Quicksilver Screencast: The Setup


Well, I’ve finally gotten the next Quicksilver Screencast put together. I’ve changed gears a few times, and it’s prolonged the release. Sorry about that. But hopefully we’re on course to start this the right way, and build upon it.

Instead of doing a back to basics type of screencast, I’ve chosen to do a setup piece. I’ve run through the entire setup of Quicksilver, from intitial installation setup, to plugin installs, and every other preference you can choose. By the end, your environment should look just like mine – or at least have all the common elements I’m using. That’s not to say that my setup is the RIGHT one, but at least we’ll avoid the missteps from before of people missing plugins, actions, etc.

Important note: The audio is not great on this version of the screencast. I’m going to re-record it tonight to make things clean and clear. But I’ve kept my *cough* loyal fans waiting long enough… So I’m putting this out now for you to get a look at. I’ll update it tomorrow so you can get a clean audio explanation with it.

UPDATED: now a .mov file – the .mp4 was not working for some people.
Quicksilver: The Setup (mov – 65mb)
coming soon: iPod version

I’ll be following with some Quicksilver tricks and more fun things shortly. Really. Not ‘shortly’ by my standards, but really soon! But I felt it was important to get everyone on the same page.

Meanwhile, see the past Screencasts and start playing around a bit.


marcel lemieux

just to give more feedback..quicksilver is very polite if we can say such a thing about sortware..like a zen monk living in the basement,learning your habits and ajusting to you..plus the upgrades are done in the background..i am pleased with the way it works even if i dont understand all its ways..the idea is that it work smoothly and fast as a bullet…go go quicksilver..and again thank you for your efforts and info that you try to share..marchello

Nick Santilli

Andrew –

as you may have read in some of the comments, this wasn’t really meant to be an exciting piece. There’s plenty written (both on this blog and many others) about what Quicksilver is great for, and ways it completely changes the way we use out macs. (you can search quicksilver here on TAB to get started with that) But there’s been so many questions about HOW to do different things, that I figured it was necessary – albeit boring – to show everyone (that was interested) how I got my system setup to do the things I’m doing. That way there’s little to no discrepency about settings.

Andrew Schultz

i’m not getting any pay-off watching this movie. I still have no idea what Quicksilver does – I think a quick run-through of what you use Quicksilver for every day at the beginning of the video and then start delving into how to set it up that way would hook a lot more people. I’m a pretty technical guy and I was intimidated/bored enough that I thought “What is worth all this?”

marcel lemieux

very nice and smooth presentation , thanks…i am waiting for the following…


I guess I don’t have the patience…Im still not sure what the program DOES.

Pat Butcher

I do love a good screencast, but who’s doing the commentary? He sounds bored to death. Is he ILL?


Hi Nick,

I really like the fact that you are taking time to explain to us newbies how this software works and the steps needed to be taken. I got excited about using Quicksilver and I tried to downloaded from their web page, but I couln’t connect to the page which the actual download link was in. I was wondering if you could send me the installer through any means. I would really appreciate it.


Nick Santilli

thanks for the suggestion – never thought of that one!
Though from here on out, I don’t know how much I’ll be going into the setup. it’ll probably be mostly demos of Quicksilver functionality. But I’ll keep it in mind for certain.

Joanne –
I’ll see if I can post some full size screens, or a text ‘transcription’ of sorts, so that everything is clear. And yes, the things that I use for my metadata ‘filing’ (from lifehacker) are covered in this screencast. I’ll do a screencast/TAB specific metadata piece in the near future, so look for that. It’ll be MUCH more of an Apple tilt to it – Lifehacker calls for more of a non-denominational stand point. But not here. ;)
I’m working on the first ‘fun’ screencast now, so should have it up by monday. So sit tight!

Joanne Morrill

Now I finally begin to understand what Quicksilver can do, and why I shouldn’t have been so timid about installing anything optional. Thank you.

