Replacing Utilities

Over the last five years I’ve heavily used MailTemplate and shadowClipboard. Both are great utilities, and neither works right on Snow Leopard (and no upgrades in sight).

As a result, I’ve found workarounds. Rather than move to different utilities for these features, I’ve tried to simplify. I’m already hopelessly dependent on LaunchBar, so coming up with solutions that depended on LaunchBar wasn’t really a problem for me. Here’s what I ended up with.

For email templates, I have created a new directory in my personal SVN repository and created text files for each of the reply templates (you might consider Dropbox for this too). I then added an indexing rule for that directory to LaunchBar, and use the Cmd+Option+C command to copy the contents of the selected file in LaunchBar to grab the templates and do a simple paste into This also allows me to customize the message a little more since I manually type in the person’s name, etc. A side-effect is that I’m no longer tied to, should a better solution present itself for email.

For shadowClipboard I simply switched to the built-in clipboard history feature in LaunchBar 5. It took a little getting used to. I really liked being able to invoke shadowClipboard then use 0-9 to paste the contents of that appropriate clipboard. With LaunchBar’s implementation I have to arrow down a lot1, but it isn’t too bad and works reliably.

One of the benefits of dropping two utilities is less maintenance and configuration on my various machines. Anything I can do to reduce the amount of time I spend configuring computers is very welcome. Another is the benefit of having fewer processes running on these machines.

I’ve shouted the praises of LaunchBar for years (wow, back to 2003!). I can’t imagine using a Mac without it.

  1. I’ve requested that they hook up 0-9 shortcuts, hopefully they will. [back]