QuicKeys Actions Explained

QuicKeys is all about executing actions that you do on the computer. In this article I explain a somewhat complex macro that performs the type of functions we often do when two applications are used in conjunction with one another.

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This macro involves two applications that I use on a regular basis: Safari, which is of course web browser, and Webnote, a bookmark management application. Here’s the function of each step in this macro. (Note: I assume that you have some prior experience with QuicKeys.

1. When I click on a “Webnote It” bookmarklet in my Safari menu bar, it saves the current webpage to Webnote. However, when Webnote activates, the cursor appears in its Description field for each bookmark, but I want it automatically appear in a the Tag field instead.

2. So I use this QuicKeys step to tab forward to the tags field one second after Webnote becomes active. The shortcut types the tab key for me. The bookmarklet activates Webnote, which also save me another click. Thus, with this shortcut, I can immediately start typing in the Tag filed if I want to.

3. Now sometimes, I just want to bookmark a web page in Webnote and I’m not concerned about typing a tag. I just want to go back to Safari and keep reading or browsing. With this step, QuicKeys waits to see if I start typing in Webnote. If I don’t press any keys after five seconds, it will move to the next step.

4. After five seconds, QuicKeys will switch back to Safari for me, saving me the trouble clicking back to Safari myself. This works great becaue I use two monitors with my computer. Webnote is always stationed on the second monitor/display, and Safari is usually on the main monitor. So QuicKeys switches back to Safari where I can continue browsing.

Notice also in step 4 that after QuicKeys switches me back to Safari, it ”hides the previous application” which in this workflow will always be Webnote. I don’t need Webnote to remain on my desktop, especially when I’m only adding bookmarks and not browsing the application itself. Since Webnote won’t hide itself, QuicKeys performs that step for me. Again, this is a time saver because I use Webnote regularly.

Now sure, this workflow only saves me a few clicks, but when you work on computer throughtout the day and use two applications like these on a regular basis, less clicking from one application to the next can make the taks less tedious.

Conditional Steps

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Finally, if you have put together workflows in QuicKeys, you may know that when you add a shortcut in a workflow, you can configure the shorcut to run or not run based on the conditions yo set for it. Where it says Step Resuts at the bottom of the shortcut, you can click on the x and configure it to jump to the next step, or stop and not move to the next shortcut.

For this workflow, if I press any key in less than five seconds, the QuicKeys will not move to the next step. If I don’t press any key, it moves on to the last step, because the previous step (number 3) fails after five seconds when it recognizes that I didn’t press any key during the allotted time.

Understanding how to make shorcuts conditional is helpful making complex workflows that perform the way we ourselves perform functions on the computer. The key to using QuicKeys is to get to simulate actions that we repeatedly carry out on our computer, thus saving us time and helping us work more efficently.

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