QuicKeys X3 for Mac OS X Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to questions about QuicKeys 3 for Mac OS X. If you can't find an answer to your question you can contact us in our Support request form or ask a question in the Startly Community.
Q. What is the current version of QuicKeys X3 for Mac OS X?
A. Version 3.2.3 is the current version. You can get it on our download page.
Q. Is QuicKeys X3 compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger?
A. Yes. QuicKeys X version 3.0.2 was updated with Tiger in mind and is available as a free download for registered users of QuicKeys X3. It is compatible with all versions of Panther (10.3) and Tiger (10.4).
Q. I upgraded to Tiger and now some of my menu shortcuts don't work
A. Tiger changed the way menu selections are handled behind the scenes. If you are having trouble with menu selection shortcuts no longer working, try de-selecting the "Show menus while performing menu action" checkbox for that step.
Q. My F14 and F15 keys don't work as triggers under Tiger or Leopard, why?
A. As of 10.4.11 (Tiger) and 10.5.5 (Leopard) Apple has changed how these keys work. Newer keyboards that have dedicated brightness keys with the graphic above the Fkeys the F14 and F15 will just work. If you have an older keyboard you can now go into the Keyboard & Mouse System Preference and under the Keyboard Shortcuts tab you will find a new item named "Display" where you can reassign the default F14 and F15 to something else, like adding Control to each of them so the raw F14 and F15 can be used by QuicKeys.
Q. What are Multi-step Shortcuts and how do I create them?
A. Multi-step Shortcuts are a collection of QuicKeys Shortcut steps that you can assemble to automate more complex tasks. You can build a Multi-step Shortcut by first creating a Single-step Shortcut and then choosing to create another step using the "Create" menu. Any Shortcut created within the Shortcut Editing window will be an additional step within that Shortcut.
Q. What is the difference between a keystroke and a Hot Key?
A. They are basically the same thing. They describe the keyboard keys that you press to play QuicKeys Shortcuts. QuicKeys X uses the term Hot Key.
Q. What is a trigger?
A. A trigger is any signal that tells QuicKeys to play a Shortcut. You can use After Open, Day & Time, Hot Keys, the QuicKeys Menu, Repeat triggers or QuicKeys toolbars.
Q. Why can I not assign F1-F12 as hot keys on my iBook or PowerBook?
A. On laptops, these keys are held by the operating system for things like sound and screen control. As of Mac OS X 10.3.4 (Panther), there is now an option in System Preferences:Keyboard & Mouse to alter this behavior. You can now reverse the Fkeys so that the fn modifier key is no longer needed to circumvent the default sound/screen adjustment behavior.
Q. Why does my "Switch to Application" Shortcut no longer work?
A. As a result of changing upgrading/replacing applications, you may need to edit your Switch to Application Shortcuts. Re-select the application you want to switch to while editing your Switch Application Shortcut Steps.
Q. When I try to record a Multi-step shortcut "Clicks" are not recorded at all.
A. Mouse and other input devices need to support a USB standard known as HID in order to be recorded. Getting the latest driver may help if clicks (or other mouse functions) do not work.
Q. Why are my triggers for a specific Shortcut not working?
A. If you have the Shortcut Editing window open for a particular Shortcut, the triggers for that Shortcut are disabled until you close the window. If the Hot Key field is active when editing a shortcut, all QuicKeys Hot Keys are turned off until you move your cursor off the Hot Key field. This functionality ensures that QuicKeys does not play a Shortcut while you are assigning a Hot Key. This behavior applies when you are defining any Hot Keys for Shortcuts or toolbars. It also applies when you edit the Keystroke field for Type Keystroke Shortcuts. When Hot Keys are disabled, an "X" appears over the QuicKeys Dock icon.
Q. Why does QuicKeys not accept some of my Hot Key assignments?
A. OS X 10.2.x reserves several key combinations, including:

  • Command+Tab: Switch forward
  • Command+Shift+Tab: Switch back
  • Command+Option+Escape: Force quit
Also, the Tab key can only be assigned as a Hot Key if the mouse button is held down while pressing the Tab key.
Q. Why do QuicKeys Shortcuts that are assigned Day & Time triggers not execute?
A. Shortcuts that are set up as timed events will not execute when the computer is in Sleep mode.
Q. Why can I not drag a trigger out of the list and make it "poof"?
A. Drag the trigger to the Trash. You can also use the delete button, delete menu, or the contextual menu.
Q. Switch to next application does not work as expected. It seems to switch to a specified application?
A. Apple has recently changed the behavior in switching applications. This will be monitored and addressed in a future update.
