Blog Post

Quicksilver Screencast: Quick Emails

I’ve had a crazy couple weeks and the time to do screencasts has really not been available to me. I apologize to all 1 of you who may have felt that awful void in your life because of it. But I’m back baby.

So today I’m going to show you one of my favorite uses for Quicksilver. Sending emails was once lazy way of writing a letter. Now email is so common, how do we send an email with even less effort? Enter Quicksilver. With the proper know-how, you don’t even need to open a new mail window, or a browser to send someone a note or a file.

Check it out.
Quick Emails with Quicksilver (8 minutes/36mb)

Leave your questions or comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

32 Responses to “Quicksilver Screencast: Quick Emails”

  1. Brandon Tottle

    Had you thought of scripting what you want to say before you start? It took nearly 45 seconds of agonised whispering before you got to the bit I was interested in. That might not sound like much, but we don’t all have huge bandwidth – the Apple hint videos on the Apple website get to the point fast, and all is well. Try to emulate those!

  2. Is there a way to enter a custom subject line when using the “Email to… (Send)” option in QS or any of the other email “actions”?

    “Subject>>Message body” looked to be my answer, but I’m unsure where to implement this. Any help would be great. Thanks!

  3. Hi… I have the solution to the missing “Mail” icon for the mail plugins (for those of us so anal that we don’t like the “gear” icon!).

    Basically you need to modify the “Email Support.qsplugin” which you will find in “Macintosh HD:Users:yourname:Library:Application Support:Quicksilver:PlugIns” folder.

    Select the plugin file in Finder, right-click and select “Show Package Contents”, and then open the “info.plist” file with TextEdit.

    You then need to do a search and replace: Find “DefaultMailIcon” and replace it with “”

    Then save the file and restart Quicksilver.

    (you will note that there are two instances of mail actions where the icon name was “quicksilver” and no “defaultmailicon” – leave these alone, because this will tell you easily that the action does not go through!

    I hope this helps!

  4. I have OS X 10.5. Using Direct Send works perfectly, as it is expected – without even opening any window.

    Unfortunately action “Email To… (Send)” Always opens window, automatically fills all values and sends email. Of course I don’t do anything with this Pop-Up Composition window (it stays on screen only for 1-2 seconds) but it annoys me.

    Does anyone also experience the same issue? How can I get rid of it?

  5. @21 Eric

    and a correction to my own post in #23; after making Compose Email have a better Ranking than Show Contact, it is now as simple as:

    invoke QS, type a contact name and then just hit Enter!

    this has just revolutionised my workflow!

    best wishes,

  6. @21 – Eric

    i have just spent a few mins looking into this, and i now have a better solution than my previous suggestion!

    in QS preferences, under Actions, All Actions, drag the Compose Email rule so that it is higher in the list than the Show Contact rule (which was Rank 8 by default on my install – whereas Compose Email was twenty-something, i think)

    now, when you invoke QS and type a contact name, the default action should now be Compose Email, just hit Tab then Enter and… bingo!

    best wishes,

  7. Hi
    Can Quicksilver do a simular action like the script in Automator called “add attachment to front message”?
    This action add a attachment to an open mail.

    Regards Arild

  8. Is there a way where I can:
    -Invoke a trigger
    -start typing a name to search for a contact
    -push Enter
    -a Mail Compose window pops up with only the address field filled out


  9. Donut

    i just got done watching your screencast, and am trying to mimick all that you did there.
    i use Gmail as my main email. i dont use the Mail app in OSX at all.
    when i tried to do that last thing you did with getting the object and Email To..(Send) , and then typing in the email address. instead of it just getting sent off. it actually goes an opens Firefox and shows me the compose window. given that the file is already shown to be attached and what not. but it doesnt do as you did in the screencast, where it just sends on its own.
    how can i bypass the step of having to go into the compose window in Firefox??

  10. Colin

    I see that you used gMail in your screencast to receive the email, but not to send it. Is it possible to configure this QS trick to send out emails via gMail (have it come from the proper address, get logged in your Sent Mail folder, etc)?

  11. Other tips. You can have a different subject line using this syntax:

    Subject>>Message body.

    The chevrons tell QS that it should separate the first part and put it in the subject line.

    Another tip. Use option-return to put line breaks in the message. This works pretty much anywhere you are inputting text and the default action for the return key trigers something, eg. Adium.

