Archive for the ‘quicksilver’ Category

Want to open lots of images in Preview? Here’s a faster way…

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

So at the moment it’s a bit of a hassle to open large numbers of images in preview. Lifehacker have posted a handy little app called Xee which takes a lot of the kerfuffle of browsing through folders out, but I thought it might be worth noting that Preview can actually open whole folders at a time, though it can be a tad reticent.


Normally if you drag a folder onto Preview’s dock icon, it shakes it’s head at you and refuses to highlight. In order to open the folder, you have to force it by pressing Alt-Apple. Then you’ll see the magical highlights.


One thing that can speed this up is my earlier comments on Quicksilver as a kind of pusedo-dock, quick interface for droplets. Observe:


Yes, I’ve started using Fumo. I must say I rather like it – expect to see a review soooooon…

Tomfoolery: five signs that you’re using quicksilver too much

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
  1. You’ve started referring to apps by their abbreviations instead of their actual names
  2. You’re seriously considering installing an applescript-controlled x10 system in your home just so Quicksilver can actually make you coffee in the morning
  3. You’ve changed the keystroke to Cmd-Space instead of Ctrl-Space just so it’s that little bit closer.
  4. Your hands twitch in the junkie Ctrl-Space gesture whenever you’re looking for something in a shop, library, or similar public place.
  5. You’ve actually written long, exhaustive articles on the pros and cons of different quicksilver interfaces

Of course, this whole post is entirely facetious as it’s impossible to use Quicksilver too much.

How to tag iTunes songs quickly and sanely

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

The Preamble

So I’ve been using a song tagging system based on ratings for a while now, (more on that here), but I’ve recently started using a different system to add more granularity to my tagging – for example, tagging my ‘Inspirational’ (2 star) list to separate the up-tempo numbers good for writing action from the stately pieces for description and the sad pieces for… well, sad stuff.

I’d long decided to use the ‘Grouping’ section in iTunes to do this, but tabbing over to iTunes and getting info on the playing song and then typing in the tag seemed like too much hassle – I don’t want to leave what I’m doing for very long. Enter Automator and Quicksilver…

The Instruction

  1. First off, you’ll need Doug’s Automator Actions for iTunes, available here. Install them if you haven’t got them already, because there’s some amazing stuff in there.
  2. Next, put together a simple two-step workflow: ‘Get the Current Song’ followed by ‘Set Info of iTunes Songs’.
  3. Then, and this is important, click the ‘Grouping’ checkbox and under ‘options’ click the ‘Show Action When Run’ checkbox. This means that, when the workflow runs, it’ll pop up a miniature version of iTunes’ option box with grouping already selected and the cursor set to a-blinkin’. This is awesome.
  4. Stick the resulting workflow in a place where Quicksilver can see it. Assign a trigger (if you’re not familiar with these, Merlin’s got a great post about them or just a simple abbreviation.

Now, whenever you hear a song that fits a particular mood or tag, open up the workflow from QS and type your tag, then get back to your stuffs. Fantastic, and probably more useful to most people than ratings-tagging. (Although I still like that for being able to sort my music solely on my iPod).

The Quicksilver Cube interface

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

I was never entirely happy with the default Quicksilver interface, Primer


There’s nothing really wrong with it, per se – in fact it’s excellent for people new to QS, what with the little bit of text at the bottom and the full item path. But I’m a visual thinker, and I often use Quicksilver for dropping files onto applications / droplets, for which I need a big target.

So I moved on to Bezel


Now, Bezel’s much nicer – simple, clean, it’s got that cool transparency effect on it, and big – BIG – icon boxes for dropping things onto. So I was set. Except for one thing.

When you have to open a third pane, say if you’re appending text, it expands. And worse, because it’s centred, the first pane moves right over to the left. This can be an irritant, especially if you’ve got Append to text near the top of you command list like I have (I use it a lot).

And then I found the wonderful cube.

Most cubes are wonderful, in fact – Apple cubes, apple stores that are cube shaped, Gamecubes… but I digress. The important thing is, cube has the large drop areas AND it has the cool swooshy cube effect when you move to other panes, not unlike fast-user switching in OS X. And it has those near mini icons that let you know what’s in the other panes so you don’t get lost.

So there you have it, that’s why I love the Cube interface.

Quicksilver for droplets

Monday, November 6th, 2006

One of the amazing and particularly ginchy features Quicksilver has is one that I don’t often hear people talking about, and sometimes wonder if many people are aware of.

Whenever you have something selected in a quicksilver pane – application, file, whatever – you can drag it right out of that pane as though you were dragging it in the finder. So you can drag a file out of quicksilver onto an application on the dock to open it, or you can make a copy or an alias of it with keystrokes as usual.

But what’s really handy about this – perhaps even extra-super-awesome – is that you can drag things onto one of these panes as well. So if you’ve got a handy dandy droplet but it’s not in your dock, you can just call it up with Quicksilver and there it is, no faffing around necessary.

This is also handy for opening files with nonstandard applications.

So woo! Another piece of awesome from the single finest program on the mac.