iKey 2.4.3 review

Automator, as any Mac veteran will know, is one of OS X’s best and least heralded features. iKey is more than a little like Automator; an application that enables you to create batch commands and menu items. But there are many things iKey can do that Automator can’t and vice versa.

At its most simple, iKey lets you attach commands to events. The software has a catalogue of commands built in, organised into categories. For example, you can launch or close a program, open documents, control windows or issue system commands. An event, or Launcher, can be a keyboard shortcut, application event or system event. So, you could create an iKey Shortcut that launches an email client and sends an automated response with a key combination – or that cleans up a designated folder on the shutdown of an application.

In addition to Commands and Launchers, you can also specify Contexts. This enables you to add keyboard shortcuts that target running applications. Like Automator, a sequence of commands can be strung together into a batch or macro, enabling you to build complex shortcuts that respond to minimal input. You’re also able to create Menu items or even floating Palettes, called in response to events or input. These may, again, be contextual or universal.

OUR VERDICT

iKey is a power user’s tool, ideal for Mac professionals working with a handful of key applications day in and day out. It’s time-consuming programming in your first shortcuts, but there’s clear and comprehensive documentation. With iKey, you can quickly automate tasks that eat into your 9 to 5, making you more efficient and productive.

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