DOMercury Help &
Overview of Keystrokes
The DOMercury Interface
The Item Pane
Sub Indexes and Parent Items
The Actions Pane
The Parameters Pane
Moving Between the Panes
Moving The DOMercury Form
The Alias Form
Options and Customization
The Options Form
Smart Search vs Quick Search
The Priority Editor
The Alias Manager
Choosing a Skin
DOMercury was designed with the idea in mind to let you do anything without
reaching for the mouse, except make your dinner. I had productivity
in mind when I designed it, when I noticed that while working I would spend a lot
of my time using the mouse, clicking here or there, just trying to find the program
or file that I needed to do something with. The count of clicks I had to click increased (say that
five times fast) when I didn't remember or know what it was I needed to access,
and therefore had to search for it.
Then once I found the program or file, it would generally take some more mouse moves
and clicks until I could perform the desired action to it, whether opening the program,
renaming the file or groups of files, or opening the folder in a command prompt,
my brain could move faster than my mouse, and this was hindering productivity. Something needed to be created to allow
someone to access and perform an action on anything they want in their file system
without spending the precious seconds or even minutes it takes to find the item
they need to access.
The idea to create DOMercury came to me when a friend was showing me some pictures
on their Macintosh computer, zipping along barely touching his mouse. He was grabbing and moving files all over the place just using his keyboard,
using a program called Quicksilver.
I will openly admit that many of the inspirations for functionality included in
DOMercury came from Quicksilver, even the play on the name. The idea is not to beat or compete with Quicksilver, it is instead to bring
to the Windows PC universe the convenience and productivity of Quicksilver’s functionality. This is why DOMercury is, and always
will be free. I also want to stress
that I have never used Quicksilver, only seen it and some of the things it can do, I do not own a Mac. I built a plugin framework into DOMercury to allow users to expand on
its functionality, simply because I personally am unable to incorporate all the
bells and whistles of an application that I have never even used before. Also, the extra level of indirection will hopefully allow DOMercury to mature
into its own animal, and not just a port of a different platform’s application.
What Can I Do With
At its most basic level, and how most people will use it, DOMercury is an application
launcher.It allows you to type just
a few characters and quickly access any program or file on your file system. It goes beyond that however by allowing
file management, window access and hiding, and customization features to allow you
keyboard shortcuts to even the most complicated tasks.
Here is a list of just a few things you can do with DOMercury:
Launch Start Menu Applications
Create your own keywords to files or
Open, rename, move, copy, delete
files and folders
Switch between open windows
Start your ScreenSaver
Search the internet
Open your favorite web pages
Search specific websites such as Wikipedia
Maximize, minimize, restore and close
Launch automated tasks by keywording
to batch files
Create your own functionality with the
ALL WITHOUT USING THE MOUSE!
to use DOMercury
Installation for DOMercury is fairly straightforward.Start the DOMercuryInstaller and choose where you want DOMercury installed.
Once the installer is complete, you can start DOMercury by choosing the Start Menu->Programs->DomSoft->DOMercury.
DOMercury also installs itself to the StartUp folder, so it will automatically start
the next time you start your computer.
DOMercury was built to be small enough to be able to run from a thumb drive. All settings are saved locally, so DOMercury
can be run on any computer without physically being installed there. Simply download and copy the DOMercury Portable folder to your thumbdrive
Quick overview of keystrokes:
Windows + Z: default hotkey to invoke DOMercury
Delete: Clears any text in the Search Text Area
Enter Button: executes the selected action on the selected item.
RightArrow: Jumps to the sub index of the selected item.
LeftArrow: Returns to the previous index
TAB: Move to the next pane.
SHIFT + TAB: Move to the previous pane
Ctrl + T: Force what you are typing to a text item.
Explanation of Interface:
DOMercury is invoked to the foreground (shows up on your screen : Notes for the
technically non-savvy) by a default global hotkey : Windows button + Z. If
you already have this hotkey mapped to another program, or wish to use a different
hot key, this can be changed in the Options, discussed further below.
DOMercury is separated into three distinct panes: Item, Action, and Parameters.