  12. I have been watching the qs series of screen casts and there is something I have been trying to figure out.

    You seem to have been able to customise the dropdown menu so there are no second line (comments) there and I can’t figure out how to do the same. Could you tell me how you have done that?


  13. My question is actually an off-topic one and maybe you already mentioned it sometimes before, but I wanted to ask which icon replacement do you use for the textsnippets. When you enter something in textmode and switch to the next panel then for me the standard apple textsnippet icon appears. you in turn got that pink one. could you say where you got it from?

  14. @Jaakko: You can use cmd+g in any pane to grab the currently selected finder object. Which includes the desktop

    @Nick: You might also want to look at the direct send methods which use QS directly depending what you are sending it can be nicer than using I only use because I need to have my sent mail in an IMAP folder

  15. Nick,

    Fairly new with QS. Trying to understand its functions as quick as possible. I love the strength it gives me.

    I struggle with the same problem as gulup, my compose action is also set as the wheel and not the standard mail icon. I noticed a difference on mine as you were walking through the set up. On my computer, Preferences > Actions > search mail, i dont have the same options to turn on and off. I have compose email, email to…(Send) but they are all the QS icons and not the mail icons. How can I get this to actually run through

    If I try and run Compose Email (QS icon) i get and error stating: An error occurred while sending mail. Mail got an error :NSUnknownKeyScriptError.


  16. Nick,

    Like someone else mentioned, I was able to bring up a contact directly in the 3rd pane – and I noticed one other thing that was interesting. Your “Email To” action has a icon – but mine is a generic gear. I don’t know why that would be, but it might be an indication that you’ve got a different version of the email plug-in, maybe?

  17. Another great Quicksilver screencast. In addition I’d like to know how do you setup a proxy object that when you hit command+escape it loads the file you’ve currently selected into Quicksilver. (Just like you do in the screencast)

  18. Howard – thanks, at least I know it still works…Looks like Gabe cracked that one. THANKS GABE!

    Mark – I guess in the Mail options where you set a default mail body, you could set some html, but it would be the same in each email…

    June – well, I wasn’t amped up on chocolate chip cookies, rather was just chill when I did this one. Also, used a different headset – that’s probably it. Sorry about that.

    Martin – mostly it’s the blacks/grays I chose for my color scheme. Also selected the glass look. But I’ve also noticed that my screen settings (1024×640) seem to soften the appearance of my screen as well, which may contribute to that brushed metal look too. Maybe I’ll do a screencast on pimping your Quicksilver. :)

    Gabe – thanks again for figuring out the TextMate Ranker thing. Life rocks once again.

    Gulup – um, I don’t know why mine shows as the Apple Mail icon rather than the standard Gear icon. Maybe Howard has the answer?

    Laura – as Jesse mentions, you have to hit the period key (.) to enter text. Type whatever you want, and then tab to the next pane to choose an action (such as Email). Let us know if that works for you.

  19. Laura:
    You need to enter text mode. To get there, type “.” after invoking QS… that should get you going. I completely understand… I’m also fairly new to QS and now could scarcely get by without it.

    Thank you so much for doing these. Between you and Merlin Mann, I’m really learning my way around QS and am constantly amazed. Thanks for committing so much of your time to putting these together. And, for the record, I don’t think it sounds like you’re whispering.

    – Jesse

  20. beginner here…have only used Quicksilver to open apps…but this seems mighty handy.
    I was able to follow along with the settings but I got lost on the text icon and where you actually enter the email info.
    right now I hit option z to get qs to come to the front, then I just type and it brings apps up.
    Thanks and sorry if this is soooo basic.!

  21. Hi Nick, thanks for your work. Great done. I’ve a question, how do you get these action icons showed? My compose action is only shown as a wheel, and not the apple mail icon, and so are the other actions…

    thanks for help…

  22. Martin Hauser

    Hi again,

    Another great screencast about quicksilver nick, thanks for making it! I’m kinda wondering how you got your bezel interface having a brushed metal look, care to drop me a line how this could be acompilished (already tortured google about it, didn’t spit anything useful out)

  23. Howard Melman

    Hmm, the things you had problems with work for me. Contacts from AB appear in the 3rd pane and Send Directly works. I believe it gets the SMTP configuration from the 1st account configured in, make sure that is configured correctly. Do your contacts appear in the first pane? I’m surprised you didn’t demo the Email Item… actions as well. The only issue I’ve heard of for the 3rd pane is that the TextMate Ranker plugin breaks Open With. I have no idae if it’s related but if you use it, it might be worth trying without it.