A useful App for keyboard warriors...

Hello all,

Hope I’m not stepping outside any Forum Rules - please remove if so!
** And I’m in no manner affiliated with the Developer, as below! 8)

I stumbled across an App several weeks back, that has literally changed how I interact with my Mac - and figured I would share, since some of you might be interested?

Shortcatapp: https://shortcatapp.com

[This might be old news - but hey!]

ShortcatApp is invoked, and brings up a simple dialogue box.

Hit . [period], and everything that Shortcat can interact with, is highlighted. Shift-tab/tab through them, hit enter to select >> OR hit Ctrl+[whatever alphabetical descriptor is used] and enter to select.

OR simply start typing the name of the button/item etc., and use the shift-tab/tab or Ctrl+[Alpha…] to select with enter. The more that is typed, the narrower the match.

You literally never have to take your hands off the keyboard, in most situations. It even allows me to jump between pages on a forum/inside a thread, without having to mouse over the [mostly] minute >> or 1,2,3,4,5 button…

And when you combine it with KeyboardMaestro or ActionsforiPad, things really take off…

Again - not sure how useful this might be to others, but figured I’d pop this up.

With . [period] invoked, to show all interactives -->

With something typed, narrowing down the possible interactives -->

I’ve tried Shortcat several times (just updating it to the latest beta based on Cassady’s suggestion). I don’t get it. A seemingly random set of controls is highlighted on the screen and tabbing among them seems to result in another seemingly random set of outcomes. Or, screen elements that are not controls and are not interactive are highlighted for no apparent reason. I’m sure it is a wonderful concept, but over here attempting to use the thing gives me the shpilkes and I have to shut it off.

Please don’t take this harshly – obviously, YMMV

I had a look at this and my immediate reaction was similar to Korms, but in my case I felt that there was a lot of information to wade through on the screen and it would take me a lot longer to actually go to what I wanted than using the mouse. Also I do not really understand the need/desire to eliminate mouse usage unless, of course, you have a disability or medical condition that makes it difficult or painful. Just my two penny-worth. :wink:

ugh, first impression is overly complex and ugly interface.

Thanks for the recommendation, will check it out when i have more time.

On a side note, i use alfred to create shortcuts for a lot of things.

Each to their own! :laughing:

But just to clarify, I really showed off the ugliest aspect of it, in the 1st grab.

If you repeatedly jump around your screen with your cursor, in more or less the same fashion over and over whilst doing a particular task/tasks, then it really can come into its own. I guess it’s the ‘UI-scriptability’ aspect that I sometimes require, but cannot (yet) do on my own - it mostly fills that gap for me.

It’s an interesting concept, though I agree, the aesthetics are a bit :open_mouth:

Just a side note…

Many times, the answer isn’t found in scripting the UI, but in developing a better workflow. All too often people just want to automate button pushing because it’s something they’re familiar with, when a critical look at the process can lead to faster (and often less fragile) solutions.

Imagine a Model T that you had to crank to get it going…
There’s one midset that would say, “I need to invent a machine that will stand there and turn the crank for me.”
There’s another midset that says, “I need to get rid of the crank and start the engine by other means.”
Just something to think about.


Dang it! Was just about to pop up another reply, with a less-cluttered grab of how I use it to manipulate something like my Network Preferences pane, to toggle my Locations >> using a KM macro, and then you come with wise words about rethinking workflows etc! :laughing:

What the heck - will pop up the pic in any event!

I really did it no favours by popping up that first interface shot - though that was merely to demonstrate how much it could try and interact with… Being more ‘selective’ in your keywords, usually results in a far less offensive sight to the eyes! 8)

Having said that though - valid points Bluefrog!

But for a coding/scripting neophyte, who must still pick up the dark arts of controlling as many things as can be by using a bit of code etc., – KM/Alfred/ActionsApp were my perfect trifecta of workflows - and now [for me at least] - Shortcat has closed the loop!


I understand where you’re going but I’m talking about something beyond that. I am not talking controlling applications in a mechanized way as much as I’m suggesting that you look at what you’re doing, and asking why you’re doing it.

For example, I do work for an international corporation and one department has a process that shoots out MANY emails to various people. Instead of trying to figure out how to email everyone automatically, my first question is, “Do all these people really need to get these emails??” If the answer is, “Yes.”, my next question is, “Do they really need to receive these emails?” The intent is not to be trouble but to eliminate noise and to minimize unneeded burdens on a system.

Here’s my philosophy: There is no real merit in automating an inefficient workflow when a better workflow, even with less “automation”, is inherently better.


Or one that turns the Model T while you hold the crank 8)

ROFL! Nice, korm. :mrgreen:

Crazy talk! :laughing:

But I hear you. And it’s something I try and keep in mind. Plenty of “workflows” I spent hours putting together over the last few years, served me well for a time, only to then fall into dis-use as soon as my focus shifted to a new project… stumbling across them many months later, often has me realise I wasted time that I could have better spent elsewhere…

However – some “workflows” literally involve me being too lazy to lift my hands off the keyboard, to move my cursor from the extreme right hand side of my 13" MBP, over to the extreme left-hand side of my 23" external, to click a button, and then come all the way back. First world problems. If Alfred/KM/Actionsapp/Shortcat is going to help me with that - I’m a having it! 8)

Aha! Well, then you need a Nod – “one ring to rule them all” – them workflows, that is. :stuck_out_tongue:

If it cannot flip Model-T’s, then it means nothing to me… 8)