Release Notes for LaunchBar 4

Release 4.3.8

  • Fixed an issue with Opera bookmarks indexing.
  • Fixed an issue causing LaunchBar to wrongly complain about a conflicting Spotlight keyboard shortcut immediately after upgrading from Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.5.
  • Improved Development Resources scanner: Indexing header files from MacOSX10.5.sdk, indexing CoreFoundation Reference and Guides.
  • Hiding /mach_kernel.ctfsys during browsing.
  • Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.2.
  • Fixed some minor memory leaks.

Release 4.3.7

  • Fixed an issue with Firefox bookmark indexing.

Release 4.3.6

  • Finder Browsing: Select Finder and press Right Arrow to get a list of all folders that are currently opened in Finder.
  • Improved Services support. If a service provides a return value, this value is now selected in LaunchBar.
  • Improved HTML bookmark scanner: Added support for URLs relative to bookmark file.
  • Improved “Quit Application”, “Toggle Mute”, “iTunes - Rewind” and “iTunes - Fast Forward” scripts.
  • When opening the Calculator by selecting and opening the Calculator script, the previous calculation now gets selected so that it can be overridden by typing a new calculation.
  • “Play from Music Library” no longer brings iTunes to front when playing a song, but starts playback in background.
  • Added “Start Screen Saver” to built-in scripts.
  • Improved some icons for Leopard.
  • Append Text now preserves the file's creation date.
  • Added FAQ item to Help menu.
  • Fixed a problem when searching the LaunchBar Help in Help Viewer.
  • Fixed an issue causing Firefox history indexing to fail.
  • Fixed a minor display glitch in the indexing progress window.
  • Fixed an issue when showing the list of mounted volumes on Leopard.

Release 4.3.5

  • New Preference option “Switch to Calculator when pasting a numeric expression”.
  • Improved detection of pasted numeric expressions.
  • Added built-in scripts: Increase Volume, Decrease Volume, Toggle Mute.
  • Improved instant messaging support (Yahoo Messenger, Jabber / XMPP).
  • Improved reading an application's recent documents.
  • Revised search templates in factory configuration.
  • Added “Yahoo Video” and “Manual Page” search templates to factory configuration.
  • Fixed an issue causing keyboard control of the configuration window's “New” toolbar item to fail.
  • Fixed an issue causing toolbar items to have no icon in the Customize Toolbar sheet.
  • Fixed some typos in the documentation.

Release 4.3.4

New Features and Improvements

  • When sub-searching a folder's contents via Space bar, the search is now performed recursively across all subfolder levels (provided that they are indexed by LaunchBar). In contrast, sub-searching via Right Arrow key only searches the very first folder level (same as in previous versions).
  • The Files and Folders indexing rule now allows to specify folders to be skipped depending on their contents. For example, to skip all folders that contain an Xcode Project File, add //*.xcodeproj to the rule's "Skip Subfolders" list.
  • Added "Quit Application" to built-in AppleScripts. Allows to quit a selected application via "Send To".
  • Improved application scanner to provide access to the following CoreServices applications: Archive Utility, Installer, Network Diagnostics, Screen Sharing.
  • Improved Instant Calculate to accept multiplication sign (×) and division sign (÷).
  • Improved "iTunes - Play/Pause" script to better work during playback from a separate iTunes playlist window.
  • Improved fast user switching support: The User Accounts indexing rule now provides access to Leopard's guest account.
  • Revised HTML syntax of help files.
  • LaunchBar's file icon caches are now updated more reliably.

Bug Fixes

  • Running Automator Workflows didn't work on Leopard. Fixed.
  • Fixed a bug in the "New Mail Message" AppleScript.
  • Address Book changes are now observed more precisely. Prevents unnecessary index updates while editing in Address Book.
  • Fixed a performance issue related to arrow key browsing (most noticeable when browsing an application's recent documents).
  • Fixed a crashing issue when running Calculator with Autohiding turned off.
  • Slightly enhanced overall performance due to improved handling of running processes.
  • UTF-8 files are now handled correctly with "Append Text" and when browsing or searching a text file's contents.
  • Wrong Calculator results when using comma as decimal separator. Fixed.
  • Fixed an issue when browsing the contents of the system's root folder (some hidden Unix folders wrongly showed up).

Release 4.3.3


LaunchBar 4.3.3 improves compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and introduces a new Instant Calculate feature for super-fast calculations based on numbers contained in arbitrary documents. It further includes a bunch of improvements as well as a number of minor bug fixes.

New Features and Improvements

  • Instant Calculate: If the text sent via Instant Send appears to be a valid calculator expression, the results are displayed automatically.
  • The built-in calculator can now be utilized from external applications via URL commands (e.g.: x-launchbar:calculate?expression=(1+sqrt(5))/2&title=Golden%20Ratio).
  • Improved "Files an Folders" indexing rule. The "Skip subfolders" option now allows to skip particular folders as well as folders with a matching name. It's now also possible to drag the desired folders to the list.
  • Improved x-launchbar:execute URL command. The new "argument" parameter gets any necessary quoting and escaping applied automatically.
  • Added "Send to" support for mailing labels.
  • Added support for running "scptd" AppleScript bundles.
  • Improved Calculator input on notebook keyboards: The key left from the "1" key can be used to enter a decimal separator.
  • Improved auto-detection of thousand separators: In ambiguous cases (e.g. "12.000 + 3,123") LaunchBar now considers the number format as specified in System Preferences > International.
  • The Autohiding of LaunchBar can now be turned off temporarily, e.g. to make the selected item a better accessible target for subsequent drag and drop operations. Click the gear wheel icon and choose "Turn Hiding Off" from the menu.
  • Improved "Show in Finder" action to work around a bug in Finder.
  • Improved compatibility with Safari 3.
  • Improved file icon caching.
  • Improved sending URLs to applications via "Send to".
  • Different types of OmniOutliner documents are now grouped in a single category.
  • The "Send to LaunchBar" services menu shortcut has been changed to Command-Shift-F1 to prevent conflicts with some third party applications.
  • The "Hide Classic Applications with Command-H" and "Hide Others with Command-Option-H" options have been removed.

Improved Leopard Compatibility

  • The appearance of the LaunchBar window has been slightly adjusted to better match the new look of Leopard.
  • Developer Documentation index scanner updated for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
  • Dock index scanner updated for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
  • Improved compatibility with Time Machine.
  • Fixed "Recent Projects" browsing for Xcode 3.
  • Fixed a crashing issue with the Sherlock indexing rule on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
  • Fixed an incompatibility of the "New Mail Message" script with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
  • LaunchBar now properly considers the system's generic folder icon.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with Calculator's auto-detection of thousand separators.
  • Fixed an issue causing Calculator to fail with some Asian keyboard layouts.
  • Typing fn-period no longer hides LaunchBar.
  • Accidental attempts to move the home folder to the trash are now prevented.
  • When placing the bar at the bottom of the screen, there's no longer a one pixel gap below the bar.
  • Fixed an issue causing Instant Send to stop working when opening System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse.
  • Fixed an issue causing LaunchBar sometimes to become active after quitting other applications.
  • Fixed an issue sometimes causing the fade in/out animation to jerk.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused "Look Up in Dictionary" to fail if wasn't yet running.
  • Fixed an issue when playing a disabled iTunes track in "Play from Album" mode.
  • Fixed an issue with the iPhoto Library index scanner.

