What moves me closer to the power user monicker is keyboard shortcuts. I slave over a hot keyboard all day, so why not master the faster way to navigate and get things done? It’s keyboard vs. mouse clicks that separates the power users from the average user. If you want power, get ready for keyboard shortcuts.
Fortunately, there’s a free app for that.
9 Years Of Power For Free
Quicksilver for the Mac was created almost nine years ago and started free public life a few years later.
Think of Quicksilver as the Ginsu Knife for Mac users tired of point and click, in need of extraordinary power, but at an affordable price (as in free).
First, Quicksilver is unsettling but intuitive. How do you launch Mail? Grab the mouse, move the pointer to the Dock, find the Mail app icon, and click.
In Quicksilver simply type “mail” and hit return. No mouse. Ditto for other basic Mac apps. Quicksilver learns as you go and adjusts itself to match your needs.
Second, Quicksilver finds things fast. Wait. Doesn’t Spotlight do that? Yes, but in a less intuitive, less productive way. Type in words to find apps, files, bookmarks, music, or whatever you need. Quicksilver displays the results instantly so your hands never leave the keyboard and you haven’t, so far, had to remember any keyboard shortcuts.
Third, Quicksilver thinks. Well, it’s almost thinking because it understands abbreviations. Type Photoshop to launch Photoshop. Or, type ps, tell Quicksilver you want Photoshop, and it remembers the abbreviation.
Here’s an example of how Quicksilver makes you an A #1, Triple Distilled Mac Power User. Past a bookmarked URL into an email message without going to Safari. Add something to your to-do list by using only the keyboard.
They say a store’s success is based upon three things. Location, location, location. Power users who master Quicksilver say, keyboard, keyboard, keyboard.
But Quicksilver can also be customized the old fashioned way. Add a trigger to a specific function, and activate it from the keyboard. Quickly look through Safari bookmarks or history. Check the Address Book for phone numbers. All this and a whole lot more are done simply by using the keyboard.
So, why isn’t Quicksilver in use on every Mac in the world?
Old habits are hard to break. Quicksilver is a keyboard command gateway. You’re forced to use the keyboard to get results, and results are not always perfect the first few times. Quicksilver needs to learn what you want by you telling it what you want by clicking on what it gives you.
That’s a little more effort than the average Mac user will put into a free Mac app, but the end result of a little extra slaving over a hot keyboard gets you keyboard power, and unhitches you from slavery to the mouse.