I Love Quicksilver’s Moves

Why would I need this?

You love this because you don’t have to open a single Finder window to move or copy a file or multiple files from one location or from multiple locations to a new location. Wow! How is this even fricking possible?


How do I …

Oooh, we’re going to play with something called the comma trick, which lets you select multiple items to act on. Activate Quicksilver (control-space).


Let’s assume the first document is not in the Quicksilver catalog. (What’s the catalog? The short answer is the catalog tells Quicksilver where to search; the long answer can be found in the Quicksilver Setup Mini-Guide.) Not a big deal, we’ll just navigate to it. We’re in a Documents folder at the moment, and our destination is a document nested a few folders down. Press / or right-arrow, which gives us a list of the folders contained within.


We can navigate down the list quickly by typing some characters of the folder we want. In the screenshot below, you can see we typed in th, which is underlined, and Quicksilver lists all the items within our Documents folders whose names contain th (in that order, but not necessarily consecutively). Note that the last match doesn’t even begin with t.


This is one of the things I love about Quicksilver. You do not have to remember the full name of anything; a few letters can be sufficient.

Pressing the slash key takes us into the Tech Stuff folder, listing its contents (in this case, a bunch of dated folders).


We’ll arrow down to select the 2013 folder. Notice that as the selection moves in the results window, the selected item also appears in the first pane. Now that we’ve got 2013 selected, press the comma key. Now Quicksilver looks like this:


There are two folders showing in the first pane. The first folder is the 2013 folder we selected. It’s inactive, waiting for us to finish selecting all the items we want to act on. The second folder in the first pane is also the 2013 folder (we can see that from the results window). Quicksilver always has something in the first pane, and in this case, it simply shows us the last item we referenced.

To add the 2014 folder as well, we can type 14 or 24 or 214, etc. If I make a mistake while typing, one quick way to start over without starting all over is to press tab (which will move me to Quicksilver’s second pane), and press tab again (which will move me back to the first pane). (I do this, for example, when I find myself several levels down in the /Library folder instead of the ~/Library folder, and I don’t want to navigate all the way back up to get to the right folder.) We’ll press comma to add the 2014 folder.


Let’s add some other items. As you may have realized, the left and right arrow keys will move up and down folder levels, and the up and down arrow keys will move up and down the results window.

I’m going to navigate to the Records folder and add a few files, pressing comma after each item. (Screenshots below.) If I press comma unintentionally, I can press backspace to remove the last item from the list of items.




With the last item selected (you don’t have to press comma after the last item), I tabbed over to the second pane, and began typing Move To…. (After a brief delay, other actions matching those letters are listed.)


Now, we’ll tab over to the third pane and select our destination ….


and then we’ll press enter. Once we’ve done that, Quicksilver presents the window below, in case there’s another action we want to perform.


Say, for instance, maybe we want to change items’ labels.


Or compress them.


Or reveal them in the Finder.


Let’s do that.


(Your Finder window’s toolbar looks different? Customize it! Open a Finder window, select View > Customize Toolbar … and have at it! Then, start adding your most-used apps there. I have Quicksilver, Pathfinder and HoudahSpot in my Finder windows. I should probably add Tetris.)

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:

  • File Attribute Actions to set Finder labels
  • File Compression Plugin to compress items

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.

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

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