Release 4.3.2

  • Smart Calculator Input: Square brackets can be entered as an alternative to parentheses. The Equals sign can be typed to enter '+'. A lowercase 'x' can be used for multiplications. In some cases the multiplication operator can be omitted at all, for example in "17(3+5)" or "2pi".
  • Smart Brackets: Calculator automatically inserts closing brackets if appropriate. Entering a bracket puts selected text in brackets instead of replacing it. Smart Brackets can be turned off in LaunchBar preferences.
  • Improved application switcher: Press Command-H to hide the selected application, press Command-Option-F to force quit the selected application.
  • Improved mounted volumes ordering: removable media (CDs, DVDs, mounted disk images) are now listed above other ejectable volumes.
  • New preference option: "Convert filename extension to lowercase when renaming a file".
  • New preference option: "Append English filename if different from localized name". Users with a non-English language preference can use this option to search for applications by their English name (e.g. "Preview" instead of "Vorschau").
  • Opening x-launchbar search templates (Large Type, Go to, etc.) with Return now always triggers "Enter Text", regardless of the preference setting for opening search templates.
  • Revised documentation for application switcher and Calculator.
  • Fixed an issue causing abbreviations that didn't yield a search result to be turned into text items.
  • Fixed an issue causing the first name / last name preference of Address Book not being considered in contact details.
  • Fixed an issue related to browsing recent documents of BBEdit.
  • Fixed an issue in Calculator with results close to zero.
  • Fixed an issue with Calculator, which wrongly removed surrounding parentheses from expressions.
  • Improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.3.1

  • A new preference setting allows to specify the default action when opening search templates with Return (either "Enter Text" or "Open Search Page").
  • The search result menu now properly appears above the bar when LaunchBar is placed at the bottom of the screen.
  • The bar can now be resized from the right edge as well.
  • User accounts can now also be searched by their short name.
  • Switching to LaunchBar using the Command-Tab app switcher now brings the bar to front.
  • Fixed some issues with Smart Paste (when pasting strings onto LaunchBar with Command-V). The type of the pasted string data is now recognized more reliably.
  • File content browsing now also works with .shtml files.
  • Fixed an issue with Open Location when triggered by pressing period.
  • Fixed a rounding issue with the Calculator.
  • Fixed a crashing issue related to address book indexing.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.3

Instant Open / Opening Items

  • Instant Open - a great new way for opening items even more quickly! Hold down the last typed abbreviation character to open the selected item immediately (e.g. type AB and keep the B key pressed to quickly open Address Book).
  • The "Instant-Open Folders" preference allows to choose whether folders opened via Instant Open shall be opened in Finder or browsed in LaunchBar.
  • New preference option: "Open URLs in current Safari window or tab". Avoids new tabs or windows to be opened when opening web pages. To suppress this option temporarily, type Shift-Return and the URL will be opened in a new window or tab.
  • New preference option: "Reuse Current Finder Window". Avoids new Finder windows to be opened when opening a folder or when revealing a file via "Show in Finder". To suppress this option temporarily, hold down the Shift key (type Shift-Return to open a folder, or Command-Shift-Return to reveal a file).
  • When opening a disk image (dmg file) via LaunchBar, the contents of the newly mounted volume are displayed automatically.
  • The shortcut for temporarily suppressing the "Hide other applications when opening an item" option has been changed to Shift-Return.

Instant Send / Send to…

  • Instant Send - an extremely efficient way to send files or text selections to LaunchBar, and optionally send them further to other items such as applications, email contacts or search templates. Select some file or text in another application and hold down Command-Space to send that selection to LaunchBar. If you now enter an abbreviation, LaunchBar automatically triggers the "Send to…" action.
  • It's now possible to drag any files, folders or text selections onto LaunchBar's Dock icon in order to select them in LaunchBar. Triggers Instant Send, so you can quickly send the dragged item(s) e.g. via email, or open them with a particular application.
  • Files and folders can be sent to LaunchBar via Terminal using the "open" command. E.g. type "open -a LaunchBar ." in Terminal to select the current working directory in LaunchBar.
  • Sending a folder to Terminal via "Send to…" can now be used to open a new Terminal window in the selected directory (same as Command-T, "Open Terminal Here").
  • Improved display of source and destination items during "Send to…".
  • The "Send to LaunchBar" service now also accepts text sections.
  • The menu shortcut of the "Send to LaunchBar" service has been changed to Command-Option-Control-L.
  • The "Open with…" action (invoked by pressing the Tab key) has been renamed to "Send to…".

Selecting Items, Searching for items

  • Text Items: This new item type represents a piece of plain text. Can be created via Instant Send, by dragging text selections onto LaunchBar, via Copy/Paste, "Select From Clipboard" (Command-Option-V), by using the Enter Text search template, etc. The text can then be sent to search templates, email contacts or to applications like Mail or TextEdit (press Tab to trigger "Send to…")
  • LaunchBar is now much smarter when interpreting strings that are entered via Paste (Command-V), "Select From Clipboard" (Command-Shift-V) or "Send to LaunchBar". It automatically detects file paths, URLs, email addresses, numeric expressions, etc.
  • When you paste text onto LaunchBar that contains a URL, LaunchBar automatically extracts that URL and triggers "Open Location". To paste the unaltered string, use "Select From Clipboard" (Command-Shift-V) instead of Paste.
  • The new "Assign Abbreviation" command (Command-Option-A) allows to assign arbitrary abbreviations. Especially useful for assigning very short, one or two-letter abbreviations. It's even possible to assign custom, non-standard abbreviations with characters that are not contained in the item's name.
  • The search result menu can now be configured to appear after a short delay (LaunchBar preferences > Appearance > Search Result Menu > Show when searching > Delayed). Especially useful in conjunction with Instant Open.
  • Option-N can now be used to enter a tilde abbreviation character on a German keyboard.
  • The apostrophe can now be used as an abbreviation character.


  • Text file content browsing: Select a plain text file, an RTF file or an HTML file and press Right Arrow to browse the contents of that file. Each line or paragraph will be displayed as a separate text item.
  • URL browsing: Select a bookmark and press Right Arrow to display other bookmarks from the same domain.
  • Typing Left Arrow while the search result menu is closed now first re-opens the menu instead of browsing to the selected item's parent.


  • LaunchBar's built-in Calculator now has a dedicated menu shortcut (Command-=)
  • Typing a leading digit now automatically switches to Calculator. Can be turned off in LaunchBar preferences > General > Switch to Calculator when typing a digit (0-9).
  • For convenient access, the underlying "Calculator" AppleScript can be selected by typing '=' (a pre-assigned custom abbreviation). This is especially useful in conjunction with Instant Open and Instant Send.
  • To calculate the sum of a series of numbers, you can omit the plus signs. It's sufficient to separate the numbers with a space character.
  • The constant "pi" can now be used in calculations.
  • The '^' character can be used for "raise to power" operations (e.g. type either 3^2 or 3**2 to calculate the square of three).
  • Calculator now automatically detects the used notation for decimal- and thousand-separators (period vs. comma).
  • When the Calculator results are displayed in large type, pressing Tab, Return, +, -, * or / can be used to enter subsequent calculations with the current result.

