Modifier Taps

As an alternative to LaunchBar’s Command-Space shortcut it’s also possible to activate LaunchBar by tapping a modifier key.

Modifier Taps can be turned on in the Keyboard Shortcuts pane of LaunchBar Preferences. You can choose between the following modifier keys:

The fn or Control option is useful when you often switch between a laptop keyboard, where fn is the leftmost key, and an external keyboard, where the Control key is leftmost.

Single vs. Double Taps

You can choose between single and double taps. For a single tap you have to tap the modifier key once, for a double tap is has to be typed twice, in fast succession.

A single tap is of course faster than a double tap, but it’s also more likely to be hit accidentally.

Modifier Taps require a very short keypress. This is by design, to prevent unwanted triggering when you use the modifier key “regularly”, in combination with another key. If you hold down the modifier key too long, it will not trigger.

Search in LaunchBar

This modifier tap has the same effect as the Command-Space shortcut. It opens the LaunchBar window for starting a new abbreviation search. If the LaunchBar window is already open, it’s reset to an initial state, and any pending text input, sub-search or send-to operation is aborted.

In contrast to using the shortcut it’s not possible to activate the application switcher via modifier taps, though.

Instant Send

This modifier tap has the same effect as pressing and holding the Command-Space shortcut in order to invoke Instant Send. It sends the currently selected text or file from another application to LaunchBar.

Using a modifier tap for Instant Send has the advantage to be slightly faster than using the shortcut, which has to be kept pressed for a while.