For my quick application launching, I have always used something, whether it be Quicksilver, Alfred, or LaunchBar. They all offer a lot of features over Spotlight and always have. However, with Yosemite, Spotlight got a much needed update and facelift and, with it, I decided (as I am sure many others have) to experiment with a Spotlight-only system.

Therefore, on Wednesday, when MacStories ran a story about Nate Parrott’s Flashlight plugin for Spotlight, I jumped on the download and install process. Others have now discussed their usage of the plugin, as well, of course, but I thought I’d throw my thoughts out there.

The biggest boon to my workflow that the plugin offers is the addition of Alfred’s quick System Commands, which allow me to quick type a few characters and restart my computer or put it to sleep. However, it looks like this thing goes much further than that, offering quick search results and shortcuts. I am honestly not sure why Apple didn’t bake in some of these features; if nothing else, web search seems like a no-brainer and is dog-slow in plugin-less Spotlight as it stands! I suspect that Apple will either copy the functionality or block the code injection that this app employs at some point.

Either way, the plugin has some quirks and is still in early alpha, but it works and makes me miss Alfred less and less.

Posted: November 14, 2014

In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.

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