Q. What is the "Q" in the menu bar and how do I make it go away?
A. The "Q" in the menu bar is the QuicKeys System Menu. It offers another way of triggering Shortcuts. If a trigger is assigned to the QuicKeys System Menu, the Shortcut will appear after the editing window for the Shortcut is closed. If you do not want to display the QuicKeys System Menu, you can turn it off in the QuicKeys Preferences.
Q. Can I create Shortcuts by dragging files or folders?
A. Yes. You can drag files and folders onto the QuicKeys Editor Shortcut list and the Shortcut Editing window will open for a new Shortcut. Similarly you can drag files and folders onto user-defined toolbars to create Shortcuts.
Q. How do I remove items from toolbars?
A. Hold down the Command key, select the item you want to remove and drag it off the toolbar.
Q. How do I put a custom icon on an item in one of my QuicKeys toolbars?
A. A custom icon is a property of a shortcut. To give the toolbar item a custom icon you must give the shortcut that button represents a custom icon.

  • Find the shortcut for that toolbar item in the QuicKeys editor view and double click on it to open the shortcut editor.
  • Bring up the Inspector window by pressing command-I or from the Window Menu, choose Show Inspector.
  • Choose "Shortcut Icon" from the pop-up menu.
  • Select the icon and paste any custom icon in over the default one.
Your new custom icon will now display in your toolbar as well as the main QuicKeys Shortcut list.
Q. How can I use custom fonts and styles in my type text shortcuts?
A. If you need to customize fonts, styles, or even include graphics use the Clips shortcut.
Q. Why do I have extra Pauses in my recording?
A. QuicKeys tries to emulate the time you take when you are recording. You may edit or remove the Pauses if they are excessive.
Q. Why can I not right click on my Toolbar to get the contextual menu?
A. QuicKeys Toolbars are maintained by a background application. You must use the Control key with a left click to obtain the contextual menu.
Q. Why doesn't my "automatically rename" preference work consistently?
A. There are some QuicKeys Shortcut Types that are not automatically renamed, even when the preference is set. These Shortcut Types include:
  • AppleScript - if playing a user-entered script (not a script from a file)
  • Click - if the user hasn't entered a description
  • E-mail
  • Manage Files
  • Pause
  • Inline Shortcut
  • Mouse Recording - if the user has not entered a description
  • Terminal Command
  • Type Text
Q. Why does my QuicKeys Terminal Command Shortcut not work?
A. The QuicKeys Terminal Command Shortcut does not use the Terminal application. You cannot execute commands that require user interaction. You can, however, redirect most commands to a file to view the results. For example, to display the contents of the Applications folder you would type: cd Applications; ls > ~/Desktop/terminal.txt. This changes the working directory, issues the list directory contents command, then outputs the results to the file named terminal.txt on your Desktop.
Q. Why does my Menu Selection Shortcut not work?
A. Some applications do not follow Mac OS X Accessibility standards. QuicKeys cannot recognize the menus of these applications. If you create a Menu Selection Shortcut and it does not work try a Menu Clicks Shortcut.
Q. Why are some of the characters in my Type Text Shortcut not being typed?
A. If the Hot Key for your Type Text Shortcut contains the same character as one of the first few characters to be typed, that character may not get typed. Change the Type Text Shortcut option from Type Text to Insert Text or insert a Pause step immediately before the Type Text step.
Q. What happened to the "Change Folder" Shortcut?
A. Mac OS X no longer has a consistent interface for Save/Open dialog windows. When QuicKeys X tries to change the open/save location for you, it assumes there is a "Go To Folder" field available in which to put the new path information. Some open/save dialogs had this field, some did not, so Apple added a special keystroke of their own to enable this field. If you type Command-shift-G while in an open/save dialog, it will bring up a field where you can type in the desired path. QuicKeys can do all of this for you if you just add a Type Keystroke Shortcut step in front of any Change Folder Shortcut you have.
Q. Why can't I assign my F10 key as a trigger, it moves all my windows around?
A. A new feature of Panther (Mac OS X 10.3.3) and later is an operating system feature called Exposé. This feature, by default, hijacks your F9, F10, and F11 keys. To change the hot keys used by Exposé go to your System Preferences > Expose pane.
Q. How can Full Keyboard Access work with QuicKeys?
A. Under System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse pane, you can check a checkbox named "Turn on full keyboard access." Doing so enables you to use your tab key to move focus around a particular window's controls. I.e. you can tab from checkbox to checkbox or radio button to menu to button, and hit your spacebar to enable/disable said control. This can be very useful when building QuicKeys Shortcuts within apps that use non-standard code behind their user interface.
Q. I have a lot of shortcuts in QuicKeys 5 under Mac OS 9, why can't I import them into QuicKeys X? What can I do to import these?
A. Unfortunately there is no way to do this. Translating shortcut data from QuicKeys 5 to QuicKeys X must be manually done by the user.