I recently purchased a Macbook (13") and have been perusing various blogs and zen/hacker sites which provide insight and instructions on becoming a proficient user. I feel relatively comfortable on it, though not quite as comfortable as on my native OS (Linux).

One thing I keep coming across is Quicksilver. Most productivity tips include utilizing this application for more extensible app launching, and better system navigation. I've used Launchy extensively on my Linux systems (and my Windows box at work), and I wouldn't say it's revolutionized my work flow.

I've been using Spotlight since it came with my Mac. Are there compelling reasons to switch to Quicksilver?


Spotlight can luanch apps, just like quicksilver can.

What makes quicksilver is because it is more of a shell. And can be extended.

Because of those two things, it becomes more like an interactive spotlight. It can not only return what you are searching, but can actually perform actions on what you are searching. Either e-mail a file, move or delete it, search the content of a file.

I believe you can even interact with web services.

I would suggest reading more on it, if you can get use it, it can provide a lot of shortcuts and save some time http://qsapp.com/about.php

  • I like what you're saying about QS being a shell. This seems to be a valid reason for looking into it, even if the support is waning (which I've heard in a few places). Thx! – bedwyr Dec 17 '09 at 4:00
  • thats a dead link. – Idlecool Dec 1 '11 at 14:00
  • Fixed link, and for what it's worth, I'm use Alfred App now alfredapp.com – Ryan Gibbons Dec 1 '11 at 17:33

If not mistaken, spotlight is more to file search. Quicksilver is like a quicklaunch for your app. I use it extensively as it is simple to type in the app name and launch the app. It's free, no harm to give a try. cheers

  • Thanks for the response: I use Spotlight to launch apps, so it kinda seems to serve this purpose. Can you think of any specific features in QS which you can't live without? – bedwyr Dec 14 '09 at 2:33

Have a look at This Q&A Thread which lists some of the best features of Quicksilver.


Quicksilver can do all these things and then a bunch of other things that you would never think about, but once you've seen them you just say. "That makes sense."

I use Spotlight to find things and Quicksilver to do things.


Quicksilver is a lot more powerful than Spotlight as an app launcher, but you may not need it, particularly given your experience with Launchy.

My own approach is to keep frequently used apps in the dock and launch infrequently used ones from Spotlight This has the big advantage of using only tools which would be available on any Mac I use.

Another disadvantage of Quicksilver is that the developer is no longer working on it. Launchbar is an alternative if you do decide you need an app launcher.

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