User Interface

  • The LaunchBar window now has a new look.
  • The new "Appearance > Animation" preference allows to choose between slide in/out and fade in/out animation of the bar.
  • The search result menu by default no longer shows detail information next to each item's title in order to reduce visual clutter. The details display can be re-enabled in LaunchBar preferences > Appearance > Show Details.
  • The selected item now has a tool tip with detail information (e.g. the full file path or URL).
  • The navigation buttons are now turned off by default. They can be turned on in the Appearance pane of LaunchBar preferences.
  • A single click on the selected item now opens the contextual action menu for that item.
  • The Command-Space,Space app switcher now shows an orange Return sign icon to indicate that the selected application will be activated once the Command key is released. Note that tapping the Option key can be used to suppress this auto-activation.
  • Web browser history items now have a green icon to make them better distinguishable from bookmarks.

Improved iTunes Support

  • The new "Show in iTunes" action (Command-Control-Return) reveals a song in iTunes without playing it (requires iTunes 7.2 or later).
  • When browsing the contents of an album, the rating and total time of each track is displayed next to its name.
  • iTunes is now launched in background when starting playback via LaunchBar, so the iTunes window no longer comes to front.
  • The file path of an iTunes track can now be accessed via drag & drop or copy & paste.
  • Improved iTunes Library index scanner.
  • The location of the iTunes Library file is now determined more reliably.
  • iTunes playback using the "Play from Music Library" option no longer stops at the end of the song.

Address Book, Contact Items

  • A new "Mailing Label Personal Prefix" preference allows to customize work address mailing labels. Default is "attn:".
  • A new preference for opening address book contacts allows to choose whether to open the card in Address Book, or to open the contact's first detail (e.g. its email address).
  • Edit in Address Book (Command-Shift-Return) opens a contact in Address Book and switches to edit mode.
  • Show in Google Maps (Command-Control-Return). Works with "Postal Address" items and with "Contact" items, the latter shows the contact's "primary postal address", the home address in case of a personal contact, the work address in case of a company contact.
  • When an email address is selected, pressing the space bar allows to prepare a short email message to this address.
  • When passing a fax number to an AppleScript the fax: URL scheme is now used instead of the tel: scheme.
  • A person's nickname is no longer displayed, but it's still possible to search for people by their nickname.
  • Improved display of contact items and contact details.
  • The Address Book scanner now considers the "Display Order" preference of Apple's Address Book ("First name Last name" or "Last name First name").
  • Company contacts are now displayed with a different icon to make them better distinguishable from personal contacts.
  • Email address browsing: Select an email address and press Right Arrow to display other email addresses from the same domain.
  • Postal address browsing: Select a postal address and press Right Arrow to break it into separate lines, making each line accessible for copy/paste.
  • Improved display of email addresses with no associated real name.

Search Templates

  • The set of built-in factory search templates has been updated an extended. The following templates have been added: "Enter Text", "Google Video", "Google Face Search", "Google Video", "Google Maps", "", "", "Connect to Local AFP Server". Some of the existing Google templates have been updated to use the UTF-8 string encoding. Unfortunately this may break existing abbreviation bindings for these templates. However, they can now be easily fixed using the new "Assign Abbreviation" command.
  • The Return key can now be used to trigger text input on a search template (same as hitting the space bar).
  • When performing a web search via search templates, pressing the Tab key now allows to choose an alternate web browser.
  • Preliminary support for performing web searches via POST instead of GET. Prefix the URL scheme of the search template with "post-", e.g. post-*

Built-in AppleScripts

  • "Append Text" is now a dedicated command for appending text to plain text or RTF files. The former built-in AppleScript is no longer necessary and has been removed. Once a text file is selected, the Append Text command can be invoked using the Command-Shift-A menu shortcut or by typing Shift-Space. Multiple lines can be entered by separating them with a '\' backslash character.
  • New built-in AppleScripts: "Show Date", "Show Date and Time", "Speak Text", "Save Text", "New TextEdit Document". The latter three accept text input (by typing Space), and they are especially useful in conjunction with Instant Send.
  • For convenient access, the "Save Text" AppleScript can be selected by typing semicolon (a pre-assigned custom abbreviation). Especially useful in conjunction with Instant Send.

URL commands

  • The "Large Type" URL command now allows to optionally specify a font name, e.g.: x-launchbar:large-type?font-name=Optima-Bold&string=Hello+World
  • The "Select" URL command now supports a "string" argument, e.g.: x-launchbar:select?string=some+text
  • Search templates using the x-launchbar:select command can now be confirmed with Tab to send the resulting item via "Send to…".
  • The new "execute" URL command allows to create search templates that refer to local Unix Executables or Shell Scripts. In contrast to running these commands directly, the search template executes them in background so that no Terminal window opens to show their stdout. For security reasons these URLs cannot be opened from other applications. Example: x-launchbar:execute?path=/usr/bin/open&arguments=-a+%22*%22

Other New Features and Improvements

  • Better overall performance due to improved icon caching.
  • Much improved performance when browsing lists of applications (e.g. the contents of the Applications folder).
  • Quick text input for TextEdit, Mail and Entourage: Select the application in LaunchBar, type Shift-Space to enter text for a new message or document.
  • Open Location: Typing a slash character skips the preselected TLD. e.g. type ".apple/ipod" to get "".
  • Confirming "Open Location" with Command-Return selects the entered URL in LaunchBar instead of opening it.
  • Plain text file content search is now also possible with Python and Ruby script files (.py and .rb files).
  • An application's list of recent documents now excludes items that are located in the trash.
  • The list of mounted volumes now shows ejectable volumes on top to make them faster accessible.
  • The Applications indexing rule now has the "Use Mac OS X LaunchServices database" option turned on by default. Using this option results in much faster application indexing.
  • The "Items Grouped By Kind" indexing rule has been renamed to "Categories".
  • Improved HTML bookmark scanner.
  • The position of the indexing progress window is now preserved.
  • The height of the Preferences window now resizes automatically according to selected pane.
  • The "Drag / Copy" pane of LaunchBar preferences has been renamed to "Advanced".
  • The "Launching" pane of LaunchBar preferences has been renamed to "Actions".
  • The "Show and Hide LaunchBar automatically" preference option has been removed. LaunchBar now always hides when it becomes inactive.
  • In the documentation we now use the term "Action menu" in favor of "contextual menu".
  • In the documentation we now use the term "Search Result Menu" in favor of "Search Result Pop-Up" or "Search Result List".
  • Improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Bug Fixes

  • When moving a file via LaunchBar, the item's file path is now updated to reflect the item's new location.
  • Open Location: Leaving the text field empty no longer attempts to open
  • File content search now resolves alias files.
  • Fixed an issue when re-opening the search result menu.
  • Fixed an issue when playing an album containing disabled tracks.
  • Fixed an occasional crash when indexing HTML bookmark files.
  • Fixed an issue with the "Speak selected item" preference option.
  • Fixed an issue with mailing labels of company contacts.
  • Fixed an issue when hiding LaunchBar while a sub-searched list of items is visible.
  • Fixes an incompatibility with the Safari 3 Beta / WebKit which caused HTML bookmark indexing to fail.
  • Fixed some issues with the "Open Location" command.
  • Fixed an issue when determining the computer's hostname.
  • Fixed an issue with search templates when entering text that can't be encoded with the template's URL String Encoding.
  • Fixed an issue when launching StuffIt Expander.
  • Fixed a hanging issue with the Firefox/Camino history scanner.
  • Fixed an issue when dragging files from Finder to LaunchBar.
  • Fixed an issue with the Development Resources indexing rule.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.2 beta 2

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a potential security vulnerability introduced in LaunchBar 4.2 beta 1. We highly recommend all beta 1 users to upgrade to beta 2!
  • Indexing rules cannot be deleted in the configuration window. Fixed.
  • Opening the LaunchBar Help no longer starts the Classic version of Help Viewer.
  • Fixed an issue causing LaunchBar to crash when indexing the Firefox/Camino History.

