Tag Archive: “fastscripts”

FastScripts 2.4

Daniel Jalkut has updated FastScripts, my utility of choice for running scripts or opening favorite files with a keystroke or a trip to the menu bar.

My FastScripts menu, as it appears in the Finder.

My FastScripts menu, as it appears in the Finder.

Notably, there is now just one version of FastScripts, which may be used for free or upgraded to allow more than ten keyboard shortcuts.

Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2009.

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.

Script Runners

Rather than repeatedly explaining how to launch each script I write, I’m going to use this post as a generic reference.

AppleScripts are typically little bits of code that extend or connect your applications’ functionality. As such, they are not necessarily invoked like normal programs. Many fine utilities exist which provide convenient ways to run scripts, including LaunchBar, Butler, QuickSilver, Keyboard Maestro, and others. Here, however, I will describe the simple script runners I prefer, one of which is even built in to Mac OS X.


I favor FastScripts, which utilizes the same script folders as Apple’s Script Menu. It features assignable keyboard shortcuts, which help scripts act more like natural extensions of your applications. The FastScripts menu looks like this:

Screenshot: Example FastScripts menu contents

Apple Script Menu

To enable the Script Menu, open “AppleScript Utility” (in /Applications/AppleScript/) and check the “Show Script Menu in menu bar” option:

Screenshot: Enabling the Script Menu with AppleScript Utility

A “script” icon will appear in your menu bar. It displays a menu like this:

Screenshot: Example Script Menu contents

Scripts stored in ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Finder/ are listed in the “Finder Scripts” section, which appears only when the Finder is the frontmost application. Scripts stored in ~/Library/Scripts/ are listed in the unlabeled section and are always accessible. You can create application subfolders for application-specific scripts yourself. The tilde (~) represents your home folder.

Here is a video demonstration of the Script Menu.

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2007.