Hotkeys can save you a lot of time, especially when they’re customised to do your specific bidding. Although there are many ways to add custom global keyboard shortcuts to OS X, Quicksilver is the best thanks to its speed and versatility.
- Assign a hotkey to any Quicksilver action.
- Assign a mouse movement to any Quicksilver action.
- Add additional actions with plugins.
Although this feature list is incredibly short, don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s very little Quicksilver Triggers can do. Read on for more examples. It’s incredibly powerful.
You probably know Quicksilver the excellent application launcher for OS X, but it’s capable of far more than that. One of its excellent additional features is called Triggers, which allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to any action Quicksilver can perform. We’ve offered up a few examples in the past, but to give you a quick idea here are a few things you can do with just the press of a few keys:
- Launch an app
- Control iTunes
- Compose an email
- Add a file to your Dropbox public folder and copy the public link to your clipboard
- Start a timer
- Select an action from a menu in any application
It suffices to say, there’s a lot Quicksilver Triggers can do. If you know how to use Quicksilver to do more than just launch apps, you already know how to make powerful triggers.
There really aren’t many downsides to Quicksilver Triggers. Perhaps the most disappointing reality is that it isn’t as capable as the amazing Autohotkey. There’s also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to creating more complex triggers, but we can walk you through that. All in all, it’s pretty wonderful and a part of Quicksilver few people realise exists.
OS X offers the ability to both create new keyboard shortcuts and change existing ones. While this isn’t a full-featured global hotkey manager by any stretch of the imagination, it may be enough for some users.
Apptivate ($US3) is a simple alternative. All you do is assign a keyboard shortcut to an application, Automator workflow, or AppleScript and use it as you please. The interface is simple and it lives in your menubar. It’s good if you want absolute simplicity, but Quicksilver does more and costs less. Shortcuts ($US8) does essentially the same thing for more money. If you want to do the opposite of these apps and block certain shortcuts, try ShortStop ($US3).
Keymando ($US20) is a pricier alternative to Quicksilver Triggers but it’s capable of more. This is because you basically map everything Keymando can do via Ruby code. You don’t have to know Ruby to use it, but if you want to get the most out of the application it definitely helps.
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