Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some friends asked me on Twitter to elaborate on some Mac shortcuts. I’m using QuickSilver and Fluid to access things quickly on my Mac. QuickSilver comes in really handy to quickly “do things with things.” What the heck does that mean? Well, first of all it works as a launcher. If there are too many programs that you use to fit comfortably on your Dock, but it also feels like too many clicks to go to Applications to find the program, QS comes in handy here. Once you install QS, you can select an activation sequence. I used F1, then enter. On my laptop keyboard, it’s Fn+F1. On my external keyboard, it’s just F1. This launches a small window where I can type the first couple of letters of the program I want. It shows me the closest match, and then selecting “enter”  completes the action I’ve programmed. In my case, the default action is “launch.” So, for example, I type F1+”Add”+Enter and Address Book opens.

QuickSilver also allows you to quickly perform many other tasks, with many other file types, not just applications. Type the first few letters of a document you were working on recently, and get lots of choices including open it, copy it, email it, etc. Many thanks to @MegaJustice for showing me this a long time ago.

Now, Fluid I learned about by using OtherInbox (as if you needed another reason to use OIB. If you aren’t yet, Sign. Up. Now! BUT, I’m using OIB on the beta site, and it doesn’t seem to work with Fluid.  If OIB staff reads this, please comment.) Fluid is an app called a “site specific browser.” What this means is that if there is an application you use often on the web, you can use Fluid to make it like it’s a desktop app. For example, I’m not using Tweetdeck or other Twitter aggregator, because I haven’t been using Twitter that long and I had just figured out how to use the Twitter web page, so I didn’t want to complicate things with another program right away. So rather than launching Firefox, and then navigating to Twitter, I create Twitter in a site specific browser using Fluid. So then I type Fn+F1+Tw+Enter. Twitter launches in it’s own, standalone “browser window,” which actually looks just like a desktop app with it’s own menus & stuff. You can even put the icon in your Dock and launch from there if you want to. Very cool, and very fast.

If you have more questions, please feel free to email me, or post a comment here and I will reply. I hope that this information will save you some time! And if you’re not already following me on Twitter, I’m @mnthomas.