Let’s get into using SuperTab
We all want to have our computer setup just the way we like it. I doubt if there are many amongst us who like to use a vanilla computer as soon as it comes out of the wrapper. There are certain applications which we have to install to make a computer our own. These can be applications of high functionality for storing files, such as Dropbox. Another application of extreme use would be 1Password. I just have to have these applications on my computer as soon as I set it up from new otherwise I can’t get into any of my web logins or use some of the other applications I like to use. I keep all of my application serial numbers within 1Password making it a vital app. Then there is TextExpander which is a must for me even though I don’t necessarily make so much use of it due to using dictation frequently. Let’s not forget the utility applications of Keyboard Maestro and Hazel. These applications for me are in the second line of must haves. The ones in the first line have to be there to help me do the basics and these ones are for customisation and extreme utility. Maybe you could be using SuperTab to control your computer.
A new addition to my personalised Mac setup – Using SuperTab
I seem to remember using SuperTab a couple of years back and I didn’t feel like it made much sense to me. I can’t remember exactly what it was I didn’t like about it, but now I’m starting to get it. Perhaps it’s because there’s a new version offering more functionality. One of the extra functionalities is being able to control it using your voice. That doesn’t bother me quite so much because I can already do that to a certain extent using Dragondictate. I’ve also noticed that there are one or two things it does which I can already do with other applications. For example, there is a clipboard manager and I already have that available to me with the applications Copied, Keyboard Maestro and Alfred. In the past I was using one called JumpCut. I changed over to using Copied because it synchronises clipboards across to my iOS devices.
What else can using SuperTab do for you?
SuperTab also does screenshots and for this I’ve been using an application called Snappy. In the past I was using an app that connected up with Evernote, but that stopped working quite so well so I got rid of it. Another thing with SuperTab is Auto Types which again is something I can already do with Text Expander. There is even a setting within the system preferences allowing this sort of text replacement of a larger piece of text by using a short code. TextExpander is the one to go for even though they have recently changed their payment model and made it more expensive. I’m wondering if SuperTab have something not available already?
So what is SuperTab good for?
The user functionality in SuperTab is in speed. You gain quick access to a range of functions using a keyboard combination shortcut. Using the combination of Cmd and Tab or Option and Tab without SuperTab gives us access to other applications running. It is a quick way of switching between one application and another. It’s a keyboard combination that every Mac user should know and use often. So it only makes sense to give us other uses when we’re using that keyboard combination anyway. Every time you’re changing application from one to another using Cmd and Tab you’re getting a reminder of all of the other things you can do with SuperTab. So you are more likely to go back too it for other things. The whole app becomes more persistent, whatever you are doing.
What does SuperTab Look like?
Instead of seeing a line of just the active applications you a whole lot more. We also see another line of applications you have in the Dock. There are rows of icons for recent apps used and recent files. There are rows for clipboard history and a row for custom items. Still with your hands on the keyboard you can move around these rows of SuperTab options to get things done. Make the tabs stay there by changing the settings and you can use keys on your keyboard to move around quickly. Using the letters A or Z you can move up and down. Use the H key to hide a selected application. With the Q key you can quit a selected application. You also have the arrow keys on your keyboard for moving around to choose what you want to do with SuperTab. I like using SuperTab on my iMac.
Making Supertab persistent on screen
You do need to have the SuperTab application itself to persist on the screen to be able to use these keystrokes. I have it set up so that it stays there if the cursor moves after I’ve initiated SuperTab. If I haven’t touched the Magic trackpad then SuperTab disappears. One way for me to keep usingSuperTab on screen is to keep holding down on the command key. I can move around within SuperTab and as soon as I let go of the Cmd key I get switched to whatever I’ve chosen. That could be a file, an application, a recent document, a command to take a screenshot or an item from the clipboard history. I’ve set up to tab rows for clipboard history. One row is for clipboard text and the other is for images in the clipboard history.
Navigating folders using SuperTab
If you have folders that you regularly go to, to get items you can have these as permanent fixtures on one of the SuperTab rows. For example you could navigate to your pictures folder or another specific folder for images. When you get to the image you want, you get the option to show in the Finder or send by email. It’s possible to move the file to your Dropbox and you get a preview if it’s an image. I was somehow expecting I would be able to click and drag and drop a file from SuperTab to somewhere else. That hasn’t been working for me so it seems you have to go to the Finder to get that job done.
Clutter free folders with SuperTab
I do use the application Hazel to keep my desktop and downloads folder clean and tidy. I have a number of Hazel rules which will activate if I put certain types of file onto the desktop. This makes it nice and easy to always have my desktop clutter free. I like to have all of the files in their proper places.
