Swipe to Edit Using BetterTouchTool

One of the coolest things about BetterTouchTool is how you can apply trackpad gestures to specific applications. I posted a video tutorial about it here.

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I most like using this time saving feature in QuicKeys, especially for when I’m working on difficult macro which requires me to edit the macro several times until it works the way I need it to.

Well, instead of having to click Command+0 or double-click a macro to edit it, I now simply swipe three fingers to the right on my track pad, and up pops the selected macro for editing. The swipe is much faster than the double-click or the keyboard shortcut.

I’ll be adding a few more gestures to QuicKeys as I become more comfortable with the application.

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QuicKeys Demo: Delete and Return

Think about how annoying it is to delete items in an application, by first having to click Command+Delete and then click the resulting Okay button (illustrated in the first example of the video). With this macro, it’s done with one simple hot key (illustrated in the second example.)

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Use QuicKeys As Application Switcher/Lock Out

I recently downloaded an application called MacLoc which when activated will switch you out of your user account, instead of logging and closing out your open applications. It’s a one-click process—very fast and easy.

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Well, I didn’t realize until today that QuicKeys also has a default macro, titled Lock Screen, that does the same thing. This means that you can use the macro with other shortcuts to switch/lock out your account at a certain time of the day, or after a file is added to a particular folder. You can also activate it remotely using QuicKeys Everywhere if you have the app installed on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

MacLoc is great, but if you’re QuicKeys users, you can use the macro to perform the same thing.

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Use QuicKeys to Remotely Control Your Mac

If I had to make a sells pitch for QuicKeys, I would say there’s almost nothing it can’t do for your computer. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t create an automation shortcut using the program. Not all my automations work out perfectly, but when they do, they make my computing just little more easier. What also makes QuicKeys a productive tool is what can be done away from your computer.

If you’re new to QuicKeys, you might not know that the developers have also created a mobile app, QuicKeys Anywhere (iTunes Store link) for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad,  which can run all your QuicKeys macros.

While there are many remote control applications access your computer from afar, QuicKeys Anywhere is the only one that allows you to run customized shortcuts over your local network. It can’t run over Wi-Fi and 3G, but if you’re wanting to say run your computer from the comforts of your bed, QuicKeys Anywhere, is a great tool.

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I use the mobile app to run several automations. For example,  to mute the sound of computer, to turn down the sound when the kids play music to lound; to launch and quit applications like Snowtape, RemoteSnap, AirVideo, etc., that need to be launched on my computer in order for me to use or connect to them from my iPhone or iPad.

One macro I run pisses off my daughter each time I play it. It is essentially a two-minute verbal warning that the computer will be shutdown. A few similar macros will put my computer to sleep or run MacLoc, an application that activates the Fast User Switching feature built-in to Mac OS X.

The macros on the app are organized by the application they are associated with. I typically put macros that I want to run from my iPhone as a QuicKeys menu trigger, since I don’t run them from the computer itself.

You can also select and star macros as Favorites, which makes them easier to access.

If you’re a iPhone user and fan of QuicKeys, I definitely recommend downloading the free QuicKeys Anywhere.

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

Quickeys Demo: Copy and Paste to Tweetie Macro

This QuicKeys macro automation copies the a selected title of an web page article, then selects and copies the URL of that web page.

Next, it switches to the application, Tweetie, and pastes the two copied selections in a New Tweet in Tweetie. It also activiates the Shorten URL hot key in Tweetie.

The macro includes two ways to activate the macro.

Click here to download the macro, which can be imported into QuicKeys.

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QuicKeys Demo: Quickly Adding Quotation Marks

This demo shows two similar macros. One that adds quotation marks around selected text using a shortcut key, while the other one does the same for adding parenthesis. Nice little time saver.The shortcut can be download on the QuicKeys Gallery forum: http://tinyurl.com/ycgg3oj

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Quickly Search Safari History

After reading Dan Frakes tip article on how to quickly search Safari bookmarks and history, I knew I had to create a QuicKeys shortcut for this search, because I too frequently need to search through my browser history to locate website pages.

Type Keystroke Shortcut

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For this shortcut I used the simple and very useful Type Keystroke shortcut, since the Help>Search menu actually has I think a shortcut key assigned to it, which is Command+Shift+ \.. You can’t see the shortcut keystroke on the menu item, but I used Keycue to discover it.

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Using QuicKeys Shortcuts with ScreenFlow

As you can tell from this site, I’m a QuicKeys nut. I try to automate anything I can with this automation program. One particular application that I have several QuicKeys macros set up for is ScreenFlow—one of the best screencast applications for the Mac.

One of the best things about QuicKeys is that you can use it to add functionality to any application. Sometimes when you work in a application on a regular basis, you start developing a workflow that helps you get projects done in that application faster. Well, QuicKeys can greatly assist you in your workflow.

In the case of ScreenFlow, I primarily use the mouse and menu tools to edit screencast projects. I don’t do a lot of typing in the program, and I‘m not keen on using shortcut keystrokes that are appended to the two dozen-plus menu items that exist in ScreenFlow. So this is where QuicKeys comes in.

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