New Features and Improvements

What's new in LaunchBar 4.2 beta 1

New Features

  • New indexing rules for scanning the history of Camino, Firefox and Mozilla. These rules can be added to the configuration via New Rule > Web Browser History.
  • Fast User Switching: A new "User Accounts" indexing rules makes all user accounts and the Login Window accessible for fast user switching.
  • iTerm support. The preferred Terminal application can be specified in the Launching pane of LaunchBar Preferences.
  • Cyberduck support: The new Cyberduck Bookmarks indexing rule allows you to quickly open your bookmarked FTP connections.
  • Added support for the Shiira web-browser (bookmarks and history).
  • Multiple selection items: Placing multiple items onto the bar (e.g. via drag and drop or Command-G) now results in a single item that represents the entire multiple selection. Subsequent operations such as "Open with" or "Move to" are then applied to all items at once.
  • More built-in scripts: The following scripts have been added to the Scripts indexing rule:
    • Empty Trash
    • Quit All Applications
    • Eject All Ejectable Volumes
    • Sync Devices (performs synchronization via iSync)
    • A set of scripts to modify a file's color label. Example: Select a file, press Tab, select the "Set Red Color Label" script and press Return. To reset the label, use the "Reset Color Label" script.
  • Services menu support: It's now possible to invoke arbitrary commands from the Mac OS X Services menu via search templates. The The default configuration contains an example template that invokes the "Look Up in Dictionary" service of (you can add the latest defaults by clicking New > Search Templates > Factory Search Templates).
  • New "Eject Parent Volume" action: Invoking Eject (Command-E) with a file or folder selected will cause the item's parent volume to be ejected.
  • The new "Select From Clipboard" action (Command-Shift-V) takes URLs and file paths from the clipboard and selects them in LaunchBar. Also works with abbreviated paths (e.g. "~/Documents") and with URLs that have no scheme prefix (e.g. "").
  • Help Book Browsing: Select the Help Viewer application and press the right arrow key to get a list of available help books (the same list as in Help Viewer's Library menu).
  • A new "Play songs" preference setting allows to determine wether a song shall be played from the iTunes Music Library, in the context of its album, or just "solo", without continuing playback when the song is over.
  • New "Preferred File Browser" preference setting. When set to "Automatic" and when Path Finder is running, it will be used automatically in favor of Finder to perform operations like opening a folder or revealing a file.


  • Color Labels are now also shown in the bar itself, not only in the search result list.
  • Improved Path Finder support.
  • The "Append Text" script has been improved, allowing to enter multiple lines by separating them with a '\' backslash character.
  • Improved "Paste" command. Pasted file paths are now better detected.
  • The "Open Location" command has been improved to accept incomplete URLs.
  • Improved album playback with iTunes. When opening an album via LaunchBar, the playback now starts much faster (noticeable especially in case of a large music library with thousands of songs).
  • The list of search templates in the configuration window can now be modified with cut/copy/paste. Especially useful for duplicating an existing search template (copy/paste) or for moving a templates to a different indexing rule (cut/paste).
  • Improved dragging/copying between LaunchBar and Safari. When you drag or copy/paste URLs between LaunchBar and Safari, the titles are now copied as well. Especially useful when copying multiple search templates from LaunchBar's configuration window to Safari and vice versa.
  • Improved automatic index updates. Newly installed applications are now detected more reliably.
  • Improved renaming of files.
  • Improved naming of smart groups (e.g. the "TIFF Documents" group is now named "TIFF Images")
  • Improved icon scaling.
  • Improved Dvorak keyboard layout support. The "Assume Dvorak keyboard layout" preference option has been removed, the keyboard layout is now detected automatically
  • Some minor improvements when performing "Open with…"
  • Updated several iTunes icons to match their counterparts in iTunes 7.
  • The LaunchBar Help is now opened in Help Viewer. The help files are not yet indexed, though, so it's not yet possible to search within the LaunchBar Help.
  • A YouTube search template has been added to the factory configuration.
  • The ~/Library/Favorites folder has been added to the factory configuration.
  • The "Send to LaunchBar…" service has been renamed to "Send to LaunchBar" (the trailing ellipsis has been removed). If you've assigned a custom keyboard shortcut for this command in System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts, you need to update this setting accordingly.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue when accessing an application's recent documents.
  • Development Resources Indexing Rule: Fixed an incompatibility introduced by the Oct 2006 ADC Reference Library.
  • Fixed an issue with the Dock indexing rule related to invalid Dock items.
  • Fixed an issue causing "Open with" not to work with items from the list of running applications.
  • The "Copy and Paste" action (Command-Shift-C) didn't work with the Dvorak keyboard layout. Fixed.
  • The "Search iTunes Store" functionality was broken (select iTunes, press Space). Fixed.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.1.1

  • Much improved "Development Resources" indexing rule. The documentation scanner now supports the new folder structure and file name scheme introduced by the May 2006 ADC Reference Library. It provides new options for scanning the "Cocoa Reference" and "Cocoa Guides". ADC Reference Library items are now displayed with distinct file icons to make them better distinguishable from regular HTML files. Some of the previous scanner options are now deprecated, they are only used when scanning a Reference Library prior to May 2006.
  • The "Development Resources" index scanner now searches for header files in the most recent /Developer/SDKs folder.
  • Revised application menu layout. The Commands menu has been split into File and Select menu, the View menu has been added.
  • Revised contextual menu. File actions are now accessible from the menu's top level.
  • If an album contains tracks from multiple discs, the tracks are now properly sorted and the disc number is displayed along with the track number.
  • A couple of new search templates have been added to the factory configuration (Make TinyURL, Technorati, Cocoa and Xcode Mailing List Archive, Wikipedia Deutschland).
  • Improved error handling in Calculate script (providing clear text error messages if possible).
  • Fixed an issue with the Calculate AppleScript causing wrong results when using parentheses.
  • Improved Append Text AppleScript.
  • Opening the results of a file content search now also works with BBEdit, SubEthaEdit and Smultron.
  • Fixed a hanging issue when using the "Files and Folders" index scanner with certain exclude/skip patterns.
  • Fixed a minor memory leak related to indexing.
  • Fixed an issue causing the label of the "Show Disabled Rules" toolbar item to get truncated.
  • Fixed a formatting issue in the Getting Started page of the LaunchBar Help.
  • Fixed an issue causing LaunchBar to hang when accessing certain AppleScripts.