If you can do zoom-ins on your next video, that would be great. Or have supplementary downloadable text? I would rather rely on what I read than on what I think I remember.

Are some of these plug-ins the ones you used in your metadata-as-filing-system article?

Next time I watch the movie I will take notes. And then I will play wiht Quicksilver and wait impatiently for your next video.

Jeff Greenberg

When you go to record/show what you’re doing, you may want to zoom in on the screen, using Universal Access’s zoom feature. Turn it on with Cmd-opt-* and zoom in with cmd-opt-plus and out with cmd-opt-minus.

Nick Santilli

Yehudit – great points. great suggestions.
I especially like your last comment – should be Quicksilver’s new tagline!

Quicksilver: Let it seduce you.

haha, awesome.


QS is ALWAYS in beta. I’m running on the latest Tiger OS and I find the betas very stable. They hang once in a while but you do a force quit and relaunch and they’re fine.

You really need all the plugins to understand what it’s capable of.

(Setting up the actions and plugins is tedious. Alcor could make some usability tweaks that would make them much less tedious, I’ll have to suggest that on the forum some time.)

I want to add that QS has a steep learning curve and kind of grows on you. I had it for 3 months before I started using it regularly. I would suggest go through the tedious install and set it for launch at login, put the icon in the menubar, and just let it live on your computer. It doesn’t take up any room and it doesn’t interfere with anything else.

Once in a while try out a few of the functions in the various tutorials by Merlin Mann and others. Don’t try to “learn” it. Just let it sink into your routine bit by bit. Just let it seduce you.

Nick Santilli

If you can visualize Mr Burns from The Simpsons, you can see me going, “Ex-cellent.”

Glad things are working for you now.

Nick Santilli

Ok. Everyone who’s had an issue with the .mp4 file:

I uploaded (and replaced) with a .mov Quicktime file. Give it a shot.

Nick Santilli

Hm, not sure what’s happening with the download for some of the users. I’ve just downloaded it and it worked fine.

I’m looking into this – I’ll try to get it resolved for everyone, shortly here.

Phil Bowell

The screen cast doesnt work for me. I just get the text page. Even if i try to download the linked file it downloads it as a .txt file. Why is this so??

Dirk Spiers

Fantastic. Hope you post more of these soon. Even better put them altogether in one seprate section on the site.



Nick Santilli

Blah blah: I’ll update it tonight and have the new version in the morning if you wanna try it.

Rayz: Yes, Alcor – the developer – is VERY actively developing it. He keeps it in Beta because he doesn’t have the time to fully support a real version release. But he’s extremely responsive and new releases of the beta come out contstantly.


Is QuickSilver still being actively developed?

Seems to have been in beta for quite some time.

blah blah

the video doesn’t work for me all im getting is some sort of text that keeps loading.

Nick Santilli

Samual – this isn’t exactly meant to be an interesting movie. If you’ve followed along at all, you may have seen where a lot of people got lost because I was showing/talking about tricks that they weren’t able to duplicate because we were operating on different setups.

The forthcoming Quicksilver screencasts will have the fun stuff – but the plugins build on one another in many cases, so it’s nearly impossible to say, “ok, today you’ll need a, b, and c.” It’s much simpler to get everyone on the same page, and put in the time up front, and then sit back and reap the rewards.

You’re entitled to your opinion of course. But hopefully when you see some of the future Quicksilver screencasts you’ll get the bug and come back to this so you can try the cool tricks for yourself.

Samual Icky

Sorry I’m not QS fan boy so i thought hmmm why not watch and see…

I couln’t watch it all… I mean really setting up plug-ins for that long! Show us how to turn them on ONE or TWO not all the ones your like or think are cool… let the user experience that… and if you really need them get to the point and tell use why they are needed. Also if you trying to get someone to use QS i doubt the best thing to do is have the use beta API’s with a developer builds. Sorry but I’ll give this move 1/2 a star.


Really nice! No more “That dont work for me”.
So well-explained that I appzapped Quicksilver and installed it again :)

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