In an earlier post, I made brief mention of a tool that I’ve come to depend on now that I’m using a Mac, but I spent no real time describing it, which does not do this extraordinary program justice. The tool of which I speak is Quicksilver, a tool that has brought me closer to my keyboard and virtually eliminated my dependence on a mouse in and of itself.
The program itself is sheer brilliance. It is, to put it simply, the most powerful search tool, application launcher, bookmark manager, addressbook assistant, file transfer application, folder browser, music player and email manager… all hidden behind a single-panel interface into which I type that which I desire. Not only does it find what I’m looking for, but it learns along the way, identifying those things that I request most often and delivering them to me with fewer keystrokes on each subsequent request.
The developers describe it as “An evolving framework for accessing and manipulating many forms of personal data,” and though I think the description is accurate, to someone who’s never experienced Quicksilver it’s probably inadequate.
To quote Michael Hyatt:
“You can invoke QuickSilver from any application using an assigned hot key. You then begin typing a search, hit the tab key, and then determine an appropriate action… This is truly a program you have to try to appreciate.”
from [Working Smart]
To give you a rough idea of of my own day-to-day user experience, I start by pressing Ctrl-Space to invoke Quicksilver…
A small, opaque window appears on my screen.
As I type in the name of a file, located some several subdirectories deep within my documents directory (expenses.xls), the file is located and displayed with its full path in the window (/Users/taylor/Documents/work/hr/expenses.xls).
A single press of the Tab key allows me to select an action.
With a press of the Down-Arrow and/or Enter keys I can open the file, copy or move it to another directory by typing the directory name, even email it to a contact by simply typing a name located within my external addressbook, upon which it will open my default email client and automatically attach the file.
Tell me that’s not amazing?! The only tragedy here is that Quicksilver is not yet a ubiquitous component of every operating system. In fact, though Quicksilver is free, it is not [yet?] Open Source. Does this mean we’ll never see it on Linux, FreeBSD, even Windows? I suppose only time will tell.