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8/1/2007
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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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3 Free Tools For Getting Things Done Faster On The Mac

These three utilities will make you more productive on the Mac. And the price is right - they're free. Namely is a simple application launcher that works from the keyboard, Document Palette makes it easer to create documents, and Visor puts the terminal window a hotkey away.

These three utilities will make you more productive on the Mac. And the price is right - they're free. Namely is a simple application launcher that works from the keyboard, Document Palette makes it easer to create documents, and Visor puts the terminal window a hotkey away.

Visor

Because the Mac is Unix-based, it's got a powerful command-line interface built in. Visor is free software that lets you click a hotkey - Ctrl-F1 by default - and slide down a terminal window.

Whimsically, the developers note that it's inspired by a feature of the game Quake.

Lifehacker notes the developers are Blacktree, "the people who reached into the heavens and pulled down Quicksilver."

Document Palette

The Mac user interface is vastly superior to Windows, which makes its one or two shortcomings all the more frustrating and baffling. One shortcoming: You can't create a new document on the fly from within the Finder. In Windows Explorer (the Windows Finder equivalent) you can easily do so by right-clicking and selecting from a variety of new document types. But on the Mac you have to go into the application to create a document for any given application type.

Document Palette bridges that gap, by allowing you to create new documents in the finder using a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-N.

That sounds complicated, but, as Lifehacker points out, it just means you're mashing all three modifiers and hitting N.

Namely

Namely is a keyboard application launcher. It indexes applications on your Mac, then launches them when you type in their names. Quicksilver does that and a whole lot more, but it's a lot more complicated.

Like Visor and Document Palette, Namely is free, but the developer asks you to donate some money to him if you like it; he doesn't specify an amount.

All three of these apps were featured on Lifehacker today and yesterday, which further proves that Lifehacker is the second-best tech blog on the Internet. (Which blog is the best? Well, gosh, I don't want to say; I don't want to appear immodest.)

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