apples dock is a marvel launcher + navigation tool allowing you to be a mouse click away from any program, folder or document you need, + is infinitely customisable. however there are more ways of getting where you want to go, via the keyboard + thereby without filling up the dock, allowing it to be used in different ways which i will cover later. quicksilver is a popular third party launcher app, with a nice interface + the extra ability to manipulate files + run scripts on top, making it quite a powerful little program. similar apps include launchbar + butler though i haven’t used these

the problem i had with quicksilver is that despite its potential i only ever used it as a pretty launcher, + it just doesn’t navigate around the system deeply enough. it doesn’t find any sub-folders unless specifically set up to do so, which includes albums in your iTunes folder, pictures, work, any folder outside the main ‘finder’ window. a major hassle when compared to the existing spotlight

spotlight tends to divide mac users; it is either used for everything or nothing. i confess i used to hate it, mainly because its interface is very bland + i missed seeing my lovely icons, but the more i got annoyed with quicksilver, the more i liked spotlight. the strength of spotlight is in its power + its customisation. it will find anything* on your mac, from deep sub-folders to system preferences, + using a simple check list you can organise what, where + in what order spotlight searches + presents its results. i have it set up to only show applications + folders, which speeds it up dramatically + means that with only a couple of letters the top hit is almost always what i’m looking for
*when i say ‘anything’, spotlight has another feature not found in other apps; the privacy option. this allows you to make specific apps/folders/images etc not show up in the search results [great for hiding that /b/ folder]

that this is bundled in with the os should be enough to make it first choice over third party apps, but its extra customisation options + raw power really make you question why you would use anything else anyway


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