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Train LaunchBar 4 to use single-character abbreviations Apps
With LaunchBar 4, the application launcher, I like to use single-character abbreviations for items that I access frequently (i.e., M for Mail, S for Safari, etc.). Unfortunately, the desired item does not always appear in the LaunchBar drop-down list the first time I attempt to use the single-character abbreviation. However, there is a simple solution...

The process is very simple and fast. Don't be misled by the number of steps in the process...
  1. Use the key sequence to activate LaunchBar (Command-space by default).
  2. Before using the single-character abbreviation, type a 3- to 4-character abbreviation that zeroes-in on the desired item. The item may not be the default selection, but with 3 to 4 characters the desired item is almost always in the drop-down list. (If not, try typing an abbreviation with a few more characters.)
  3. If the desired item is in the drop-down list but is not the default selection, use the down-arrow to select it.
  4. Open the desired item by pressing Return.
  5. After LaunchBar opens the item, close it.
  6. Use the key sequence to activate LaunchBar again.
  7. Type the desired single-character abbreviation for the item. Since the item was recently opened via LaunchBar, it will now appear in the list. If it is not the first item, select it from the list using the down-arrow.
  8. Reopen the item by pressing Return.
  9. After LaunchBar opens the item, close it again.
Future uses of LaunchBar will now bring up the desired item when the single-character abbreviation is typed.

[kirkmc adds: I've been a LaunchBar user for years, and this "training" is indeed documented in LaunchBar's help. However, the idea of setting single-character abbreviations is not, so this hint may be useful for some people. It also allows you to set single-character abbreviations for some applications that may suggest natural abbreviations that are similar to those of other programs: for example, I'd type "I-N-T" for Internet Explorer as well as for Internet Connect. If I set the one I use most to simply "I" that will save time.]
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Train LaunchBar 4 to use single-character abbreviations | 1 comments | Create New Account
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LB4 has a great shortcut algorithm
Authored by: Toadling on Oct 26, '06 12:31:04PM

I use the same "training" technique as explained in this hint and documented in the LaunchBar help file. I also use a few single character shortcuts, but they were all determined automatically by LaunchBar with no special training from me.

That's one of the things that makes LaunchBar so great. Its shortcut/search algorithm has got to be one of the most accurate and intelligent among all the launcher utilities. As a result, it requires very little "training".

But the idea of explicitly telling LaunchBar to use single character shortcuts for other, less intuitive items is a good idea and definitely something I'll look into for further streamlining my workflow. Great hint!



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