When it comes to using keyboard shortcuts I’m decidedly not an old school Mac user. True, I cut my computing teeth on WordStar running on an Osborne CP/M luggable, but I’ve just never managed to master much beyond the basic keyboard shortcuts that make any computer user more productive. Instead, I rely upon a few Mac utilities which enhance the shortcut learning process, and toss in a few extra functions to justify the price tag.
One of the new gunslingers in the neighborhood is Keyboard Cowboy. It’s a hotkey shortcut manager that does more than just pop up a list of keyboard shortcuts. No, instead, Cowboy binds an app to a specific hotkey that you set up. The advantage here is that even if the app associated with the shortcut isn’t open Keyboard Cowboy will open it.
Shortcuts are not just keyboard shortcuts in Keyboard Cowboy. Scopes can be added to a shortcut so they’re only available when you’re using a specific app.
You can even assign hotkeys to specific files and folders which will open files in the app assigned to the file, and the Finder window which contains the folder.
Setup is simple enough, and requires you to assign shortcuts only to those apps you want to use or use the most. You can even setup shortcuts to switch to certain apps and bring it to the front of the Mac’s screen.
Keyboard Cowboy is a bit like an app switcher, an app or file launcher, but is customizable so you can use keystroke combos that work for you and your workflow.