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Remembering those shortcuts easily - KeyCue

The best part about writing a blog where I talk about Macs? People give me some great tips in the comments and yesterday's post on apps for making users more productive was no exception. While I love the shortcuts available on my Mac I often overlook many of them because I don't know what they are and they aren't always obvious.

Fortunately DCBrit stopped by and mentioned KeyCue, an application that can quickly display all of the keyboard shortcuts for the application you are currently running. You simply hold down the activation key (defaults to Command) for a few seconds and up pops a dynamically built list of all the shortcuts for that application. Here's what it looks like for TextEdit:



It really is a simple application but can quickly help you learn those key combinations, making you much more productive on your Mac. It's normally $26.99 but MacZOT is running a special on it right now for $14.99 through May 3, 2009.

If you want to learn all of the keystroke combinations available for your applications I recommend you give KeyCue a try.

11 comments:

g7whatever said...

GTD/task list.

Do you use any of them?

David Alison said...

@g7whatever: I got HitList with MacHeist but haven't really used it. Without pimping my own product TOO much, I use SharedStatus as my todo/GTD tool. We've got some really cool new features coming up soon that I can't wait to announce (even though I will have to wait).

Daniel said...

Wow, that looks interesting! Thanks for the post, I'm trying to less mouse-happy atm as I'm learning to use Linux command lines etc which aren't mouse-friendly so I've been getting myself used to the idea of using the keyboard for more than typing :P

Michael said...

Great concept for an app, Dave.

As soon as I saw it I wondered why Apple hadn't already incorporated the idea into OSX.

And I wish they would, if only because it is one of those apps that would greatly benefit from a half-decent designer/typographer looking at it for even two minutes.

The linespacing is far too tight. If the text size was significantly reduced and the linespacing proportionately increased then not only would the popup look a lot nicer, it would be far quicker and easier to scan the information displayed.

It's a pretty fundamental and frustrating drawback for an app specifically intended to increase efficiency!

David Alison said...

@Michael: I assume they kept the spacing as tight as they did because some applications (like TextMate) can have an extraordinary number of shortcuts. A more dynamically sized font/spacing model may help but I think having it change sizes based on the quantity may make it harder to read between different applications.

I have experienced a bug with it that worries me; in typing up this response in Firefox I tried loading it up and Firefox crashed. I'll keep an eye on that to see if it happens again.

mobyhead said...

Oh, I might have known. Everything seems to play nice with Keycue except Firefox, my favorite browser. About a third of the time, Firefox crashes when I hold down the Command key to bring up the window of shortcuts. Any suggestions?

David Alison said...

@mobyhead: It appears to be a Firefox 3.0.10 issue, not something with KeyCue (which just triggers it). As you can see from this support thread, it's a problem for lots of people.

mobyhead said...

I sure hope they have it fixed by the next revision of Firefox, since I just plunked down my $14.99. Thanks for the info, I should have looked it up myself.

Michael said...

@David I have been in touch with the developer and have just submitted a mockup of a proposed layout which is easier to scan, and which would let them fit even more in if necessary.

Just today made Safari my default browser. Firefox has been a dog recently. Hope it's back on track soon.

David Alison said...

@Michael: I got a suggestion through Twitter to give the 3.5 beta of Firefox a try. I think I will because this latest version (3.0.10) is really having problems—and was before I installed KeyCue.

Bane said...

Yes, I think most people use Outlook now. Am I wrong? I've been using it for a few years, but I've only had Outlook Track-It for one year. That's a followup email reminder plugin. Amazing for reply reminders. GTD at its finest. Any others?