LaunchBar 4.1 Overview

LaunchBar 4.1 is now available as a Universal binary version which runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel based Macs. It delivers significantly improved performance (searches are now performed up to twice as fast, much faster startup, etc.), provides a whole bunch of new options for opening items (which are now listed in detail in LaunchBar's contextual menu), introduces a new Scripts indexing rule along with a comprehensive set of built-in utility scripts, supports color labels, vastly improves iTunes support (introduces Best Of Lists, Primary Artists, Party Shuffle support, and more), improves Address Book support (simplifies the opening of contacts, supports contact notes), features new Search in Spotlight and Look Up in Dictionary functionality as well as lots of other improvements and bug fixes.
Note: The following "What's new in LaunchBar 4.1" section only covers changes of the final version. Please see also the release notes of the LaunchBar 4.1 beta versions 1-3.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.1 (final version)

New Features

  • A new "Scripts" indexing rule scans for AppleScripts and Unix Executables. This rule is automatically added to your LaunchBar configuration. If your configuration already contains a rule that scans a folder for scripts, you may wish to delete that rule and use the new Scripts rule instead.
  • Built-in Scripts: LaunchBar now comes with a comprehensive set of built-in AppleScripts, such as Sleep, Shut Down, Append Text, Calculate (performs numeric calculations), Volume control scripts (Mute, Mute Off, Maximum Volume, etc.), iTunes playback control scripts (Play, Pause, Next Song, Previous Song, etc.), Entourage control scripts (Address Book View, Calendar View, etc.), and more. See the Index pane of the Scripts indexing rule for a complete list of all available scripts.
  • New options for opening bookmarks in Safari: Depending on your Safari preferences for "Tabbed Browsing" and "Open links from applications", LaunchBar will offer "Open in Current Safari Tab", "Open in Current Safari Window" or "Open in New Safari Window" either in the contextual menu or via Shift-Return.
  • Address Book contacts are now automatically collected in two new smart groups: The "Company Contacts" smart group contains all contacts that represent a company (those having the "Company" checkbox selected in Address Book), the "Personal Contacts" groups contains all contacts that represent an individual person.
  • New Address Book scanner options: "Include middle name" and "Direct Access > Company Contacts".


  • Significantly revised documentation.
  • Configuration window: The selected indexing rule(s) can now be rescanned with Command-R.
  • Improved Address Book browsing: Pressing the right arrow key shows smart groups for Contact Groups, Companies, Job Titles, Email Addresses and Phone Numbers as well as all contacts.
  • The Frameworks indexing rule has been renamed to "Development Resources"
  • Improved Address Book scanner.
  • Improved Development Resources scanner.
  • Improved recognition of URL fragments when entered via copy/paste.
  • Improvements related to opening songs in iTunes.
  • Improved Spotlight search.

Bug Fixes

  • Addresses a performance issue when browsing remote volumes.
  • Fixed an issue related to deleting indexing rules.
  • Fixed an occasional crashing issue during indexing.
  • Fixed an issue causing a warning message to appear repeatedly when accessing an invalid recent item.
  • Fixed an issue when displaying localized folder names.
  • Fixed a performance issue when scrolling a list containing URLs.
  • Aliases to Unix executables are now resolved before running the executable.
  • Passing string parameters to an AppleScript silently failed if the script no longer existed at the given file path.
  • Fixed an issue causing a folder located on a remote volume to become inaccessible for browsing if the volume wasn't yet mounted at startup.
  • Several other minor bug fixes and improvements.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.1 beta 3

  • Universal binary version. Runs natively on Intel based Macs.
  • Significantly improved search performance: Abbreviation searches are now up to twice as fast!
  • Improved display performance in the search result list.
  • Significantly improved performance when displaying application items. Affects the list of running applications, the "Open with..." command (by pressing Tab), and browsing the Applications folder.
  • Sending messages to Address Book groups: Opening an Address Book group now creates a new message to all group members.
  • Files can now be sent as an email attachment to a particular Address Book contact. Select the file, press Tab, select the contact (or one of its email addresses) and press Return.
  • Searching for an Address Book entry now also works with abbreviations of the "reverse name", e.g. you can now search for "Rob Miller" by entering ROMI as well as MIRO.
  • A person's nickname is now displayed between first and last name.
  • When opening multiple images via "Open Folder Contents" in Preview they are now opened in a single window (if configured accordingly in Preview Preferences).
  • The "Paste" command now better distinguishes between URLs and filenames.
  • The "Rename" command (Command-Shift-R) has been improved on renaming applications.
  • The "Open Terminal Here" command has been improved.
  • Improved reliability in conjunction with iTunes.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a couple of bugs that were introduced in beta 2.
  • Fixed a few minor memory leaks.
  • Fixed an issue causing "Open with..." not to suggest the recommended applications for the selected item when running on non-English systems.
  • Fixed an issue in the configuration window's file type collection editor.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.1 beta 2


  • The "Open Location" command for entering arbitrary URLs can now be configured in LaunchBar's General preferences, allowing you to specify a default top level domain and the desired behavior when a dot character is entered.
  • The "Retype Delay" preference has been extended to max. 3 seconds.
  • New Copy/Paste preference option: "Surround copied file paths with double quotes".
  • New Copy/Paste preference option: "Abbreviate home folder with tilde sign (~)".
  • A new "Control Key Navigation" preference allows to simulate arrow keystrokes with Control-H-J-K-L or Control-J-K-L-I (and respectively Control-D-H-T-N or Control-H-T-N-C when using the Dvorak keyboard layout).
  • The preferences window now preserves the last selected pane.

Configuration & Indexing

  • It's now possible to specify a particular day and time for daily and weekly index updates.
  • The configuration window's "Get Info" drawer now displays the name of the indexing rule that an item belongs to.
  • When multiple indexing rules are selected in the configuration window's sidebar, the new "Show Indexing Rule" contextual menu command helps to locate the corresponding rule for an item selected in the index pane.
  • Command-Option-P now toggles the visibility of the Indexing Progress window.


  • The "Drop onto application" preference setting is now taken into account when "dragging" via Command-D (Drop Finder Selection) or Command-V (Paste).
  • Copy/Paste now also works with items copied from Finder.
  • Drag & Drop now accepts "promised files" (e.g. images dragged from a web-page).
  • Opening an address book contact with "Return" has been changed back to open the contact itself instead of opening the first of its details. The first contact detail (e.g. the email address of this contact) can now be opened with Shift-Return.
  • Improved address book browsing: Phone numbers are now ordered by relevance, especially fax numbers are shown below regular phone numbers.
  • Fax and mobile phone numbers now have a distinct icon.
  • Copying email addresses and phone numbers no longer adds a real name prefix. Use the new "Copy Labeled Email Address" and "Copy Labeled Phone Number" commands from the contextual menu for that purpose.
  • Renaming files and folders via LaunchBar has been improved.
  • Improved "Running Applications" and "Recent Items" browsing. Both lists can now be sub-searched. Pressing the Shift key no longer selects the previous item. While browsing the running apps list, the previous app can be selected with Shift-Space.
  • Improved positioning of the contextual menu.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with the "Search in Spotlight" command when running LaunchBar without a Dock icon.
  • Fixed an issue causing volume items not to be removed from the search result list when they've been ejected via Command-E.
  • Fixed an issue related to entering URLs (Open Location).
  • Fixed an issue causing the bar not to hide under some circumstances.
  • Fixed an issue with iTunes playback of single tracks.
  • The Party Shuffle commands now work properly on non-English Mac OS X systems.
  • Hotkey conflicts with Spotlight are now detected more reliably.
  • When running Unix Executables in Terminal, the executable path is now shell escaped.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.1 beta 1

