Aug 23

How to Use Quicksilver to Post Tweets to Twitter in 2012

Update: Thanks to the Quicksilver folks for re-posting this on their blog. I’m updating it with some extra-cool, additional techniques.

Copy the links below and follow the Twitter instructions farther down, substituting the links. Don’t forget to delete the “***” from the target field in Quicksilver (not the URL itself).

Bonus: Both App Store searches use iOS-like, local url triggers tied to iTunes and the Mac store; “itunes://” and “macappstore://”, respectively. If you discover any other Mac app URL triggers, please comment below! I couldn’t find any more.

Original post:

Quicksilver is, of course, sexy as hell. But after searching around a lot, I had to conclude there is no longer any good, published way to post tweets via Quicksilver. The original method stopped working when Twitter implemented OAuth.

On top of which, Quicksilver has always lacked a character counter, which is extremely annoying when you’re trying to compose a tweet.

This approach lets you quickly compose in QS, and then sends you to to check your character count and submit.

For me, it’s the best of both worlds.

  1. Right-click this link and copy the address.

    (The “related=etc” bit is optional.)

    The “text=***” part is where the magic happens. Quicksilver treats the asterisks as a placeholder for a search query. We’re not actually searching, of course, but the important thing is: it works.

  2. Invoke Quicksilver. Press ⌘, (CMD+comma) to bring up Preferences.

  3. Click Plug-ins > All Plug-ins, and locate “Web Search Module”. Make sure it’s checked.

  4. Click Triggers.

  5. Click the + and choose HotKey.

  6. Paste.

  7. Tab down to the Action field and make sure it says “Search For…” If it doesn’t, press the right arrow key and locate that Action.

  8. Tab down to the Target field and delete any text there.

  9. Save.

  10. Select your new Trigger, and click the “i” in the lower right. Under Settings, click the “Hot Key” field, and choose a key combination. Personally, I use CTRL+OPTION+COMMAND+T.

    It’s a global hotkey, so you don’t want it conflicting with other apps’ hotkeys. Also, you can use this same technique to add all kinds of search engines (e.g. CTRL+OPTION+COMMAND+I to search IMDb).

  11. Use your new hotkey. You should instantly find yourself in Quicksilver’s Target field, without having to perform any additional steps.

  12. Type or paste your tweet. Hashtags, URLs and anything else should work fine. Hit Enter, and your default browser will pop up’s “Post a Tweet” page, with your tweet already there in the “What’s happening?” field. (You may have to log in.)

It’s not quite as snappy as the old approach, but it has the benefit of the character counter, and it remains far more convenient than navigating to and composing from there.