Using Quicksilver Triggers to Create Instant Web Searches: Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, IMDB
It’s been about 2 years since I started using Quicksilver, and I’m ashamed to say that it’s still mostly a glorified app-launching program for me.
That said, Quicksilver has become a core part of my daily workflow. My ability to switch from app to app is near instantaneous (and more importantly… nearly thoughtless). I no longer click on icons in my dock to move from program to program.
Granted, they’re all just three-finger salutes… but it works for me.
Instant Messenger: Control+Option+Command+M
I’ve got a ton of these triggers, set up for the apps I use most… and it’s pretty fantastic. In fact, I’m so used to this approach that whenever I’m on someone else’s Mac, I feel slowed down. I find it frustrating, actually, whenever I’m on Liz’s Mac, and feel like I’m moving at about 50% of my regular speed.
Though I use Quicksilver primarily for switching apps, I know that there’s a TON more that it can do. I know I’m probably not even getting 1% out of the app, and my hope is that writing a bit more about it will help me explore more and try out new approaches.
A few non-app triggers I use center around certain websites (YouTube, Google and Wikipedia in particular). I found a tutorial a while back on how to automatically send search strings to these sites… all activated by Quicksilver.
Before we begin, the one caveat I’ll mention is that you may have to have the “Web Search Module” plug-in installed in Quicksilver.
OK – let’s get to it. One of the more useful ones is Google. In setting up the trigger, paste this command in:
Then, as your action, select “Search For…”
Then hit save. Set a hot key for this trigger (I use Control+G).
And that’s it – you now have your own, always-accessible Google search function, regardless of what application you’re in. Simply hit your trigger (in my case, Control+G) and you should see this:
Then just type in your search term, hit “return,” and your Google Search results will show up in a browser window.
Interested in getting some additional search-anywhere triggers? Try adding these commands to search YouTube, Wikipedia and IMDB:
Pretty nifty stuff! Like I said, I still think I’m a huge noob when it comes to Quicksilver, and I know there’s just so much more out there for me to explore and learn yet. Hopefully this post will be the first in a series, and give me incentive to go out and tinker a bit more… and report back on what I’ve learned, on what works… and what doesn’t.
And for the record – I’ve used a gazillion triggers in the writing of this post: BBEdit, Photoshop, Transmit. There’s definitely a bit of an adjustment curve, but I’d highly recommend playing around with Quicksilver. Your workflow will thank you for it.