Triggering Spotlight Searches from LaunchBar

  • A new Search in Spotlight command passes search requests to the Spotlight window.
  • Can by invoked by typing Command-F in LaunchBar or with a dedicated, system wide keyboard shortcut that can be configured in the Keyboard Shortcuts pane of LaunchBar preferences (default is Command-Option-Control-Space). Note: It's planned to make this shortcut more customizable in a future version.
  • Smart preprocessing: No need to type clumsy search strings like "date:today kind:todo". Just type "today todo", "folder backup", "url apple", or "pref tcp" and LaunchBar automatically transforms these search requests into the correct Spotlight syntax.
  • To search literally instead, just put the search string in quotes.
  • Recognizes alternative kind specifiers such as picture, url, ical, ... instead of image, bookmark, event, ... so entering "picture flower" or "ical today" will deliver proper search results.

Improved iTunes Support

  • Best Of Lists: Top rated songs of a particular artist, composer or genre are automatically collected in smart lists. They can be accessed either directly, by entering e.g. "BOJZ" to select the "Best Of Jazz" list, or via browsing by selecting e.g. an artist and pressing right-arrow to get a list of its best tunes.
  • The new configuration setting Direct Access -> Primary Artists allows you to access classical and soundtrack pieces by composer, and contemporary music by artist (assuming that in most cases you rather know the interpreter of a contemporary song, but the composer of a classical work). When using this option, you should turn off the Artist/Composer options in return.
  • Party Shuffle Support: Play in Party Shuffle, Play Next in Party Shuffle, Add to Party Shuffle. Invoking these commands keeps the LaunchBar search result popup visible, just flickers the selected item, allowing you to quickly select further items.
  • Play and Open iTunes: When a music item (song, album, artist, etc.) is opened with the Control key held down, iTunes will be activated in addition to playing the item.
  • Playing a single song now stops playback at the end of the song (it no longer continues with the next song in the library).
  • Song titles are no longer prefixed with the artist's name. Instead, the "primary artist" is now displayed behind the song title.
  • Added support for playlist folders.
  • Show Playlist: Opening a playlist with Command-Return shows its contents in iTunes.
  • The current song that's displayed when selecting iTunes and pressing right-arrow is now labeled with: "Now Playing".
  • Several new playlist icons.

Improved Address Book Support

  • The Address Book scanner now recognizes a contact's preferred email address. In Entourage the preferred email address is defined using the "Make Default" command. In the Mac OS X Address Book it's determined by the order of email addresses (the first address is considered to be preferred).
  • When browsing the details of a selected contact with the right-arrow key, the preferred email address is always shown at the top of the details list.
  • Opening a contact item now opens the fist of its details (either its preferred email address, phone number, screen name, postal address, etc.). To quickly access a person's email address it's therefore no longer necessary to enable the "Direct Access -> Email Addresses" option. You just have to select the corresponding contact item and hit Return in order to create a new email message. If no email address has been set for this contact, its phone number will be opened and so forth.
  • LaunchBar now scans a contact's Note field. Opening a contact note displays the note in large type.
  • A person's full name now also includes its title, middle name and suffix (the title prefix can be turned off in the indexing rule's Options pane)

Opening Items

  • Lots of new options for opening items, each with a dedicated keyboard shortcut for most convenient and efficient access.
  • The contextual menu has been extended to show all commands available for the selected item.
  • If the "Compact Contextual Menu" preference option is selected, some contextual menu commands are only displayed when the corresponding modifier keys are held down.
  • Copy and Paste (Command-Shift-C): Transfers the current selection (e.g. the selected file path, postal address, URL, etc.) to the frontmost application with a single keystroke.
  • Copy File Contents (Command-Option-C): Copies the contents of the selected file to the clipboard. Works with most text and graphic file formats.
  • Copy and Paste File Contents (Command-Shift-Option-C). Useful for inserting text and graphic snippets in the currently edited document.
  • Open Folder Contents: Opening a folder with Control-Return opens all items inside this folder. Allows you to open multiple items at once with a single keystroke.
  • Opening an archive file now also opens its enclosing folder in Finder, assuming that its unarchived contents will appear in this folder.
  • Opening a disk image via LaunchBar now automatically selects the ''Mounted Volumes" item, allowing you to quickly browse the contents of the newly mounted volume with the right-arrow key. The list of volumes is updated when volumes are mounted or unmounted.
  • The shortcut for opening AppleScripts (instead of executing the script) has been changed to Control-Return.

Other New Features

  • Color Label Support: Finder color labels are now displayed in the search result list (can be turned off in LaunchBar's Appearance preferences).
  • An optional "Show Color Labels (Finder Style)" preference setting allows you to display color labels the same way as in Finder (the label spans the whole line width) - however at the cost of reduced readability when the labeled item is selected.
  • Look Up in Dictionary: Select the Dictionary application in LaunchBar and press the space bar to enter a search term that shall be looked up in Dictionary.
  • Ability to run Automator Workflows (can be turned off in the Launching pane of LaunchBar preferences). You may press Control-Return to open the workflow document in Automator instead.

Other Improvements

  • Startup performance has been significantly improved. (Note: When you start LaunchBar 4.1 for the very first time after the upgrade, the startup will take somewhat longer since the whole index has to be rebuilt once).
  • Browsing "backwards" with the left-arrow key now allows to sub-search the new list of items.
  • Show Neighbors (Control-Left Arrow): Shows all items located in the same folder as the selected item, even if this item has been selected via sub-search.
  • Added support for "Recent Documents" of QuickTime Player 7.0.
  • URLs are now detected more reliably when entered via copy/paste.
  • When mounting encrypted disk images via LaunchBar the authentication window now gets keyboard focus.
  • Reduced CPU load during idle time.
  • Improved stability when running AppleScripts in background.
  • Browsing the root level of a volume no longer shows Unix specific entries such as "etc" or "tmp" (unless the Option key is held down while browsing, which still shows all items, including invisible files and folders).
  • The default factory configuration contains a couple of new or updated search templates. (Amazon, AlltheWeb, Wikipedia, Yahoo! Podcasts, Yahoo! Audio, Mac OS X Hints).
  • The list of URL string encodings for the Search Templates indexing rule has been extended.
  • The Frameworks indexing rule scans CoreData documentation and header files.
  • The configuration window's "Get Info" drawer can now be opened with the Command-I shortcut.
  • The configuration window's "Search Index" field now accepts multiple search terms separated by space.
  • The new 'xcodeproj' filename extension has been added to the "Xcode Project Files" collection.
  • The "Copy" command has been added to the contextual menu of the configuration window's "Index" table.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a potential incompatibility with future versions of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).
  • Fixed an issue when browsing backwards using the left-arrow key (delivered wrong results in rare cases, especially when browsing the contents of a file package).
  • Fixed an issue related to two finger trackpad scrolling.
  • Fixed an issue causing "Open Terminal Here" (Command-T) not to bring the newly opened Terminal window to front under some circumstances.
  • Fixed an issue causing the bookmark scanner to wipe out duplicate bookmarks with identical URLs. These bookmarks were then missing from their corresponding bookmark folders.
  • Fixed an issue causing the Entourage Address Book scanner to fail if the Entourage application file has been renamed.
  • Fixed an issue causing the Address Book scanner not to scan homepage URLs in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.
  • When scanning the contents of a folder, the folder itself is now also added to the index.
  • Pressing Escape while LaunchBar is in "sub-search" mode now causes the initial, full list of items to be restored.
  • Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.2 causing the execution of Unix Executables to fail.
  • When entering Terminal commands, Tab-completion now properly escapes the completed file path.
  • The configuration window's toolbar now displays properly when "Use Small Size" is selected.