SuperTab does something like this also. The folder has to be one you’ve added to your SuperTab rows. Right click on the folder or use the configure button and choose Manage Content. This is where you tell SuperTab to move files based on how long they’ve been within the folder. Something that’s been placed in the folder five days ago will get moved into a saved items folder, if that’s what you want. This can be very handy if you have a working folder and you only want to see the files you are working on for today. Everything from the previous days will be tucked away in a folder called SuperTab Saved Items. There aren’t many options as to where you can have these files and folders moved to. It’s not like you could choose to send files to a specific folder within Dropbox for example. This doesn’t really matter if you have Hazel also working for you. Have Hazel watch the SuperTab saved items folder to do a secondary cleanup. The main thing is that you have the options so that you can work the way you want to work and get things done. I just love having all of this customisation available to me and I can get the computer to do half my work for me. At least by using SuperTab by itself you’ll still have easy access to the files that have been moved. It’s just that it will be nice and tidy in the folders where you have it set up.
Using SuperTab for quick access to websites
I generally use Safari is my favourite or preferred web browser. What I can do though is to have YouTube open up in Chrome browser from a link contained within SuperTab tabs. Chrome is better for YouTube or for other sites that rely on Flash. Saves having Flash installed on your computer. It’s even possible to be automatically logged into iCloud by using the Auto Type function. I don’t recommend that unless your computer is secure and only you have access to it. It is a useful option in SuperTab to access websites.
Using your voice to control SuperTab
This is a fairly new addition to SuperTab and only to be expected with the arrival of Siri on Mac OS Sierra. I’m talking to my computer all day long anyway so it makes sense for me. With SuperTab I can use the keyboard combination of Control-Option-Cmd – a three finger salute – to get SuperTab to do something for me. I could for example tell SuperTab to take a screenshot. I didn’t find this worked very well for me and I could get the job done better using DragonDictate software. Well I thought it wasn’t working very well, but I was wrong. I expected the voice control to work after just pressing the three keys. What I should have been doing is to hold the three keys down and then speaking. Now it is working perfectly and am finding it a useful option for when I haven’t got a DragonDictate operational.
Taking screenshots with SuperTab
There are keyboard shortcuts built into the operating system allowing you to take screenshots. The only problem is, I can never remember what those keyboard shortcuts are. In my menubar I have two third party screenshot applications. The one called Snappy is one of been using for some time and is very useful. It has some basic tools to allow me to put text and little drawings on top. I also like the fact that the screenshot persists on the screen until I double tap on it to get rid of it. I can then choose what I want to do with it and there are some built-in options accessible from a menu. Then the other one I have just recently added to my iMac is called Screenie. This application is useful because I can drag-and-drop from the drop down menu from the menu bar into applications. Using SuperTab for taking screenshots has the extra functionality of allowing me to choose which type of screenshot I want. I get all of these choices.
- Selection of a portion of screen
- Selection of a portion of the screen after a delay
- Manually selecting a window
- Manually selecting a window after a delay
- Automatically capturing the front most window
- Capture the entire screen
- Capture the entire screen after a delay
SuperTab will automatically hide the icons on your desktop if you want a clean screenshot. This is particularly useful if you haven’t used the clutter free desktop options with SuperTab. Or if you don’t use Hazel to do the same thing.
There are a number of options available, such as where you save the screenshot. If you need to take screenshots of more than one area on your screen if you hold down the Cmd key you can take one screenshot after another. Little extras making me think I will keep SuperTab around.
Accessing your screenshots
You can get access to the screenshots from the SuperTab icon in the SuperTab rows. That gives you options such as copying to clipboard or opening in Preview. You can even send to trash if you want to. Use SuperTab to open up the folder containing the screenshots. Or have a special row in SuperTab to automatically display your recent screenshots. SuperTab will also work hand-in-hand with Snagit to give you extra functionality. I’ll not be doing that as Snagit is too expensive for my liking.
The Mac 20 Q verdict on SuperTab
After spending some time with SuperTab I’m getting to like it. There are a number of things within the application I have already got sorted out with other apps. It doesn’t really matter because SuperTab just gives me another way to access my computer operations. There will be times when it will be preferable to use SuperTab and other times a different app. SuperTab will be continually popping up in front of me every time I use the keyboard combination, so I can see me getting more comfortable with it. There will be the constant reminders of what the app can do.
Changing from one application to another just by using the keyboard will be extremely handy. Being able to get to applications not presently open, but are in the list of recent applications or are on the dock will be useful. When I’m working with images with various applications the pictures get put into different folders. I’m going to set up SuperTab with a Meta Folder so I’ll have all of those folders quickly available.
The other functionality haven’t explored yet is the control over applications. You can auto ensure certain applications are running at specific times or always. You can auto hide applications when they’ve been in the background for a specific period of time. This would help to keep your desktops clean and tidy. It’s also possible to set applications to auto quit if idle. I can see there will be some automation I can set up using these features of SuperTab.
I like the voice control available within SuperTab and I plan to experiment more with what I can do with it. I’ll try using it to open websites and take screenshots as well as hiding background applications.
SuperTab is not an expensive application and I think it’s worth having. It’s certainly worth giving a try and you can use it for 30 days in the trial mode. You’ll find on the website for SuperTab a few intro videos plus lots of other information to help you get started.