I Love Quicksilver’s easy contacts access

Why would I need this?

Access your contacts’ names, email address, phone numbers and addresses on the fly.

‘Nuf said?

How do I …

Would you believe Quicksilver does this? Well, it does.

(If your Quicksilver looks different than the screenshots below, note that I’m using Quicksilver’s Primer interface. This interface is built-in and does not need to be installed, but you do have to select it and you can customize it at Preferences > Appearance.)

All you have to do to easily locate contacts in your Contacts app (or Address Book, depending on what version of OS X you’re using) is to activate Quicksilver, then begin typing the name of one of your contacts.

The usual rules apply. You don’t have to type Mary to find Mary Wilson; type arywsn or wilson or any letters in the order they appear in the name. This is great for those names you always have trouble spelling. In the screenshot below, we’re going with wil.


Zoe Willssen is the first match found. After a brief delay (or after pressing down-arrow when we don’t want to wait), the other results are displayed. If Zoe isn’t the name I’m looking for, I can keep typing letters in the contact’s name, or I can use the up and down arrow keys to select which contact I want. Let’s go with Zelma.

In the screenshot below, I’ve navigated to Zelma Wilson. Take a look at the results displayed. Below Zelma‘s name, there are other matches Quicksilver has found for wil, neither of which contain those letters consecutively.

All the way to the right of Zelma’s name, there is a greater than symbol (>). That’s Quicksilver‘s way of saying “I understand you’re busy. I’m going to save you work here.” Even though the Show Contact action is showing in the second pane, I’m going to refrain from pressing enter. Instead, I’m going to press the follow that symbol and press my right-arrow key…


And her contact details are right there. Each as a separate item, available for action.


Most times, this is all I need to do. But let’s explore some of the other ways we can use this info. Let’s start with Large Type because it’s already in our second pane so all we have to do is press enter.

This will stay on your screen until you click it to dismiss it:


When I activate Quicksilver again, the same number is still in the first pane. I’m going to leave it there, and tab to the second pane to search for a call action.

Found one! If you have the PushDialer app installed on your Mac, you can use Quicksilver’s PushDialer Plugin to call from your Mac.


Another action allows you to copy the information to the clipboard.


But why copy to the clipboard, when you have just have Quicksilver paste the information into the current application? Save yourself a step!


But, wait! There’s more! I’ve navigated back to the listing of Zelma’s contact info. She has two email addresses, work and home. To email her, select an address and tab to the second pane and search for an email action. (You may have several options, depending on which plugins you install.)


When I press enter to execute, a new email message will be created in my default email client, with her email address already in the To field.


Can you believe there’s still more?

At the bottom of Zelma’s contact info are the notes I have in her Contacts (Address Book if you’re 10.7 or earlier) card. Quicksilver lets add to your existing notes, on the fly. (No, Address Book/Contacts does not need to be open.)


I’ve navigated back to Zelma’s contact information below, typing wil as I did the first time. See anything different in the results display? Zelma is now listed before Zoe, because Quicksilver learns your patterns as you use it and ranks accordingly. This is for first pane information. To rank second pane information, review the Actions section of Quicksilver Setup Mini Guide. What happens when you want to establish a new pattern? A quick easy way is to use the Assign Abbreviation action, which I’ll talk more about later in the series.


This time I did not press right-arrow to delve into her contact information; Instead, I tabbed to the second pane and searched for the Add Note… action. When I’ve selected it, a third pane appears for me to type into.


Note typed, I press enter and my new note is added. (Let’s go look!)


When I activate Quicksilver again, Zelma’s card is still in the first pane. Below you can see the other two actions for this plugin. Edit Contact opens the selected contact in Address Book/Contacts in edit mode. We only need Show Contact to see our new note.


Voila. Quicksilver even puts the new note on the next line for you.


Why doesn’t it work on my machine?

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:

  • Contacts Plugin
  • PushDialer Plugin (if you have the PushDialer app and want to dial your phone from your Mac)

Wow/Meh. What else ya got?

This is part of a series of some of the ways I love and use Quicksilver. If you’re new to Quicksilver, check out the Quicksilver Setup Mini Guide for tips on configuration.

09. November 2014 by sojourner hardeman
Categories: geekery, how do i love thee quicksilver | Leave a comment

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