Alfred for Mac OSX -The shortcut/launcher application
May 29, 2011
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I have recently been reacquainted with a productivity app on my Mac called Alfred. Alfred likes to serve you with what you need, much like a butler – hence the name. It is much like other shortcut apps like Quicksilver but I always found the interface more complex than I wanted… This one pretty much works in one display bar and allows you to work more with the keyboard and have less switching between keyboard and mouse; great for those with RSI.
There is a free limited access edition that can be downloaded either from the website or from the Mac App store and there is a powerpack edition that has some more elements available though to be honest the free edition does all that I need.
Once the application is installed a comprehensive preference screen is set up where a quick keyboard activator is set. After this using this shortcut brings up the Alfred bar and your ready to go with the functions available.
For each of the programmes features you start by typing on the keyboard. Alfred will typicall offer up several choices for navigating search results within the window. You can use the arrow keys or the mouse to scroll through items (then Enter to select), or simply hold Cmd + (1-9) to instantly select an item on screen.
Free edition functions:
- Application Launcher: Launch any application with a quick shortcut. Alfred will learn which apps you use often and prioritise them when you search.
- Quick web search: Search or launch your favourite websites: Google Maps, Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia and more. Get quick access to your bookmarks too!
- Find function: typing Find into the bar followed by your search item will look for files or folders that match your query.
- Spell and Calculator: Just start typing to do a quick calculation. Type Spell and then the word to set up the shortcut to the Spelling application!
- Custom searches: setup custom entries in the preference window to allow site specific searches and actions such as Post to Twitter or add entry to Google Calendar etc..
With Powerpack additions there is so much more that you can do; Result Actions, iTunes Control, File System Navigation, Clipboard History and Snippets, Address book, Recent Documents, Email user and more. I’ll let you go to the Powerpack additions page on the site to see what these all do.
If you’re not a Mac user and are looking for a smiler application for either Windows or Linux then Launchy is an app that comes well recommended.