First Steps

1 Activate LaunchBar’s input window by either pressing Command-Space (hold down the Command key and hit the space bar), or by tapping a modifier key.
2 Type an abbreviation, a few characters of the searched item’s name - e.g. if you want to launch Safari, type SAF, or if you want to open QuickTime Player, try QTP.
3 Once the searched item appears, press Return to open it. You may use the up/down arrow keys to pick a different item from the search result menu.

That’s it. The described procedure allows you to access any item that is contained in LaunchBar’s index. By default, this index contains all of your applications, your contacts, your web browser’s bookmarks, the songs and playlists in your iTunes Library, and many more. To explore or modify this index, open the index window (Command-Option-I).

Another technique to access information via LaunchBar is browsing. Select an item using the above abbreviation search method, then use the left/right arrow keys to navigate to related information. E.g. if you select the Contacts application, press the right arrow key to display all your contact cards and groups, and once you’ve selected a particular card, press right arrow again to reveal the fields of this card. If you select Safari, pressing right arrow provides access to Safari’s bookmarks and history. If you select a folder, right arrow shows that folder’s contents, left arrow shows its parent folder’s contents.

And last but not least, there’s a special kind of items called Search Templates, allowing you to initiate arbitrary web searches directly from LaunchBar. E.g. type GOOG to select the “Google Search Template”, press the space bar, and enter your search string. Finally hit Return to perform the Google search, and the results will be displayed in your web browser.