FastScripts as Apple Menu

Back in the day, the System Folder contained an Apple Menu Items folder, the contents of which appeared in the Apple menu. Choosing an item from the menu opened the item from the folder. It was easy to customize the Apple menu by adding folders and aliases to the Apple Menu Items folder.

Here’s what it looked like by default in Mac OS 8.5:

Apple Menu Items folder

In Mac OS X, of course, the Apple menu is no longer customizable. It still contains some useful items, but it’s not quite the familiar place it once was. The Dock has taken its place as a quick way to access favorite files and folders.

So, if you want to access a bunch of applications from a tidy little menu, and you don’t find it useful to throw your whole Applications folder in the Dock, you turn to the world of third party launchers. Here’s an unlikely solution.

FastScripts is a program I recommend for running scripts with keyboard shortcuts. It’s a power user thing. However, a little-advertised fact about FastScripts is that it will open anything in your Scripts folder, not just scripts.

Choose Open Scripts Folder from the FastScripts menu, and put whatever you’d like—including subfolders—in the folder that appears. Now you can launch those files from the FastScripts menu:

FastScripts menu folder

The script items in the menu reside in a subfolder of the Scripts/Applications folder. The subfolders are named after specific applications, and appear in the menu only when that application is frontmost.

Posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2008. Tags: , , .