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FreeHotKeys 1.0
Jun 16, 2003 11:31AM
Contributed by:
Download: 338K Stuffit Archive

FreeHotKeys is a free application that switches the front application when you hit a hot key, or it can run a script that does anything you want.

Switching applications
So you have a few programs open, and their windows are getting in the way. You know which application you need but don't want to have to wait for the Dock to show up and then have to find an icon in that long list of icons...
You press the magic key and the application comes up to the front. Without having to look for a small piece of a window that you can recognize among all those windows. Without having to wait for the Dock and look for an icon there. You know the name of the application you want... just press the key and it comes to the front. With some key combinations you can run scripts instead.
FreeHotKeys makes your life simple, you press a hot key with the first letter of the application name you are thinking of, and FreeHotKeys brings that application to the front. Very simple, and natural. You know what you want already, you don't need to search for it anywhere.
You want Internet Explorer? Press option-command-i, Mail? option-command-m, the Finder? option-command-f
But what about the iApps? iTunes, iDVD, iMovie, iChat? What then? Press command-option-i, and FreeHotKeys will toggle among those applications. In a simple way. For numeric keys (1 - 0) FreeHotKeys looks for a file in its preferences folder, and if the file is found then executes it as a UNIX script. You can have a numeric key do anything you could do with a script, such as launch an application, kill a program, delete a file, run an AppleScript, compose an email, etc.
FreeHotKeys is free provided that you include the documentation with it. It is distributed as a disk image with an installer program. FreeHotKeys is a background application, which means that you do not see an icon for it on the Dock. Once you run it, the program loads in memory and stays there. FreeHotKeys runs invisible.
Script Keys
When you type a numeric key, such as command-option-1 or 2, 3...0 FreeHotKeys looks for a file called "key1.txt" (replace the 1 for the actual number you typed) inside the FreeHotKeys folder, which is located in your Library/Preferences folder.
If the file is found, it is executed as a shell script therefore allowing you to do anything you like. You can easily make the script files using any text editor such as TextEdit or BBEdit, just make sure the files are named correctly such as key0.txt, key1.txt, key2.txt and so on.
A sample script for the zero key is included, which opens Apple Mail. The contents of the script is as follows:
open /Applications/Mail.app
It's that simple! To create a script just make it in a text editor, and save the file into your Library/Preferences/FreeHotKeys folder giving it the correct name for the key you want to invoke it. Such as key8.txt or whatever you want.


* Bring an application to the front instantly by pressing a hot key. Command-option-{first letter of application name}
* When applications have similar names, FreeHotKeys rotates from one to the other.
* For numeric keys (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0) FreeHotKeys executes a shell script in its preferences folder. You can make the script do anything you want!
* Free!

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