Quicksilver: A Comprehensive T.O.C. for Beginners to Pros

April 02nd, 2007 | Nerdery | Syndicate Content

Quicksilver. The Godfather of Mac apps. Those who use it swear by it, and those who don’t are begging for someone to show them the way. If you are just playing around with Quicksilver or use it regularly there are more than enough tutorials out there to help you. But which ones are worth your time, and where are they?

For the sake of having somewhere to send people when they ask me about Quicksilver, and for those who want to learn some new hacks and tips they perhaps didn’t know about I compiled this “Table of Contents” for Quicksilver.

I recommend opening this post in a new tab or window while working your way through the links.

INTRODUCTIONS – For Beginning Users

A Better OS X in 10 Minutes – Via Dan Dickinson. The post that got us all hooked.

A Beginner’s Guide to Quicksilver – Via LifeHacker. A clear walk-through beginning with downloading QS, and into basic use and some recommended plugins.

Screenshot Tour of QS – Via LifeHacker. Information about the QS preference pane.

QS Users Guide – Via Howard Melman. If someone ever wrote a Quicksilver manual, this is it.

FEELING COMFORTABLE? – For Intermediate Users

A Better OS X to Even More – Via Dan Dickinson. The next level after his first post.

Clipboard Paper Tape – Via Macintalk. Need to keep a live “paper tape” of items you copy to and from the clipboard? Clipboard History is the answer to your problem.

Twitter Status – Via Electric Weekend. I use QS to update my Twitter status. Phil also shows how to post your twitter status into Adium/MSN

QS Triggers – Via 43 Folders. 5 Handy Quicksilver Triggers.

QS Plugins – Via 43 Folders. Six cool Quicksilver Plugins you might not know about. Including image manipulation, flickr uplad & abracadabra.

Sending Email – Via 43 Folders. How to send short email messages from within Quicksilver.

SHOW ME THE MONEY – For Advanced Users

QS Reference Guide – Via Howard Melman. A PDF cheat sheet of commands.

Compound Commands – Learn the basics of saving commands for easier execution, and the comma trick; Then get blown away by how these can turn into compound commands.

QS Cube Interface – Via Factory Joe. Instal and customize the cube interface. This is what I use.

Extending Quicksilvers Append to File – Additions for the Append Text to action

NEED A VISUAL? – Screencasts

Merlin Mann on Quicksilver ScreencastsSeeing is Believing…

Macbreak Tutorial An intro to Quicksilver with Merlin and Leo on Macbreak. I have that same shirt, Merlin.

Focusing Items in QS – Via The Apple Blog. The Ins and Outs of focusing Quicksilver on an item you want to do something with.

Image Manipulation – Via The Apple Blog. Perfect for those who take screenshots or upload images for your blog.

Quicksilver and iCal – Via TUAW. Adding iCal events and ToDo’s from Quicksilver.

Advanced Usage – Via [Insert Name] Blog. Learn advanced Quicksilver actions including setup and usage of the shelf and clipboard modules, and setup and usage of triggers.


Here are a few other TOCs. Which include some links that I didn’t refer to here.

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  1. Ryan Couch said:

    Great, comprehensive post Shawn. For the Windows user, Rocketdock is a must. Has anyone tried any of these Windows alternatives to Quicksilver?

    Launchy – http://www.launchy.net/

    AppRocket – http://www.candylabs.com/approcket/

    Colibri – http://colibri.leetspeak.org/

    SlickRun – http://www.bayden.com/slickrun/

    I’ve read that Launchy is the “most proven” of the bunch, but haven’t tried it really.

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 10:12 am

  2. David said:

    Wow, I just started using it and came to realize that a)It’s not just a blogging engine(for some reason I thought that) and b)It’s amazing.
    Wow, I’ve been missing something in OSX.

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 2:49 pm

  3. MacStansbury said:

    I’ve been using it since 2002 (man, has it improved), and when it gets turned off, I have a hard time turning it back on, it’s so ingrained in my way of doing things. That said, I’m just now using it as anything more than just a program launcher/iTunes messer-wither.

    The real beauty of Quicksilver is that it’s a way to help you communicate with the environment. It is much more than a simple program launcher.

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 3:29 pm

  4. Matthew Berry said:


    If only I could get my hands on a MacBook Pro. *Wishfully looks off into the distance*

    Did you ever used to use PCs? If so, what made you switch over?

    Posted on April 3, 2007 at 7:01 am

  5. {Shawn} said:

    @ Macstansbury: I know how you feel. At first I didn’t think it was that exciting to be able to launch a program without having to click on it, but then as I began to learn how versitile Quicksilver was it became an intricate part of my computer use.

    @ Matthew: I used a PC up until a few years ago. I actually used to be anti-Mac. But after OS X and the new PowerBook line my interest was peaked. I crossed over on January 7th, 2005 and haven’t looked back.

    Posted on April 3, 2007 at 7:34 am

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