QuicKeys X2

QuicKeys is one of the oldest productivity apps for the Mac, and its pre-OS X iterations attracted a large, enthusiastic user-base. However, there was much grumbling from users who switched to the OS X version. The problem was that OS X’s Unix underpinnings meant certain QuicKey features became unreliable in the OS X version. Probably the biggest grumble was that application-specific menu shortcuts were extremely hit-&-miss, working in some apps, but not in others – particularly Word, Photoshop and illustrator. However, one of the many plusses with X2 is that this seems to have been sorted out. I’ve now set-up a pile of Photoshop and Word menu shortcuts that in QuicKeys 1.5.3 involved the laborious recording of mouse movements and clicks. It’s a real plus. There’s plenty of new features, too, and one of the most powerful is Recording. Using this, QuicKeys can record a limitless sequence of keyboard and mouse activity, which you can then play back with any trigger of your choice. There’s also Shortcut Debugging, a handy new tool for analyzing shortcuts that no longer work. Wait, meanwhile, is a new feature that adds power to multi-step shortcuts, by helping to control timing based on the on the state of specific windows and buttons. The interface has also been redesigned, now offering a handy pop-down New Shortcuts menu in the toolbar – a much more efficient way of working than the previous icons-led approach.


QuicKeys X2 is a much better product than the previous version, but if you plan merely to set up a handful of keyboard shortcuts then $100 is a lot to pay. You’d be much better off paying $20 for the excellent iKey 1.6 (formerly Youpi Key; http://perso.club-internet.fr/phupe). One thing that does seem unfair is CE Software’s stiff upgrade pricing. After all, there was much in 1.5 that didn’t work. Paying for the privilege of having this fixed seems a bit rich.

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