OptionSpace Adds A Spotlight-Like Search For Menu Items In OS X

OptionSpace Adds A Spotlight-Like Search For Menu Items In OS X

Mac: While learning keyboard shortcuts certainly puts you on the fast track to obtaining your official productivity geek credibility card, it’s not for everyone. OptionSpace is a little app for OS X that allows you to instantly pull up a search menu to find various menu bar items just like your would with Spotlight.

When you’re in any app, you can tap Option+Space to pull up a search menu, type in a couple letters of what keyboard shortcut or menu bar item you’re looking for, and the OptionSpace shows you results. Tap Return and it executes that shortcut for you. It works something like a combination of OS X’s built-in Help menu and Spotlight. This allows you to access menu items without touching your mouse, even if you can’t remember the shortcut. If you’re not great at remembering shortcuts for menu items, OptionSpace is worth a look.

The pricing system for OptionSpace is a bit convoluted though. It starts with a 10-day unlimited trial, but after that, you get seven uses per week for free. If you want to use it more, you’ll need to pony up for the licence, which is currently $US15 ($21), but bumps up to $US19 ($26) at the end of the year. It’s a nice system in that you get to try before you buy and the free tier makes it accessible for casual users, but it does get a little confusing. Regardless, if you can’t seem to remember keyboard shortcuts to save your life, OptionSpace is worth a look.

OptionSpace (Free/$US15-$19 [$21-$26])


  • I thought this was broken, but I had to restart it a second time.

    You have to enable both OptionSpace and System Events in the Accessibility controls.

    Hopefully they will make this a bit more obvious, but this is awesome. Learning keyboard shortcuts doesn’t work because developers don’t put any serious thought into them anymore (except the very basic, common ones) and because we use too many apps.

    (also, I’ve been using a mac for 7 years and I still don’t get what option and command mean or what those weird symbols are supposed to represent… seriously apple; 1 mouse button but 4 modifier keys!!?!?!)

    • Hi @CascadeHush! You shouldn’t need to have System Events enabled for OptionSpace to work, just OptionSpace. I see in your other thread you ran into a few problems getting OptionSpace working. Apologies for that! We heard from a few users who ran into similar problems. Fortunately earlier today OptionSpace v1.0.1 came out, which should solve those problems for you. I sent you an email too, if you run into any further issues at all, please drop me a note and I’ll get on it asap. Hope OptionSpace ends up being awesome for you!

  • Yeah, I take it back. This software will be good when it’s out of alpha. It seems to stop working after awhile and needs to be restarted, making it pretty useless. It doesn’t work at all with Path Finder, which is a shame because I’m in there all the time and it has a horrible menu structure.

    I hope the author keeps working on it, but this is pre-release software.

    • The list of apps it does work with seems a lot longer than the list of one’s it does. A shame, because I though this could be revolutionary. I can see that this is probably not an easy thing to implement, but if it doesn’t work every time, you stop trusting it and give up.

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