After you have downloaded Quicksilver, it will automatically decompress into your downloads folder. Navigate to that location and drag Quicksilver to your Applications folder (for best organization) or any folder of your choosing as it can be launched from anywhere but the Trash.
First, launch the application by double clicking its name or icon.
Once it is running, there are several ways to activate Quicksilver:
- Click on the Quicksilver icon located on the dock.
- Type the global activation hot key (Control-Space by default).
Searching for an item
Activate Quicksilver and then start typing some letters of an item (such as an application, folder or filename). Quicksilver's matching algorithm will try to choose the best option. The letters need not be consecutive, but they should appear in that order in the item name. For example, if you are searching for Preview, the letters prv, pre or prw would all find the application. The letters you have typed will be underlined in the name of the selected item to remind you what you entered.
If the selected item is not the one you wanted, the chances are that you can find it in the results list. The results list pops up automatically after a delay (which you can set in the Preferences), or you can open it immediately by using the down arrow key. Once in the list, you can navigate as follows:
- Up or Down Arrow Keys - Select a result.
- Right Arrow or / - Show the contents of the item (for example, the contents of a folder).
- Option-Right Arrow or Option-/ - show an alternative contents list (for example, invisible files or package contents).
- Left Arrow or Shift-/ - Show item parent (go up the folder hierarchy).
- Esc - Return to normal search mode. Escape again to dismiss the Quicksilver interface completely.
If you use the right arrow or slash to descend into the contents of an item, you enter browsing mode. In this mode, any further searches you make by typing letters will search only the item and sub-items in the folder you have selected. For example if you select the Documents folder in your home directory, the search will operate only on the files and folders within Documents. If you want to go back to searching the global catalogue, press Esc (or press Esc twice to dismiss the Quicksilver interface completely). Reactivating the interface by typing the command activation hot key will also reset the search.
Performing an action on an item
The next step is to perform an action on the item you have selected. Numerous actions are available, dependent upon the type of item selected, but the default action for an application is Launch. The item you have selected will be shown in the first field with the default action (in this case Launch) in the second field. When you hit the Return or Enter key, the default action is performed, and your application is launched. If the application you selected is already running, Launching will bring the application forwards. If you want to use one of the non-default actions, select the second field by clicking it with the mouse or hitting the Tab key, then use the up and down arrow keys to select another action. Actions are discussed in detail in Commands and in the section on the Command Window module.
The steps outlined above describe the basic use of Quicksilver as a Launcher, but there's a lot more that you can do with it. If you want to find out about more advance uses for Quicksilver, take a look at the Tutorials section.