Real-world OpenMeta Plug-in Use

There are some pretty obvious uses for Quicksilver's OpenMeta File Tagging plug-in, like grouping files together that are flung far and wide across your disk. Here are some other things I'm using it for that really make life easier.

What do I need to work on?

I suspect a lot of people have a tag they assign to things that need their attention, such as "Active Project". A couple of Quicksilver triggers can make this even easier.

The first is

Current Document ⇥ Add Tags… ⇥ Active Project

The Current Document proxy object (from the User Interface plug-in) is really flexible. Of course it works in just about any document-based application, but it can also be used to get the current directory from a Terminal window1 or the current URL from a browser2.

So if you're working on a spreadsheet, or a script, or something in the Terminal and you don't want it to slip through the cracks later, just fire off the above trigger and get back to work.

Since right-arrowing into a tag lists all of the files with that tag assigned, the next trigger is

Active Project ⇥ Show Contents

This gives you quick access to any pending projects that need your attention.

One-off Catalog Entries

How many folders full of crap have you added to your catalog just to access one or two files that you use all the time? You may have also copied some of the default entries just to increase their scanning depth for the same reason. I had three or four custom entries like that, but not any more.

The OpenMeta plug-in includes a new type of catalog entry called "OpenMeta Tags". It works like the File & Folder Scanner by adding files to the top-level catalog, but instead of recursively scanning a path or a file's contents, it looks for one or more matching tags. (It must have been a handsome and brilliant fellow that thought to add this feature.)

So here's what I've done:

  1. Locate the one-off files you actually care about.
  2. Tag them with something like "Quicksilver Catalog".
  3. Add a custom catalog entry, choosing "OpenMeta Tags" from the pop-up menu.
  4. Put "Quicksilver Catalog" in the list of tags it checks for.
  5. Remove the File & Folder entries you were previously using to access these files.

This can trim a lot of noise out of your catalog, which should speed up searching. And once the entry is defined, you can quickly add more files to the catalog just by tagging them.

And of course, you can create as many entries as you want for other tags, like "Active Project".

  1. This requires the Terminal shipped with 10.7+ and it requires your shell to update the titlebar whenever the current working directory changes. This is part of the default bash profile on OS X, and can be made to work with zsh and other shells. 

  2. I mention the URL thing for completeness, and because it's cool, but unfortunately, you can't tag something unless it has a corresponding file on disk so don't go running your new trigger in Safari. 

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