I Love Quicksilver’s AppleScript access
Why would I need this?
Maybe you already use the great and almighty (and free) FastScripts from Red Sweater Software to run scripts. But unless you’ve paid to use unlimited keyboard shortcuts, you have to move your hands from the keyboard to your mouse/trackpad. And doing so introduces torque to your workflow, and torque induces drag.
Productive people don’t do drag.
Plus, FastScripts likes a certain structure when it comes to scripts. You can’t put scripts on your Desktop and expect FastScripts to work with you. But you can with Quicksilver.
Sold? But wait! There’s more! Find a script posted online, paste/pipe into Quicksilver, run it as an AppleScript without even opening AppleScript Editor…
Now you’re sold.
How do I …
Run An AppleScript file
Quicksilver makes it easy to run a script. Below, we have a script selected in Quicksilver’s first pane. We started by pressing
control-space to activate Quicksilver. Then we typed
des to have Quicksilver search for our Desktop folder. (Depending on how you use Quicksilver, you may need to type more or less letters for Quicksilver to find what you’re searching for. Remember that
dkp will all match
desktop.) Next, we pressed the
down arrow key to display the items in the Desktop folder.
In the first pane, we have the
change case script. You can tell it’s a script because of the
scpt extension. Quicksilver can tell it’s a script, too, and has pre-populated the second pane with a
Run action. (There are several
Run actions. This one runs AppleScripts, which is indicated by its icon.) We could press
enter right now to run this script, but let’s look at the other results instead.
down arrow key selects the second item in our Desktop folder. That item is an AppleScript application. Notice how the second pane no longer shows the
Run action, switching to the default
Open command for applications. We could press
enter right now to open this application, but let’s explore a bit more.
down arrow key again selects the last item, another script. Well, kind of. Notice the
scptd extension? This is actually a script bundle, with resources embedded with the file. Quicksilver does not recognize it as an AppleScript, and defaults to the
Open command for this file. If we were to press
enter right now, this script would open in AppleScript Editor (and we could run the script from there). I think I ran across a fix for this some time ago, but I don’t remember what it was. If you know of a way to address this, please share in the comments below.
Run Text As AppleScript
Another way to run an AppleScript is to enter the script text into Quicksilver. Let’s take a look at how that’s done.
Below, we’ve activated Quicksilver and typed
. (period) to enter text mode. The appearance of the first pane changes and includes a text icon in the background. We’ve typed
tell in the first pane. Take note of the default action waiting in the second pane.
When we add the second word to our text, the default action in the second pane changes automatically, as Quicksilver recognizes that this is likely to be an AppleScript.
We’ll finish our simple AppleScript (which will activate hr, a time tracking app with a great interface).
We’ve typed it in, but we could have easily copied a script from the internet, activated Quicksilver, entered text mode and pasted the script. We don’t have to
tab to the second pane because the action we want is already there. We can press
enter now to run our script.
Why doesn’t it work on my Mac?
Note that in order to use these actions, you need to install the following plugins and you may need to change your Quicksilver preference settings:
- (No plugin needed)
You may need to add the /Library/Scripts and ~/Library/Scripts folders to Quicksilver‘s catalog, if you want to add the scripts in those folders to Quicksilver’s catalog. Below, only one of our Scripts folders have been added (there’s a number by the checkbox, indicating the number of items in the folder).
You may also need to make sure the appropriate actions are enabled. Below, the
Run actions pertaining to AppleScripts are enabled. (These are the selected actions.)