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Laserlight provides a window to type in your Spotlight search string and then puts that string directly into the Spotlight search field, bypassing the slow, as-you-type search method normally employed. Optionally you can search on keywords/names only instead of all content, and may restrict the search by kind and/or date.

What's New

Version 2.0.3: NOTE: the release of this update has been long overdue. I give my sincerest thanks to d-point.org and I must apologize to d-point and all German-speaking users for the lengthy delay in getting this update out the door, the fault of which is entirely my own.

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later

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Laserlight User Discussion

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d-point.org Member IconReview+9
d-point.org
+0

d-point.org made the german localisation because Laserlight is the best way to use Spotlight on Tiger.

there is no need to wait on Spotlight anymore !

best is to put it to startupitems in preferences/user.
and put it somewhere in the dock.

ps. an other icon for Laserlight is on :
http://www.d-point.org/mac/downloads/Laserlight_glow.zip

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0.3
 (Developer) Member IconDev+6
(Developer)
+0

Note from the developer: I would like to translate Laserlight into more languages (currently it's localized for English and French), but I need translation help to do it. If anyone is interested in helping localize it for another language (either partially or fully) please contact me at oneleftfoot@verizon.net

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0.2
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

Two things still annoy me:

- I have to close its window to close;
- I have to click the Dock icon in order to do another search.

Sometimes the first serch (just after opening the app) does not work, I just hear a sound error after SpotLight's window is opened. I've tried choosing a bigger keyinDelay. Let's hope it fixes it.

Other than that, I love it. It's in my Dock since version 1.0.4. It does improves the SpotLight's user experience. :)

Reply1 reply
Version 1.0.5
Stephen Jonke
+0

The issue with needing to Cancel the search window in order to get to the Quit menu item is a limitation of basic applescript. To get rid of that I'll need to create an AppleScript Studio version which allows for the creation of a custom interface. I have plans to do that and that will also allow for other features (a pop-up menu with kind shortcuts, for example, has been suggested), but can't give an ETA on this.

You can use a shareware macro utility such as Keyboard Maestro, or the freeware XKeys to "launch" Laserlight via the keyboard and thus have a keyboard shortcut for it. When Laserlight is already running, launching it again will activate it like clicking the Dock icon. XKeys only lets you set Function keys, but it is free. There is also the freeware program Spark which is very flexible, but also exceedingly confusing IMHO. I'd recommend looking at XKeys first: http://www.zarkonnen.com/projects/xkeys.php

Jvhvr Member IconComment+3
Jvhvr
+0

Since version 1.0.4 it works perfect !
Nice icon.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0.4i
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

I liked it. But the search keyword doesn't seem to work. It opens Spotlight (both full windows or not) and puts the string between two letters "a". For instance, if you tried to search the keyword "string", it opens spotlight with "astringa". It doesn't seem to be the correct behavior. I tried to look in the script but I don't know AppleScript enough to try any modification.
Also, hitting Cancel then have to quit the app using the menu or COMMAND+Q seems odd to me.
Thanks for the app and for making it free. :)

Reply6 replies
Version 1.0.3
Stephen Jonke
+0

Hmm. The script puts double quotes around the search string when you use the keyword/name search (and that's all it does, incidentally - you can get the same effect by putting the double-quotes in yourself). Offhand I'm not sure why you'd get A's instead. The only thing I can think of is it is some language issue - are you using a language other than English? In any case, send me an email and we'll hash it out.

Stephen Jonke
+0

I thought MU would put my email address in that reply, but it doesn't seem to have. My email address is sjj_public@mac.com

Also, I agree about the quitting weirdness. I'm a bit hamstrung in this regard as a result of implementing this entirely as a basic AppleScript. I didn't want to use any 3rd party add-ons that would be required to be installed, and I haven't taken the plunge into AppleScript Studio yet, so I don't have a "real" GUI - a "dialog" is my only option. FYI, one quick way to quit it is to control-click or right-click the icon in the Dock and select "Quit" from the context menu - it's always available there.

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

Thanks for the reply. I use English as the system language, but another keyboard layout. Changing the kb layout to U.S. solved the problem. Weird...
I guess this and quitting can be improved if AppleScript Studio is used, among other things. Greetings. :)

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

BTW, the Quit command in the Dock does not work without clicking the Cancel button previously. :/

Stephen Jonke
+0

Yeah, you are right about that, although you can quit it while it is in the background (presuming the dialog isn't already up) without having to bring it to the front, cancel the dialog and then quit. In any case I'll have to delve into AppleScript Studio sometime soon and give this a better (real) GUI.... Version 1.0.4 should solve the non-US keyboard problem you saw before, though. If not, let me know!

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

Cools. Fixed: now keywords works fine with no US keyboard layouts. Thanks! :)

Stephen Jonke Member IconComment+0
Stephen Jonke
+0

Yes, Laserlight is a hack. It is also free and released under the GPL. :) One very likely possibility for it not working is if you have changed the keyboard shortcuts for spotlight - Laserlight, unmodified, is dependent on them being command-space and command-option-space. There are properties at the top of the script where you can set what your spotlight shortcuts are and then it should work. If it still doesn't work, let me know as I'd like to figure out why it isn't working.

Currently it is also dependent on the command-tab keyboard command, which will switch to the previous application (command-tab brings up the app switch, a quick command-tab switches to the previous application). I do this to workaround a loss-of-focus issue when using the basic spotlight results window. If this isn't working for you, you can change the "useFullWindow" property at the top of the script to "true" (without the quotes). That will use the full spotlight window instead, which doesn't have this loss-of-focus issue.

As for the usefulness, this is probably a lot more useful on slower systems - for those systems Spotlight can be painful to use due to the search-while-you-type nature of it. Laserlight puts your search text in in one fell swoop.

This is also intended to be an example of scripting Spotlight, which unfortunately you can only currently do via a GUI scripting hack approach like this. Hopefully that situation will change.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.0.2
Ian O
+0

I just checked the effect of the Cmd-Space and Cmd-Op-Space keystrokes before installing Laserlight and they toggle between the Australian and US keyboards (International Preference).
Could this cause conflicts?

flash1296 Member IconComment+297
flash1296
+0

Like "snipehack" below, I am at a loss trying to fathom the purposful usefulness of this appl. Perhaps it would be clearer - IF I could get it to actually function. I cannot. It quits (after launch) and attempting to search.

The most bizarrely ironic thing is that I just checked for the 4th time to verify it's failure - and when I clicked on "search" it PASTED the search time into THIS document.

R O T F L

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0.2
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

I find this pretty useful. Good job

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0.2
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

Maybe I don't understand what the developer is trying to accomplish here, because all it does is gives you a slower method to get to the spotlight search. After it launches it asks you for a query and then it types that query in spotlight. The only thing good about it is that it automatically closes itself after you type in your keywords. Whether or not that is supposed to happen, I don't know, and I don't care.

Reply4 replies
Version 1.0.2
Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

You're kind of clueless. I guess you haven't noticed that typing Spotlight search queries in Finder windows is excruciating because the search begins as soon as you type the first letter, almost freezing the machine for several seconds.

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

gotta love people who start a review saying that "maybe they don't get it" but then give 2 stars to the app...

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

My machine doesn't freeze when I use spotlight. This program is useless.

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

Apparently, some people's computers do get slow when they use Spotlight and it does a search-as-they-type. Just because it's useless for you doesn't mean it's useless for everyone.

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Current Version (2.x)
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Details

Downloads 8,267
Version Downloads 3,967
License Free
Date 03 Oct 2006
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free
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