Those of you who are using FastScripts with the forthcoming Leopard 10.5 operating system from Apple will want to upgrade to FastScripts 2.3.4, which works better in that environment.
I don’t talk a lot about FastScripts these days, because I’ve been so busy focusing on other applications. But it’s still a really big part of my workflow here, and I don’t know what I would do without it!
Often I get feedback from people who have finally figured out how FastScripts can help them. The recurring theme to this feedback is “I had no idea it could do that!” So let me try to summarize some of FastScripts’s selling points more effectively than the current product page does:
- It lets you open or run (almost) anything, instantly by keystroke. Yes, it supports shell scripts, AppleScripts, applications, Automator actions, and can even open documents for you. Just put them in the Scripts folder.
- Its keyboard shortcuts can replace almost any menu item shortcut in any application, redefining the behavior with a script.
- Its context-specific behavior for Applications lets you define shortcuts for just one app, without affecting other apps.
- It installs in your menu bar, but is not a hack. It’s “just an app.”
- Built-in “On Screen Display” functionality lets you show nifty Growl-style feedback, even if you don’t run Growl.
- Oh yeah, it’s particularly good at running scripts quickly, without taking focus away from your target application, and without frustrating you.
I recently showed off some of my FastScripts tricks to the local CocoaHeads group here in Boston, yielding some oohs and aahs (and one immediate sale!). A lot of people are familiar with the awesome “everything launchers” such as LaunchBar and Quicksilver, but are increasingly less familiar with the benefits of an old-fashioned “macro” setup. I think this “one stroke and you’re done” approach still has a place, and can make you a lot more productive.
The biggest difference between FastScripts and these apps is FastScripts doesn’t strive to be a general-purpose launcher. It’s a paring knife where those apps are a cleaver. Its primary purpose is to alter the landscape of your Mac so that the results you want, in Mail, the Finder, Safari, whatever, are available at the pressing of a single keystroke.