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finally wrote post on my Quicksilver ManPage Looker-Upper

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1 parent 8d653f3 commit bb2d6a4ebbafe99e9c65b74c448fe4b5724e847f @mikedamage mikedamage committed Feb 19, 2009
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+title: The Most Useful Script I Ever Wrote
+created_at: 2009-02-18 21:05:14.304601 -05:00
+layout: default
+blog_post: true
+navigation_item: false
+sitemap: true
+changefreq: monthly
+priority: 0.8
+keywords: "quicksilver, manpage, applescript, reference, programming, osx"
+description: "The most useful script I ever wrote: a manpage lookup script for Quicksilver on OS X"
+ - quicksilver
+ - applescript
+ - reference
+ - manpage
+ - erb
+ - textile
+h2(post_title). The Most Useful Script I Ever Wrote
+Let me cut to the chase. By far, the most useful script I ever wrote is a @man@ page lookup script that works as a "Quicksilver": action.
+If you're not in the know (i.e. if you don't use one of the *NIX operating systems like Linux or Mac OS X), @man@ is a command line utility that finds, formats, and displays documentation for just about any installed command line program on your system. It's something I refer to several times every day and it's saved my ass more than once. Utilities like @grep@, @curl@, and the dreaded @sed@ are hard to totally memorize, so @man@ comes in really handy when I'm writing shell scripts or looking for stuff inside of files, not to mention using Git. All of Git's help documentation is contained in handy @man@ pages that get displayed whenever you type @git help [COMMAND]@.
+Anyway, I setup a trigger to open Quicksilver in text entry mode whenever I hit CTRL-ALT-M, then whatever I type is piped into the man page looker-upper. When I hit enter, it looks up the man page, strips out the old-school UNIX terminal formatting, saves the result to a file to save time on repeat lookups, and finally displays it in a QuickLook window using @qlmanage@. Here's the code:
+You can also "download this script":/scripts/LookupManPage.scpt as an Apple Script Editor file.
+<% uv(:lang => 'applescript', :line_numbers => true, :theme => 'sunburst') do %>
+using terms from application "Quicksilver"
+ on process text theString
+ set manFile to "/users/mike/documents/manpages/" & theString & ".txt"
+ set manDir to "/users/mike/documents/manpages/"
+ tell application "Finder"
+ if exists file manFile then
+ do shell script "qlmanage -p " & manFile
+ else
+ try
+ do shell script "man " & theString
+ on error
+ display dialog "No Manual Entry For " & theString
+ return
+ end try
+ do shell script "man " & theString & " | col -b >> " & manFile & " && qlmanage -p " & manFile
+ end if
+ end tell
+ end process text
+end using terms from
+<% end %>
+After customizing the paths in the script, drop it into @~/Library/Application Support/Quicksilver/Actions/@. It's now available as an action to Quicksilver. To use it, either do what I did and setup a trigger to go directly to it, or hit your QS shortcut (usually CTRL-Space), hit the period key (".") to enter text entry mode, type the name of a command, hit Tab, and start typing "Lookup...". Quicksilver should find the action you're looking for. Hit Enter and voila! Man page in a QuickLook window. Quick, easy, and convenient.
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