Using QuicKeys Abbreviations to Activate Computer Tasks

One of the newest features in QuicKeys 4.0 is the ability to type assigned abbreviations that will automatically replace by assigned longer text. It works just like TypeExpander and Typinator.

With this feature, you can also set up abbreviations to activate shortcuts in your Shortcuts library. I use several shortcuts like this. Let me give you an example.

When I’m writing a quick email and I want to dash it off without using a shortcut keystroke or my mouse to click the send button, I simply type my assigned abbreviation, “dm” at the end of the email, and it instantly sends the email. The “dm” does not get typed in the email. It disappears right after I type it.

I have similar abbreviations, including muting and un-muting the audio on my computer, closing and opening particular folders in my Finder, and launching particular web pages while I’m typing.

Here’s how I set up the mail abbreviation shortcut.

Step 1

Start by setting up a new QuicKeys shortcut. Limit the scope to Mail. If you want, you can also assign a shortcut key, addition to the abbreviation trigger, or you can click the minus button and not use a shortcut key at all. In this example I assigned the “acute” key on the upper left of the keyboard.


I assigned that key to a few limited scoped QuicKeys shortcuts. I never use the key for typing, so it’s a great for single-key trigger.

Step 2

Now add the Type Keystroke Shortcut Step. Type Shift+Command+D in the keystroke field. This keyboard shortcut sends an email message in Mail. Save the macro. You might title it, “Send Mail.”


Step 3

In the QuicKeys menu, select File>New Abbreviation. This will bring up the Abbreviations editor. The editor should open with a New Abbreviations shortcut. If not, simply click the + button of the editor.


1. Replace the “newabbr” abbreviation in the Abbreviation text field with the abbreviation you want to use.

2. Click the Shortcut button.

3. Locate and select your Send Mail shortcut.

4. Select the “Immediately when typed” in the Completes section.

5. Select Mail for the limited Scope.

6. Make sure the “Replace typed abbreviation“ is checked.

Close the editor and you’re ready to use to your abbreviation shortcut. When you have typed an email, type your assigned abbreviation at the end of the message and it will automatically send the email.

This automation works only when you’re using text-based applications.