The Item pane is where the item being performed is called. The item can be a shortcut in the start menu, a folder, file or group of
files, an open window, a running program, an alias, or anything else. When DOMercury is called using the hotkey, it will determine if there are
any selected files or folders in an Explorer window and display
the selected items. Pressing TAB to
move to the Action pane will give you a list of possible actions to perform on those
NOTE: The address bar in Windows Explorer must
display the full path to the folder in order for Actions
to work on the sensed files.
Typing while in the Item pane will bring up a list box of matched items to choose
from. Information about the currently
selected item is displayed above the list box. After you have selected the desired item, moving to the Action Pane will
show you all the possible actions you can do to that item.
Items show up in the results box in order of Priority. The
higher the number, the higher the priority. Every time you perform an action
on an item, its priority gets increased by one, so the more times you execute an
item, the more likely it is to be the first result back on similar searches.
I you wish to raise or lower the priorities of certain Items, this can be achieved
in the Priority Editor Form under the Options Form.
I just created a new word document or installed a new program, why doesn't it
show up in my index?
In order to keep the results suggestions returning as fast as they are, DOMercury
keeps a cache of all of its indexed items, which is refreshed every 5 minutes.
So, your new program or file should appear in the index within the next 5 minutes,
providing that your program has a shortcut in your Start Menu or your file exists
in a folder that is indexed by DOMercury.
You can always force a refresh of the index by typing "Refresh Index" in the search
text box and choosing the "Refresh Index" item
If you start typing in a file path, DOMercury will recognize that you are perusing
the file system and give you an auto complete drop-down box of the file system directories.
Start Menu Item: The Start Menu Item
represents a program in your Start Menu, selecting one of these items and pressing
enter will allow you to open that program without physically going into the Start
Menu to find it. This means that from
anywhere, you can open any program in the Start menu just by typing in a couple
letters in the program.
Path Item: A path item represents any file or folder on your computer. With DOMercury you can Move, Open, Copy, Delete, or Rename files, folders,
or groups of files and folders. DOMercury
will recognize if you are typing a path, and begin autofilling directories for you
to help you type the path quicker.
Also, some key words, like My Documents, Desktop, My Pictures, etc, DOMercury will
recognize as a path and allow you to open to there.
System Window or Current Window: System Window Items represent an open System Window
on your computer, such as an instance of a program or Windows Explorer. You can minimize, maximize, show or close System Windows. The Current Window is a special keyword to represent the window that was
active right before DOMercury was invoked.
Text Item: A text item is basically just a block of text that you typed. This can be executed like as in the Run menu or a command prompt, or opened
in a web browser like in Internet Explorer, as well as other actions.
Alias: Aliases are special shortcuts that you can customize yourself. They can be linked to programs that are not in the start menu, or any file
or folder. You can also create aliases
that accept parameters, good if you want a keyword to search a specific website,
or if you want to open a program with special command line parameters. There are a lot of things you can do with Aliases, and Aliases are explained
in further detail later on in the help.
My Computer Item: Allows you to open a Windows Explorer
window to My Computer or Manage My Computer.
Desktop Item: Allows you to show the Desktop or the Desktop Directory
ScreenSaver Item: Start or change your screensaver.
Parent Items and Sub indexes:
Pressing Right Arrow in the Item Pane will cause
the currently selected item to become a Parent Item and a sub index will appear
in the suggestions box based on the Parent Item and the action. Some items,
such as text, files, and Aliases will not have a sub index, and therefore cannot
become parent items, but others
such as folders have sub indexes, and more items
will sport sub indexes in the future, especially as more plugins are developed.
An Item which has a sub index will be denoted by a small right arrow image between the icon
and the name of the item. Pressing Left Arrow will allow
you to move to the previous sub index and depending on how many levels deep you
got, back to the original index. Try using this to peruse your file system.
You will notice that every folder has an * right by its name, select a folder, then
press Right Arrow. You will see its subfolders and files populated
in the suggestions box.
Sub indexes are a way of "nesting" items inside of other items, thereby thinning
out the standard index from getting too cluttered and by allowing people to narrow
their searches in steps.
