Is there a way of making the application launcher prettier?

I have started using the Application Switcher. It has a handy little slider at the top that allows me to control the size of the icons and therefore the size of the palette. It shows up as a petite little rectangle in the middle of my monitor. It has become my go to way of moving from app to app.

The Application Launcher is a different story. The application icons are huge and take up a third of my large monitor’s height and displaying a list of applications which are difficult to view or navigate.

Are there any hidden settings / methods to show this thing some love and make it a worthy junior cousin to Alfred/Launchbar?

No, there are no hidden settings for this.

@peternlewis Is there any intention to give the launcher any developer time and attention in the future? Gradually Keyboard Maestro has replaced many of the utility applications I use. Launching programs is one of the last holdouts. I periodically revisit the KM Launcher but the functionality is just too ugly. Sorry.

Take a look at this :

It’s pretty amazing at what it does and is really pretty too.

1 Like

@nikivi This looks really nice, but I already use Witch ( for window switching. Do you happen to have any experience with Witch, and how Contexts compares?

Never tried it. :slight_smile:

Not this time round I’m afraid.

If you've got LB, why use KM to launch/switch apps?

I've been using LB for months now, and love it. I've learned to use each tool to its strengths.
But then I'm more on function than on form. True beauty is well beneath the skin. :wink:

With LB, I bring it up and type/select the app I want so fast that it is nearly a blur . . .
I have 2-3 letter LB shortcuts for all of my LB apps that I use often. The others are easily selected just by typing a few chars of its name. For those that I don't assign a shortcut for, what I type soon selects the intended app as first choice.

Just to be clear, KM is my #1 automation tool. I just use others where they work better for me.

I used to use Launchbar and Quicksilver. Currently I use Alfred. All are powerful and do more than I ever feel the need to explore. I use Alfred mostly for one thing. Launching programs. Gradually as I have become more comfortable with KM other simple application functions have been rolled into it. My original question was to see whether there are hidden ways to make the KM App Launcher prettier, more functional in order to prune one more application out of my system.

I now know that the KM Launcher is not able to and not going to blossom into a real alternative to Alfred, Launchbar, the lovely looking Contexts, et al.

It is a pretty application. Currently I use Alfred to accomplish quickly launching applications and TotalSpaces to manage what space they end up in.

Not sure how relevant it is but I have just discovered Freeter. It allows the building of a custom dashboard and that helps focusing on a project. It also has some limitations as it is not strictly a Mac only app (also works on Windows). It doesn’t do drag and drop, etc.

What I have been wracking my brain to figure out is how can I do what Freeter does using my normal Mac apps and files? That is, I can launch files I want to work on in Freeter, OK. I can also have text fields and todo lists - but, those text fields and todo lists remain stuck inside of Freeter and wont even print.

Which brings us back to the topic and my response, how to make better use of customizing launching files. I would love to have some sort of interface that could be saved differently for each project and which only contains the files folders and apps I use on that project. Freeter is actually pretty good at this and with tabs I can set up many views for each project.

But, how to better customize some sort of a launch palette … that is a very good question.

FWIW I use three screens and a trackpad so I simply push up with three fingers to see what file is where. I have some Keyboard maestro macros (one for each screen). When I want an app to change screens to go on my vertical screen, or on the middle screen, etc, I simply trigger the macro with KM. But that is about a working space. I really would like to think of a file launcher more like a collection of tools to work on a project. Like Freeter.

Thanks for sharing the link to Freeter. I just watched the below getting started video, and I am very impressed. I have not downloaded it yet, but the video does show a lot of drag/drop.

File launchers are just that -- they launch files/apps.
If you want to manage projects then you need tools like Freeter or OmniFocus.

Of course, using KM Palettes, you could create your own mini-project mgt tool.

Freeter is still a new tool to me, but I am enjoying it. The free download allows three projects and has very minor limitations. The Pro version allows unlimited projects and is currently half price for a few days at the following site:

I picked up a full license yesterday.

Go here:

1 Like

There is always the question of convenience over customize-ability. To spend the time munging your own project tools or work with someone else’s, that is the question.

1 Like

If it is still relevant, Freeter was relaunched as a free and open source project.