QuicKeys - Time saverPart two in my “How not to waste 10 days a year!” series…

What is QuicKeys? QuicKeys are shortcuts on steroids. If you are familiar at all with Apple’s Automator than you will get the idea of what QuicKeys is. Very simply put it is an amped up automation took that allows you to use scripts, step-by-step processes, mouse clicks, autofill… and other tools to automate a process.

One thing I use it for is to switch between book folders. I have a floating menu with a button for each book. When I click on a book it automatically closes the folder for the current book and opens the folder for the book I am switching to. There are countless times a day I use QuicKeys. Here are a few:QuicKeys Shortcuts

+ Folder: To run some of the scripts I use the folders that are downloaded from AMS have to end with “Folder” ie. “1201c21all Folder”. When I click the “+ Folder” button it automatically ads it to the end of the folder name.

Download Folder: This shortcut moves the folders that are downloaded from AMS to the current folder for the book I am working on. Very slick and saves a ton of time.

QXD Sel: Is the same as + Folder only it ads the .qxd extension to the end of my Quark files, making them easier to share between computers.

Copy PDF Proofs: This shortcut is great, it scans my proofs folder and makes a text file listing all the proofs that are ready to post so I can paste the list into and email I send to the office, so they know exactly what is ready.

ReP Naming- A2: This runs a re-naming script to process all my Quark files for a given book and paginate them. This doesn’t put the page number on the page, but it does re-name the Quark file to the page number, ie. 12345.12.3.002.qxd making it so easy to do pagination. This is a very complex action that requires pagination be sent in a certain format in a spreadsheet format. But it literally saves me hours of work.

Replace Text in Item Names: Another great time saver. This is just a shortcut to the “Find and Replace” script that exists on all Macs, but it is so handy to have it right on my desktop.

Although this is not a tool for everyone, I highly recommend it. It takes a little bit of learning to set something up, it is so worth it. It pays for itself even after setting up the smallest automation. And once you get one that works and saves you time, you start coming up with all kinds of repetitive tasks you eliminate with just a click of a button or a shortcut.

I realized while writing this how much I take QuicKeys for granted. There are so many ways I use it everyday that I forget it is not just part of Quark or my Mac. I can even copy a bit of text and hit a shortcut to paste it back in a letter at a time, just like I am typing it, which it indispensable for reformatting text in Quark.

I give this application 5 stars for the work it does for me every day!