The Action pane provides you with a list of possible actions to perform on the item. Common actions are open , launch, show,
maximize, minimize close etc. A description
of the action is shown above the list of actions and
a description of the parameters
the action can take are shown in the Parameters pane. The list of actions automatically
update with every change in item selection in the item pane. Pressing the first letter of the desired action will allow you to jump to
that action. Pressing enter will execute
If an action is able to take parameters, a description of what parameters you should
pass in is shown above the parameters entry box. Some actions, such as OpenWith, will provide a list of possible parameters
to choose from, while some just accept text input. Pressing enter will execute the
selected action on the selected item with any parameters you have input.
Moving Between the Panes
In the Item Pane, pressing up or down at any time while typing in an item search
will allow you to move the selected item in the items list up and down, TAB will
move you to the next pane while pressing SHIFT+TAB will move you to the previous
pane. In the Action and Parameters
Panes, pressing TAB, Shift+TAB or the right and left arrows will allow you to move
between the panes. In the action Pane, pressing the first letter of the desired
action will jump to that action. If
two actions have the same first letter, pressing that letter again will jump you
to the next action.
Moving the Form
If you are unhappy with the present position of DOMercury, clicking on the very
topmost part of the form ( but not on a pane label) or between panes(not in a description
area) and dragging
will allow you to move DOMercury to a part of the screen that you would prefer to
have it sit.
Aliases are customizable shortcuts that allow you to access items that DOMercury
may not be able to do natively. You
can create an alias to any file, folder, program, batch file, website, whatever. This allows you to call special files,
such as todo lists and timesheets through DOMercury. You can also add aliases to programs that are not in the start menu, or even
to ones that are, just to give you more keyword options to them.
Creating an Alias
There are presently three ways to create an alias: through the Alias Manager tab in the options form, by typing in a
text item and selecting the “Add Alias” action, or by selecting a path item and
choosing the “Create Alias” action.
Any of these actions will bring you to the Alias Form
The Alias Form
The Alias Form has four entry boxes:
Alias - the actual name of the alias
the path to the program, file
or folder the alias will open
your personal description of what the alias does
Parameters - the parameters passed into the path upon opening
Filling these out and pressing ok will add the alias and update it to the DOMercury
Aliases also have some wildcards that further enhance their functionality:
^D^ in the Path box will replace ^D^ with the drive on which DOMercury is running. This is useful when running DOMercury
on a thumb drive and need to create an alias to a program or file on the drive. Example:
^D^Programs\Notepad++.exe instead of G:\Programs\Notepad++.exe.
^I^: the Input wildcard
gets replaced by any text in the Parameters input on the DOMercury screen. So, using DomGrep,
a recursive grep of an input would look like –r ^I^, where ^I^ would then be replaced
by whatever the user had typed into the parameters box.
^U^: The Url Encoded Input wildcard is used when the text put into the parameters
box needs to be properly encoded to be read by a web browser.
So a search of the IMDB website would look like:
When using DOMercury, typing in an actor or movie name would replace ^U^ with that
If you are using the Alias to do searching on the internet, use this ^U^ wildcard.
Options and Customization
Typing Options into the Item pane or right clicking on the tray
icon or DOMercury form and choosing Options will bring you to the Options Form.
The options form allows you to further customize your experience with DOMercury. The main tab on the options form allows
you to change your hotkey.
Here you can turn the option to show suggestion icons on an off. Icons give
you a visual clue as to what the suggestion is, whether a file, image, music, etc,
however some systems may experience performance issues with them. Turning
them off may make DOMercury run a bit quicker depending on your system. Some
systems show no performance difference, so then it is a matter of personal preference
whether you like the icons or not.
If you have show icons on, (as most of you will), you will then have the
option of showing descriptions of each item in the suggestions box. This gives
you bigger icons and descriptions about what each item does, but you see less items
at once. You also get to choose whether or not DOMercury alerts you about
failed File I/O operations it attempts to do. So if you tell it to delete
something, and it cannot because it is in use, it will let you know about it.
Those who find this annoying and would rather not know if the file is still there
until they stumble accross it later can turn this option off.
Smart Search Vs Quick Search: Smart Search will search for results
that contain any of the characters you typed in the order your typed them (ex: ffpt
would match Firefox Portable).
It does a bit more processing than quick search, so it may be a bit slower.
