Quicksilver: One of the best Mac apps

Sometimes a Mac program comes along that's simply a must-have. Quicksilver's elegant interface acts as an excellent search tool, a fast file launcher, and much more once you customize it to your needs. Even better, it's free.


I was working on my Mac recently when a co-worker came up and asked me a question regarding a feature I wrote a while back. I turned back to my Mac, hit a couple of hot keys, and quickly found the piece in question. My Windows-using co-worker immediately asked me what the little program was that I brought up with the hot keys, and after a couple of key strokes, I proudly brought it up again: Quicksilver.

Quicksilver is one of those programs that is so useful I never even think about it when I use it. To open files, bookmarks, your browser, or anything that's buried deep in your Mac's folders, simply bring up Quicksilver, type the first few letters, highlight the desired file using arrow keys, and hit return. Most of the time, what you're looking for comes up first anyway so all you have to do is hit return to launch it. It's truly a great addition to your Mac, particularly if you like quickly searching for things while keeping your hands on your keyboard.

Use the tab key to bring up a list of possible actions for your file (Credit: CNET Networks)

Beyond its convenient search and launching capabilities, Quicksilver offers a command mode for more complex tasks. When you're done searching for a file, simply hit the Tab key and use your arrow keys to do things like send the file in an e-mail, make an alias of the file, copy to clipboard, or any of a huge list of actions. What's more, you can add actions from a huge list of plug-in modules designed to interact with several other programs, so even uploading via FTP or adding pictures to Flickr is possible. All this, without your hands ever leaving the keyboard.

A lot of Mac users reading this are probably already faithful Quicksilver users. But if you haven't checked out this free jack-of-all-trades app, take it from me: This free app is definitely worthy of any Mac user.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.