Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Quicksilver Files: Accessing Application Menus

My friend and co-worker Muness turned me onto this trick the other day (documented here). It allows you to access the menus from the frontmost application through Quicksilver. You have to do the following to turn it on:

  • Turn on "Enable Advanced Features" in Quicksilver

  • Enable proxies in Quicksilver preferences: Under Catalog > Quicksilver, turn on “Proxy Objects”, “Internal Commands”, and “Internal Objects”.

  • To access menu items (and enable the Show Menu Items action), go under Plug-ins > All Plug Ins and scroll down to turn on “User Interface Access (+)”.

  • Make sure you have “Enable access for assistive devices” turned on in System Preferences for the entire OS

Once you have this set up, you can get to the menus by choosing Current Application as the noun and Show Menu Items as the verb. It gives you a list of all the leaf menu items in the current application.

That's sort of cumbersome, so I set up a trigger to make it easier. I created a Quicksilver trigger (for me, keyed off the ALT-ENTER key chord) that automatically launches the list of menu items in the current application. Now, as I'm Mac-ing along, the key chord gives me Quicksilver access to all the menu items, which is even easier than the CTRL-F2 trick shortcut that used to be my favorite.

Quicksilver: access granted


Olivier said...

Wow... This is really neat, since it allows you to navigate within the menus using QS shorcuts (for example, start Firebug in Firefox by typing Alt-Enter, "Fire"!)

Kraig P said...

Have you noticed any problems with this since Leopard? While it works for Finder and the occasional app, I find it doesn't work at all for Safari and most other apps.

And to think that this feature actually made Lotus Notes bearable... :(

Neal Ford said...

Yes, alas, I have. I'm hoping that an upcoming Quicksilver release will fix this problem. I sorely miss it.