiders are working on it it, but it's unknown now if it will be advanced or improved any more [​IMG]
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Yeah, all I am using it for is to open programs. It's really
    convenient and I actually prefer to type a program I wish to
    open rather than using the mouse.

    I just have limited time to learn the rest of this program.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    All I keep in my dock at home is Quicksilver since it does unexpectedly quit from time-to-time.

    I also recommend installing the iTunes plugin as it will give you the ability to play/pause, previous/next track and call up playlists. You can also browse your library and access individual tracks by typing Browse and following the paths. There's also a little notifier that will show song info when the track changes. For my tastes I also like having the info in my menu bar, for which I use QuickTunes.

    These two guides are listed in the help section and are good to get an idea of what can be done.

    QuickSilver - A Better OS X In Just 10 Minutes - Dan Dickinson: The Primary Vivid Weblog

    Quicksilver: From A Better OS X To Even More - Dan Dickinson: The Primary Vivid Weblog
     
  10. Phil Kim

    Phil Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It's not "no more". But it's no longer under active development by the creator. But it's available to the Open Source crowd, so others may advance it.
     
  12. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    I've been reading about Quicksilver and its creator for a while, and it seems as if he doesn't care if anyone else uses the application. I'd prefer a developer who recognizes his users, and possibly with Quicksilver's source being released, someone else might pick it up and run with it.

    CJ
     
  13. Daryl L

    Daryl L Supporting Actor

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    After reading about Spotlights improvements in Leopard I uninstalled Quicksilver before I upgraded to Leopard and hadn't reinstalled QS since all I resorted to using QS for was to open apps. I do like using Namely on Leopard though. It's strictly for using your keyboard to open apps and it's fast and light. So if opening apps is all you want QS for you could lighten your load by using Namely instead.
     

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