Appending Text in LaunchBar.

There are a number of excellent launching tools on OS X that allow you to access information, applicaitons, and documents without having to use their mouse. Over the past three years, I’ve tested out the big three: Objective Development’s LaunchBar, Peter Maurer’s Butler, and Blacktree’s Quicksilver.
All three are superbly helpful. Essentially, you “invoke” the application by typing a combination of keys like Command and Space (all applications allow you to customize your key combination) and then type in a few letters; the software then tries to quickly figure out what you’re looking for, be it another application, an address, or an image. For example, if I type in “DAR,” I immediately come up with “” – a blog I like to read; hitting Return brings up the website immediately. If I type in “WNYC” and then hit Return, iTunes launches my fave talk station. That’s it.
While I like Butler because it’s “free” (actually donationware) and very powerful and I semi-like Quicksilver because it looks pretty, I really like LaunchBar (which costs $19.95). The application works very, very quickly and its matches are accurate. I recently switched to using my Address Book application to manage all of my contacts and LaunchBar beautifully brings up information from Address Book easily – phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
Lately, I’ve been using LaunchBar to take quick notes on something or other without having to leave the keyboard. For instance, if I want to make a note “clean out car” while I’m working on something else, I don’t have to leave Photoshop. I just call up LaunchBar, type in “TODO” and a .txt file caled “todo.txt” is noted. I then hit the Tab key, type “APP” to call up the Append Text script (built into LaunchBar) and when I type “clean out car,” that text gets entered in my todo.txt file. It sounds like a lot of work. Why don’t I just open the file todo.txt and then add information to it? Because it would twice as long and I’d have to open the file, type in the information, close the window, save the file and then regroup.
Of course, I didn’t invent the Append Text method. Merlin Mann noted how to append text using Quicksilver about a year ago. If you want to try it with LaunchBar, make sure that you can first find the .txt file that you want to open. You’ll need to open the Configuration panel, select the group that you’re indexing (for instance “Documents”) and make sure that “Access items via sub-search only” is not checked. This will allow LaunchBar to find your text document. Much thanks to Objective Development for helping me figure it all out.