Known Issues

  • The "Look Up in Dictionary" command may not work reliably if the Dictionary application isn't yet running.
  • Displaying large contact notes (consisting of many lines, or containing very long lines) may exceed the available screen space.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.0.2

  • Improved Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger compatibility.
  • RSS feed-URLs are now collected in a separate "RSS Feeds" smart group.
  • Activating a running application now brings all its windows to front.
  • The Applications indexing rule provides a new scanner option "Use Mac OS X LaunchServices database", turned off by default to avoid problems introduced by the Mac OS X 10.3.9 update. Turning this option on results in much faster application scans, but in rare cases the scanner hangs due to a bug in 10.3.9. In most cases this hang-up can be fixed by rebuilding the LaunchServices database. If this doesn't help, leave the scanner option turned off.
  • Renaming of files (Command-Shift-R) has been improved. Hidden filename extensions are now handled properly. By default only the the filename is selected to prevent the extension from being overridden by accident.
  • New file scanner option: "Exclude Aliases".
  • The Camino bookmark scanner now supports Camino bookmark folders.
  • Improved URL input: line breaks are removed from pasted strings.
  • Opening iTunes items (songs, albums, playlists, etc.) with the Shift or Option key held down activates iTunes (the Option key also hides other applications).
  • Opening bookmark folders with the Option key held down hides other applications.
  • Playing a playlist now also selects that playlist in iTunes.
  • Fixed an issue with periodic index scans.
  • Opening an alias to an .afploc file no longer causes Finder to crash.
  • Fixed an issue with unnamed address book entries in the configuration window.
  • The contents of the "Applications" smart group are now properly sorted by name.
  • Improved Dock index scanner.
  • Improved iTunes browsing (the songs are now properly sorted by name).
  • Opening iTunes playlists now works more reliably.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.0.1

  • Fixed an issue causing LaunchBar not to start up properly in rare cases.

What's new in LaunchBar 4.0

New Features & Improvements

  • Improved phone number support: A new preference setting allows to specify an AppleScript responsible for opening phone numbers. This script may e.g. dial the phone number via third party applications such as Jon's Phone Tool or Skype.
  • Unix Executables and Shell Scripts can now be executed in background (without opening a Terminal window) by pressing Shift-Return.
  • "Open with…" (initiated by pressing the Tab key) now displays suitable apps for the selected item.
  • "Open with" now also works with AppleScripts and Unix Executables (press the Shift key to run the script or executable in background).
  • Files and URLs can be now dragged onto AppleScripts and Unix Executables.
  • Added support for Firefox Bookmarks.
  • Bookmark Folders can now be opened (similar to Safari's "Open in Tabs"). Opens all contained bookmarks at once, shows a warning dialog if the folder contains more than 8 bookmarks.
  • HTML files are now opened in a new tab in Safari if Tabbed Browsing is enabled.
  • Improved iTunes playback: Play Artist, Play Composer, Play Genre (same as Play Album).
  • Search by email address or phone number. E.g. when you sub-search the "Phone Numbers" smart group, you can reverse-lookup a person by entering parts of its phone number.
  • The display of postal addresses now also works on Mac OS X 10.2
  • Optimized file scanning (more than twice as fast).
  • Improved abbreviation search performance (about 10% faster).
  • The configuration window's sidebar is now titled "Indexing Rules" and provides a pop-up menu for adding new rules.
  • The Space key no longer resets abbreviation input (unless it initiates a sub-search).
  • During sub-search, the dot character can be used for abbreviation input (instead of switching to URL input)
  • When invoking the list of running apps with Command-R (Show Running Applications), a particular application from that list can now be selected via sub-search.
  • Pressing Control-Right Arrow pops up the contextual menu.
  • A couple of new search templates have been added to the factory configuration (iTunes Music Store, Amazon, Search MSN).
  • The inactive LaunchBar window is no longer displayed semi-transparent but opaque with dimmed contents.
  • The Address Book is now scanned for all types of instant messaging screen names (AIM, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo). They are opened with the default helper application for the "icq", "jabber", "msn" or "yahoo" URL schemes (e.g. Proteus supports these schemes).
  • Attempting to open a file that no longer exists at the given file path (e.g. due to an outdated index) now raises an alert panel, allowing you to rescan the corresponding indexing rule.
  • Using the "Search Index" field in the configuration window's toolbar now automatically selects the Index pane if it was not yet selected.

Bug Fixes

  • Invoking Exposé / Show Desktop while LaunchBar is active no longer causes the bar to appear offset downwards.
  • The "Hide other applications" preference option no longer inverts the behavior of the "Run AppleScripts" option.
  • Fixed a crash related to application scanning.
  • Slash characters in filenames are now properly displayed.
  • Switching Network Locations now also works properly with location names containing special characters like 'bullet'. Note: As a consequence of this bug fix, previous abbreviation bindings for network locations are lost, they have to be re-trained.
  • Improved iTunes browsing: Albums, Composers, etc. are now sorted alphabetically.
  • Search templates without a hostname are now displayed properly (e.g. man:*).
  • Workaround for a crashing bug in Apple's AddressBook.framework.
  • Fixed a crash when performing "Revert to Saved" after deleting an indexing rule.
  • International characters in Firefox and Mozilla bookmarks are now correctly scanned.
  • Opening photo albums in iPhoto now also works with Japanese album names.
  • "Open Terminal Here…" no longer opens two windows when Terminal was not yet running.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 9a

  • Accepts the new Home User to Family License upgrade keys. Note: If you've already registered the software, or if you don't plan to apply the home to family upgrade, there's no need to install beta 9a, you can keep the previous beta 9 installed.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 9

  • Registration: The software no longer runs as an expiring demo, but can be fully registered by entering a license key in the License window (Command-Option-L). Without registration, the built-in evaluation license allows to access up to 7 different items per session (+10 extra).
  • Postal addresses are now displayed when browsing the details of a selected address book contact. A mailing label can be easily created via drag & drop, or with Command-C ("Copy Mailing Label"). Note: This feature requires Mac OS X 10.3.
  • A new setting in the Launching pane of LaunchBar preferences allows to open AIM buddies in the corresponding helper application (e.g. AOL Instant Messenger, Adium X, etc) instead of iChat.
  • Dragging an item from the bar is no longer limited to the item's icon, the drag can now be started from within the item's name as well. Clicking and dragging outside the item's name moves the bar. Alternatively, Command-drag always moves the bar, Option-drag always drags the item.
  • The Eject command now works properly with all kinds of ejectable volumes.
  • The Frameworks indexing rule adds Xcode 1.5 compatibility (the location of the Developer documentation has changed).

