Review of QuickKeys
Author: W. Gary Hostetler, M.U.D. Slinger
Date: October November, 1992
Keywords: software utility macro review program macros
Text: QuicKeys* by CE Software is a utility that generates keyboard shortcuts and macros. It sells for around $95 and is well worth the price. It currently comes in an environmentally conscious box with no shrink-wrap. The most recent version includes several new programs and extensions that make QuicKeys* a lot more versatile than in previous versions. QuicKeys* basic function is to take a couple of keystrokes and turn them into macros, or, as CE Software calls them, Shortcuts. QuicKeys* can be used to launch any file, application, printer, network, file server, desk accessory, or just about anything that you can think of just by pressing a couple of keys. The shortcut can be as short as one command, such as opening a file, or the shortcut can be long such as the 37 steps I use for my PostScript interpreter. The first program that runs after QuicKeys* is installed is Instant QuicKeys*. This program has predefined shortcuts that you can use or you may define your own keystrokes. I should warn you that you should be ready for your keystroke strategies before you begin. You do not have to select everything the first time; you can run the program again. When you do open QuicKeys* these keyboard shortcuts will be in QuicKeys* itself. The shortcuts can also be accessed from the SoftKeys menu that uses the ten digit keys on the keyboard and the Quick Reference card under the Apple menu. What are some QuicKeys* uses? I use a keyboard shortcut to print my return address labels. When invoked, the QuicKey has MacLabelPro open my address file, prints it and then quits. The word ''QuicKeys*'' used in this document is done by a keyboard shortcut. I use QuicKeys* to turn off and on my print spooler, toggle balloon help, change my screen depth, print documents, and change printers. QuicKeys* can be used to log onto Compu-serve, leave and retrieve messages, then log off, all automatically in the middle of the night. You generate a shortcut by telling QuicKeys* to start recording. You then proceed with whatever action or actions you want. When you are finished, just stop recording: the QuicKeys* screen comes up where you can title your new macro, give it the key-strokes you want, or edit the steps. Invariably, you will have to add pauses and wait controls into your sequence, because QuicKeys* will want to run faster than your computer. The editing box allows you to add pauses, as well as many other extensions. Another program included is QK Icons. As the name implies, it gives you a mini-application of any QuicKey shortcut. Once it's an icon, you can leave it on the desktop wherever you want or you can put it in the Apple menu. To change printers just double-click the icon and it automatically changes the printer or you can drag and drop your document to print to a selected printer. QuicKeys* was easy to install. However, the manuals need to be consolidated (I am sure the manual is currently being rewritten). It ran fine on my LC and does not consume much memory. You must read the manuals, as well as The Little QuicKeys Book by Steve Roth and Don Sellars, published by Peachpit Press (1-800-283-9444). QuicKeys* is 32-bit clean and System-7-savvy, including balloon help. It also includes CEIAC, which helps implement interappli-cation communications (IAC) between applications. This is great product. I use it constantly and enthusiastically.
Copyright © october november, 1992 by W. Gary Hostetler, M.U.D. Slinger