Quick Search is a simple text match, if an item' name contains the
text you typed, it will show up as a result. (ex. fire would match Firefox,
but ff would not, as "two f's do not exist right next to each other in "Firefox").
Quick Search will return results quicker, and is good if you usually know exactly
what you are looking for.
You can limit the number of maximum results returned (from 1 to 100) so having less
results returned can also speed up the search. NOTE: Any
Alias, System Window or File path matches are returned in addition to the maximum results.
Search Delay: The number of milliseconds from the time you stop
typing to the time your results come in. If hitting the index every keystroke
is slowing your computer way down while you are searching for something, set the
delay up. If you don't want a delay and want instant results every key you
type, set the result to a minimum.
The Priority Editor Form
This form allows you to manually
edit the priorities of the items in your index. Just like on the DOMercury
main form, type in a search text at the top of the page and then press search.
Results from your index and their corresponding Priorities will be displayed.
Remember that a higher number means a higher priority. The priorities of the
items will be automatically updated when you change them.
The Alias Manager Tab
The Alias Manager tab in the setup form shows you a list of all current aliases
loaded into DOMercury. Clicking edit
or double clicking on an alias will load that alias into the alias form.
The Interfaces Tab
At the moment there is only one interface, the skinnable form, so this tab does
not do much... yet.
Choosing a skin
If you have the Skinnable Form selected (which you probably do, it is the only
choice available at the moment) then you can click on the Display Options button
in the General tab. Here you will be able to choose which skin you want to
use, as well as a few other display options specific to the Skinnable Form.
To install skins just drop them somewhere inside the Skins folder.
The Plugins Tab
This tab shows you all of the plugins that DOMercury currently recognizes from its
Plugins folder. Double clicking on
a plugin will give you detailed information about that particular plugin.
If you have added more plugin files into the folder since starting DOMercury,
pressing the Reload Plugins button will
cause DOMercury to seek those plugins and add them.
To remove a plugin DOMercury is currently using.
You must close DOMercury, remove the plugin from the folder, and restart
Some plugins come with customizable options. Double click a plugin to view its Details Form. If the plugin supports
customizable options, the "Show Options" button will be enabled. Clicking
that will bring you to the options screen. To the right is an example of an Options
screen for a plugin. This happens to be the options screen for the FolderIndexorPlugin.
It allows you to add extra folders for the index to search. You can also filter
what types of files get entered into the index. For example, the second item
shows a searchpattern of *.sln. This means that only files with a file extension
of .sln will be indexed from this folder (and subfolders, since the index subfolders
option is also checked). If you choose to include the folder itself in the
index, the folder will appear as an item in the main DOMercury index. You will notice
in the last item I put a searchpattern of *.none. That was simply done because I
only wanted the folder to appear in the index and not any of the files inside of
Opening a StartMenu Program
- Press your
hotkey to open DOMercury
- Start typing
in some characters of the desired program
- When the
program name appears in the suggestions box, press the down arrow to select it and
- Press your
hotkey to open DOMercury
- Start typing
the first few characters of the title of the desired window.
- Press the
down arrow to select the System Window Item you want and press the right arrow or
tab to display all possible actions.
Show or Maximize to bring the window to the front.
- With the
files selected in Windows Explorer or the Destop, invoke DOMercury with the hotkey. The selected files or folders will be
visible in the Item pane.
- Tab to
the Action Pane. Choose Move
- Tab to
the Parameters Pane. Type the desired
folder to move the files to and press enter.
all Excel Files in My Documents
Invoke DOMercury and type
.xls into the Item Pane. All Excel documents in your “My Documents”
folder will be displayed in the suggestion box.
Invoke DOMercury and start typing Google. The word Google
will show up as the first suggestion in the suggestions box
Tab to the
google search parameters and press Enter
Expanding the Functionality
The DOMercury Plugin framework allows DOMercury to expand its functionality to
limitless bounds.If you think DOMercury
does some pretty cool stuff, but not quite enough… write a plugin for it! Plugins
are added to DOMercury simply by dropping the plugin
into the Plugins folder where
DOMercury is installed (or sitting in the case of thumbdrives) and restarting DOMercury.
For more detailed instructions on writing your own plugin, see the Write A Plugin