QuickSilver as a file launcher

Being a web designer I like to think that I live on two sides of each certain file; the viewing side and the editing side. What ends up happening to many web designers is they have more than one app that they typically use to open, view or edit a file, depending on the task they need to perform at the moment.

There is often a problem with that. Double clicking or command+O on a file opens it in it’s default app. Right+clicking or control+clicking the file to open the contextual menu then “open with” can be a pain (and slow) depending on the number of apps you run on your system. Opening the app and then browsing through the “Open file” function is too much like work. And finally, dragging the app onto a desktop icon is open useful if you keep everything you ever use in you dock at all times (which I don’t).

So in my ever lasting pursuit of the fastest way around these little hold-ups, I have come to rely on [QuickSilver](http://www.blacktree.com “Blacktree”) to, once again, saves the day. I use quicksilver to quickly and painlessly open any file with any app I choose and it all takes a few keystrokes and a few seconds:

1. Find the file you want to open, like an image (which, for me, opens with Photoshop by default),
2. Invoke [QuickSilver](http://www.blacktree.com/ “Blacktree”) (command+space in most cases, command+esc for me),
3. Start typing the name of the app you want to open your file with, like Preview.app for instance,
4. Once you app pops up in the first panel (with 2 or 3 keystrokes), simply drag your file onto the pane (like you would onto a dock icon),
5. POOF! The file opens in the app you want and not the files default app.


[tags]QuickSilver, apps[/tags]


Adam Merrifield


7 thoughts on “QuickSilver as a file launcher

  1. There’s an even fast way:

    Go to your Quicksilver preferences -> Triggers -> Quicksilver -> activate “Command window with selection” -> give it a keyboard shortcut (e.g. ⌘Esc).

    When you now select a file, folder or multiple files and hit ⌘Esc, Quicksilver loads them in and you can type “op” for “open with…” then tab to the third Quicksilver “window” and type in the application namen you want to open the files with.

    I made a little screencast to demonstrate it. Don’t be distracted that my Quicksilver calls it “Öffnen mit…”, I have a german system:



  2. Ok, two things:
    1. Thank you for clueing me in to the Command Window with Selection trigger… I have been looking for that FOREVER!!! THANK YOU!!

    2. My third panel seems broken as the Open With yields no results. see movie (http://www

    . I have tried to reset, run set up again, everything short of uninstalling and reinstalling (which is my next step). I have activated every action, activated every module, every plugin… still doesn’t work. Odd.

  3. Hi,

    I just went to your screencast and saw that you fixed it alread.
    I’m glad I could help you out on this one.


  4. Yeah I had to totally reset and relaunch Quicksilver. Open Window with selection trigger is still a bit buggy, I think more because I use Path Finder and it’s handling seems a bit off. But I am still tweaking it.

    I was mucking around with the launchd yesterday, as per this post http://zzamboni.org/brt/2008/01/28/using-launchd-to-immortalize-quicksilver-howto/ , but I could only get it to work on my G5 tower and not my MacPro. I think I’ll try resetting and relaunching that one too. Might be what I need.

  5. How did you reset Quicksilver to fix the “Open with…” catalog? I have this problem intermittently, and the only method I’ve found to restore the catalog is to reinstall Quicksilver… Sometimes after an upgrade (few and far between as they may be), the catalog comes back, but that feature is by far the buggiest for me. It usually vanishes after a crash (which happens with some frequency).

  6. Actually, I just found my answer while grepping someone else’s problem. Apparently the “Textmate Ranker” plugin breaks the “Open with…” dialog. As soon as I disabled it, “Open with…” worked again. Go fig.

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