FastScripts Is A Team Player

December 11th, 2008

These days, most of you know Red Sweater Software and my work for MarsEdit, the amazing desktop blog editor that I acquired from NewsGator almost two (!) years ago.

But I love my other apps, too. And among these, FastScripts is one of the oldest. Even before expanding my product line a couple years ago, I didn’t bother promoting FastScripts much, because it’s very much an application that “you either get, or you don’t.” Fortunately, as the years have passed, people continue to get it without much work on my part. Coincidentally, Brent Simmons, the original developer of MarsEdit, recently caught FastScripts fever and summarized his thoughts:

I actually have a fighting chance at keeping up on email thanks to FastScripts! Easily worth more than its price.

See, FastScripts is kind of a nerd tool. You won’t know you need it until you need it. And if you never do? More power to you!

The latest example comes from Dr. Drang, who discovered FastScripts makes a nice adjunct to a couple other tools, LaunchBar and Jumpcut. In his post, Dr. Drang describes how he’s replaced the ever-popular Quicksilver with this trio of tools:

The combination of LaunchBar (for launching applications, opening folders, and occasionally running scripts), FastScripts Lite (for running scripts most of the time), and Jumpcut (for keeping and accessing a Clipboard history) has made me a happier and more productive Mac user.

FastScripts continues to be a project of love for me, and I am always gratified when I find that love reflected back from users who try it and discover it “fits the bill” for them. There are lots of improvements I can think of for the utility, but it satisfies its core feature requirements very well. Need to run scripts quickly and possibly at the touch of a keystroke? FastScripts might be the right tool for you!

10 Responses to “FastScripts Is A Team Player”

  1. Paul D. Waite Says:

    Hope Brent blogs his thoughts on it, I’m struggling with e-mail myself.

  2. Zachery Bir Says:

    And with the new Clipboard History feature of LaunchBar 5, he can possibly eliminate Jumpcut, too.

  3. Dr. Drang Says:

    @Zachary: I’ve dropped Jumpcut from one on my machines as I experiment with LaunchBar 5. FastScripts’ place is secure, though. Even if it couldn’t assign keyboard shortcuts, FastScripts’ application-sensitive rearrangement of the scripts menu would make it a great utility.

  4. DoctorB Says:

    While I’m here I’d like to chime in with praise for two of FastScripts’ smaller features. First, the fact that you can use icons on script files and they actually show up in the menu (unlike Apple’s script menu). So small, and maybe a nerd feature, but the ability to make menu options visually distinct is is a useful one that I enjoy very much. Second, the availability of FastScripts Lite, which allowed me to set up keyboard shortcuts for friends and family to extend their applications without making them remember to click on a menu. They don’t even have to know they’re doing something that isn’t built-into the application.

  5. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    HI DoctorB – thanks for the positive feedback! That’s a great point about being able to use FastScripts Lite to “give the gift of scripting” to friends and family. I like that.

  6. dacresni Says:

    why would you replace one free tool with three pay (non free) tools?

  7. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    dacresni: Presumably they like the overall experience better? Boiling things down to free or not free always seems like a shallow analysis to me. Why do people buy bottled water when it’s raining?

  8. dacresni Says:

    true but I also liked other quicksilver vs deskbar so, to each his own.

  9. Ben Kimball Says:

    The only thing holding me back from trying it is that AppleScript makes me frustrated. Can FastScript fire Ruby/Perl/PHP/shell scripts?

    I currently use QuickSilver for everything, but there are a few annoyances. For example, at the University we used FirstClass for voice mail on the desktop. QS wouldn’t let me alias ‘VM’ as the shortcut for an app named “FirstClass” because the letters don’t match up. So I had to make an AppleScript (“tell application ‘FirstClass’ to activate”) and save it as an application named “VM” so I could launch it with QuickSilver.

  10. Dr. Drang Says:

    Ben Kimball:

    The only thing holding me back from trying it is that AppleScript makes me frustrated. Can FastScript fire Ruby/Perl/PHP/shell scripts?

    You left out Python ;)

    Our host is probably enjoying his holiday, so I’ll answer: Yes, as its description page says, FastScripts is language agnostic. The script I probably invoke most often through FastScripts is a screenshot/upload utility written in Python.


    why would you replace one free tool with three pay (non free) tools?

    Daniel’s answer—without the bottled water analogy—is spot on. I used Quicksilver for a long time and was continually frustrated by its lack of stability. When I tested LaunchBar, Jumpcut, and FastScripts, I found them to work well together and they’ve never had to be restarted/reconfigured/reinstalled. See the blog post Daniel linked to for details.

    Also, Jumpcut and FastScripts Lite are free.

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