KeyQuencer 2.5

KeyQuencer 2.5
Company: Binary Software
Estimated Price: $49.95 (Lite version: $30.00)

I didn’t believe it before I tried it. I honestly didn’t. “Try this utility for a week,” they told me. “After a week, you’ll never know how you lived without it.”

“Yeah, right,” I said, with more than a touch of disbelief in my voice.

Well, after that first week, I was still saying “yeah, right,” but the sarcasm and skepticism had disappeared from my tone, and I was in total agreement. KeyQuencer is one of those things that you never know you’re missing, but once you get it, you wonder why you didn’t try it out years ago.

KeyQuencer Picture
KeyQuencer is a macro
utility, which, to quote from
the Read Me file, “lets you
create shortcuts that perform
a series of tasks with a single
keystroke. Using KeyQuencer
you can type your name,
change your monitor’s colors,
change the sound, connect to
the Internet, or do just about
anything–all with a
keystroke.” Binary Software
isn’t lying when they say that,
either–you can do just about anything; I’ve been able to make macros for anything and everything I’ve ever wanted.

You can create a macro in KeyQuencer in several different ways. There is no macro recorder present, so you can’t just perform a series of actions and have the program remember them in sequence as you can in some word processing applications. I didn’t find that a big problem, however. KeyQuencer’s scripting language is both powerful and easy to learn–a very winning combination. Also, even if you’re the type of person who shies away from any and all scripting, KeyQuencer still can do wonders for you. KeyQuencer comes with seven Helpers that walk you step-by-step through creating many of the most common macros, such as launching a file or application or automatically pasting in a often-used line of text. KeyQuencer even comes with tons of useful macros already written and pre-installed. Some of the ones I’m more fond of are being able to Stuff and UnStuff files (provided you have the StuffIt Engine installed on your computer), delete an item or automatically empty the trash, connect to the Internet, and control audio CDs using the keyboard. Last but not least, there are many useful macros available for download on the KeyQuencer Web site, some of which are provided courtesy of Binary Software, and some that have been written by third parties. Macros for using multiple clipboards, checking your email using your favorite email client, and controlling downloads are some of the more useful ones you’ll find on the Web site.

The newest version of KeyQuencer, version 2.5, is System 8-savvy (including some very useful contextual menus!), includes better tools for using KeyQuencer for Internet tasks, includes the aforementioned Helpers and better documentation to help you create useful macros, and many other minor improvements. There is also a shareware version called KeyQuencer Lite, which is available from Binary Software’s Web site, that gives an excellent feel for the program, but isn’t nearly as powerful. There is a limit to the number of functional macros (fifty), and many of the nicest features of KeyQuencer–such as integration with the StuffIt engine–aren’t available in the Lite version. I would recommend downloading the Lite version to get a feel for the program, and for some users it may be sufficient. However, if you fall in the love with the utility like I did, I think you’ll agree spending the extra twenty or thirty bucks is well worth upgrading to the full version.

KeyQuencer’s requirements are light–any Mac with 4 megs of RAM and System 7.0 or higher will do just fine. I’ve tested it on a Mac LC, a Mac LC 575, and a PowerBook 1400, with no problems at all on any of them. Binary Software boasts that even though KeyQuencer is an extension, it is very stable and causes very few conflicts, and I have no evidence that disputes that statement.

There’s not a lot more to say. KeyQuencer is simple and elegant enough for even casual Mac users to appreciate and use, but it is also complex and powerful enough that power users can really take advantage of the advanced features. In my opinion, KeyQuencer can’t help but increase your productivity and make it easier to use your computer. Even if you’re skeptical, like I was, I recommend giving KeyQuencer a try. You might find yourself wondering how you ever got by without it.

Mike Wallinga

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