Posts Tagged

spotlight

Some keys get used more just because they’re more common, but for keyboard fiends, there’s a whole different set of keys that get worn out. If you’ve ever worn out the ⌘, Ctrl, or alt keys on your keyboard, chances are you couldn’t get by with just a mouse.

If anything, keyboard shortcuts are one of the best things in OS X. There’s the usual suspects, like ⌘+C and ⌘+V for copy and paste, or ⌘+tab for switching between apps, but you get those everywhere. Then there’s the ones that make OS X especially nice for writing: Alt+left/right to jump between words and ⌘+left/right to jump to the beginning/end of a line, with the addition of holding shift down to select text. There’s even more obscure text editing shortcuts, like Ctrl+T to swap the two letters your curser’s currently between.

Then, there’s the even more powerful keyboard shortcuts: those like ⌘+space to open Spotlight search or the default Alt+space to start Alfred. Those — combined with app specific shortcuts, and those you can setup yourself from your Keyboard’s system preferences — are the most powerful tools to keep you from having to revert to your mouse or touchpad all day. They’ll get so ingrained in your muscle memory, a computer without them feels broken.

For me, Alt+space is that killer shortcut that I invoke over a hundred times a day to use Alfred. What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut?

Spotlight is one of your Mac’s best built-in tools, letting you find apps, files, emails, and more in seconds. Once you try to dig deeper, though, you’ll quickly find Spotlight’s interface to be limiting. That’s where Disklens, our sponsor this week, comes in. Disklens builds on Spotlight’s powerful search engine, adding a convenient user interface on top that’s aimed at maximum efficiency in the daily routine of locating information on your Mac.

At first glance, Disklens looks and feels very similar to Spotlight. Disklens performs a much more extensive search, however, delivering several thousand search results in a matter of seconds. You can dig through them all by selecting search categories, if you’re looking for items of a specific kind. Then, mouse-over an item to get more info about it, including file size, creation date, and a link to it in Finder, or tap space to see a Quick Look preview of the file. Then, you can drag-and-drop search results anywhere so you can use what you find.

Disklens includes all of the Spotlight features you love, but makes them even better. If you’ve looked for a search alternate but didn’t want anything too different, then this is the app for you. You’ll feel at home, this time, though, with more power at your fingertips. Disklens doesn’t try to get too fancy feature-wise. It just focuses on providing a simple, convenient, and streamlined approach to locating information on your Mac.

Go Get It!

Ready to get more out of searching on your Mac? Disklens is a great way to do it without spending much at all. You can download a free trial of Disklens to make sure it does everything you need, then get your own copy for just $3.99 from their online store. If it’ll make you even a bit more productive, that’s a small price to pay for the time you’ll save!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Let me put you in a situation: you are browsing around, perhaps a music site, and you hear an amazing review of this new up and coming artist that just makes you want to hear it now. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a smart app that could help you find that album on the iTunes Store, right from your menu bar, and without having to go into iTunes and accessing the Store?

Well, the app that we are reviewing today is called Tunesque, and it works just like that. I like to refer to it as “Spotlight for the iTunes Store.” Let’s take a look and see how it can simplify music search.

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You’ve no doubt heard about quick-launcher apps, they are utilities that are triggered by a keyboard shortcut and that let you do things like open apps or files a lot faster than if you did so by going into the menus. You just have to trigger the bar, type in what you are looking for and press enter. The great thing is that it works for so many more things than launching apps.

The app that we are reviewing today is one of these utilities and it’s called, of all things, Launcher. Come take a look at what it has to offer!

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Launching applications is a functional, necessary action that you take every day. Rather than being an exciting process, when it comes to opening an app, the less friction and interaction required the better.

For a long time, Mac users have favoured a dedicated application launcher for doing just this. Although you can store plenty of handy application shortcuts in your Dock, it soon becomes cluttered and difficult to navigate (and it requires the use of your mouse).

For speedy application launching, few options are better than a piece of software such as Quicksilver, LaunchBar or Alfred. For the purists among you, OS X’s built-in search tool – Spotlight – is perfectly adept at this. Just invoke it using Cmd-Space and type the name of the application you’d like to start!

But which do you prefer to use on a daily basis? Or are you perfectly happy with the OS X Dock? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

As more online web apps such as Flickr, Delicious, and Gmail adopt the filing system of tags over a folder structure, tagging is growing more and more popular as a way to keep hoards of digital files organized.

Tags, from Gravity Applications makes tagging files universally across your Mac a breeze. This review will look into how Tags can help you keep track of your files, and why you should be tagging.

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Why bother? Given that your Mac comes with built-in universal search that makes it a snap to find documents, messages, images, or any other kind of file anywhere, why would you invest in an application like HoudahSpot?

That must be a question that the developer has asked himself time and again. And it has to be the first question any writer asks in starting on a review of the app. Stick with me as I walk you through what HoudahSpot does and how it does it, and I will give an answer to that fundamental question.

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With the inclusion of Spotlight in OS X Tiger, searching on the Mac became a fast and enjoyable process. It’s simple to find files that match a term you’re looking for – either within the file name, or inside the file itself.

But that’s not always enough. If you’d like to associate a particular keyword with a document, it can be difficult to do so quickly (short of including it in the file name, or navigating through the “Get Info” window).

This selection of tagging utilities make adding “tags” to files on your Mac a straight-forward process. Some are free, and others are more powerful, commercial tools for organising your files. Using tags may not be for everyone, but it can offer a thoroughly useful way to stay on top of all the photos, documents, emails and websites stored on your machine.

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