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 8

  • Much improved Adaptive Abbreviation Search Algorithm (AASv4), delivers even more accurate search results, and adapts much faster and more precisely.
  • URLs can now be dragged onto the bar.
  • The "Show details dimmed" appearance preference is now turned on by default.
  • Fixed an issue when opening documents of unknown kind.
  • Fixed an issue with multiple address book contacts that share the same phone number.
  • Application Scanner: Fixed an issue with applications located on network mounted volumes.
  • Preliminary documentation.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 7

  • Index caching: The results of file index scans are now cached, resulting in much faster startup times.
  • Reduced memory footprint.
  • Additional shortcuts for navigating the search result list: Control-Shift-K/J and Control-Shift-P/N for Page Up/Down, Control-Shift-H/L for Home/End.
  • The "Frameworks" indexing rule options have been slightly changed. There's now a single "Search Scope" option replacing two of the previous options. If you have used these options before, you may have to reapply your choices.
  • Various improvements and bug fixes in the following areas: opening URLs, opening contacts in Address Book, opening AIM screen names, opening text clippings, performing web searches via search templates, file indexing, application indexing.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 6

  • Periodical index rescans (can be configured in the rule's Schedule pane).
  • Application index caching.
  • Improved automatic index updates, the necessity for a rescan is now detected more reliably.
  • Faster revealing of address book entries in Entourage.
  • Faster "Play Album" command with iTunes 4.5
  • Improved opening of mailbox files.
  • Control-H,J,K,L for navigating the search result list (in the style of the "vi" text editor).
  • Rescanning the iTunes Music Library no longer causes the Artist's name to appear twice in the track name.
  • The left arrow navigation button no longer shows a blue halo when full keyboard access is turned on.
  • Fixed an issue with URL input (Open Location).
  • Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.2 (a couple of third party apps caused LaunchBar to crash).
  • References to folders that are located on removable volumes are now kept in the configuration even if the volume isn't currently mounted.
  • New and updated web-search templates in the default configuration.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 5

  • Address Book / Contact Property Browsing: The new "Company" and "Job Title" smart groups allow to quickly find related contacts. LaunchBar automatically groups people working for the same company or people with the same profession. These smart groups are also directly accessible via abbreviation search - e.g. need a plumber? Just enter PLUM then hit right arrow to display a list of all plumbers contained in your address book.
  • The "Real Memory" value (as displayed in Activity Monitor) now grows less when scanning large folders. Note: The "Real Memory" value does NOT represent the actual memory requirement of an application, but the peak value of previous memory allocations. This value does not shrink unless another application requests that memory - the current memory consumption is usually much less than the value displayed in Activity Monitor!
  • "Open with…" (by pressing the Tab key) now also works with photos and songs.
  • When editing custom file type collections (by selecting "Options > Search for > Edit this List…"), sample files can now be dragged into the textfield.
  • The "Desktop" indexing rule is now turned on in the factory configuration, however with subfolder scanning turned off.
  • Address Book groups now work again.
  • Improved reliability of the Entourage Address Book scanner, especially fixing a problem causing Entourage to crash when attempting to rebuild the Entourage database.
  • Improved compatibility with iPhoto 2.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 4

  • Entourage Address Book integration. It's no longer necessary to export Entourage contacts manually, LaunchBar now reads them directly. If you have already configured an "Entourage Contacts" indexing rule, delete that rule, then add a new rule by selecting "New -> Address Books -> Entourage" from the configuration toolbar.
  • Opening an Entourage contact opens the corresponding card in Entourage.
  • The "Items Grouped by Kind" indexing rule now provides separate smart groups for "Web Browser Bookmarks", "Web Browser History Items" and "URLs", allowing you to perform specific sub-searches in each of these categories.
  • Improved Path Finder support (Show in Path Finder, Get Info). Note: The "Duplicate" and "Move to Trash" commands still require Finder to be running.
  • The Frameworks Scanner adds compatibility with Xcode 1.2 (the location of the API-Reference has changed).
  • Browsing into volume aliases by pressing the right arrow key now mounts the aliased volume if necessary.
  • Opening an ".mbox" file selects the corresponding Mailbox in the current Mail viewer window instead of opening a new viewer.
  • A further activation hotkey Control-` (Control-< on German or French keyboards) has been added to the Hotkey preferences.
  • File paths passed to Terminal are now properly shell escaped (except for non ASCII characters, which are not supported by Terminal).
  • Explicit ISO Latin 1 encoding has been added to all Google Search Templates in the factory configuration. As a consequence, previously trained abbreviations for these items will have to be re-trained.
  • The factory configuration's list of "Unix Executables" has been extended (date, telnet, ftp, sftp, man, host, su, uptime, hostinfo have been added).
  • Fixed an issue in the iPhoto Library scanner which caused LaunchBar to crash in rare cases.
  • Fixed an issue causing the "Open with…" command not to work with AppleScripts and Unix Executables.
  • Scanning the Mac OS X Address Book no longer expects Address Book to be located in /Applications.
  • Sherlock may be launched in order to update the cache of Sherlock channels when you start LaunchBar 4 beta 4 for the first time. This is normal behavior, it will only occur once.
  • Fixed a few minor memory leaks.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 3


  • All indexing rules now provide a new "Access items via sub-search only" option. Rarely used parts of the index can so be searched "on demand", they no longer affect the regular abbreviation search results. You might e.g. search the Safari History via sub-search by entering "SH<space><abbreviation>".
  • New toolbar item in the configuration window to quickly turn on and off the display of disabled indexing rules.
  • Slightly larger rule icons in the configuration window.
  • All rules of the factory configuration are now accessible from the "New rule" toolbar item. You can safely remove rules from the configuration and re-add them later.
  • An empty "Custom List" rule has been added to the factory configuration to make it more obvious how to add individual items to the index.
  • When using the "Skip Subfolders" option, the matching folders are no longer added to the index.
  • Fixed a bug causing the "enabled" checkbox setting of the "Items Grouped by Kind" rule not to be saved.


  • Improved iTunes Browsing: e.g. browse a genre's artists or albums, an artist's albums, etc.
  • Fixed a bug causing iTunes songs and playlists not to be played.

Improved International Support

  • Abbreviation input now works with Unicode keyboard layouts such as Greek or Croatian.
  • The Search Templates rule now allows to specify a URL string encoding. Currently the encoding can only be specified for the entire rule, not for specific search templates, it is therefore necessary to create a separate rule for each encoding.
  • The factory configuration has been extended by a couple of search templates using UTF-8 and EUC encoding.
  • The text field for entering web searches now properly supports Japanese and Chinese text input.

Other Changes

  • Improved encoding of space characters in web search URLs.
  • Filenames containing single quote characters are now properly escaped when using the "Open Terminal Here…" command.
  • Duplicate URLs are now properly removed from the search result.
  • Running AppleScripts in background had to be turned off, since it doesn't work with scripts that require user input in dialogs. You can still run specific scripts in background by opening them with Shift-Return.
  • Address Book cards are now opened in Address Book when pressing Return.
  • Entering URLs with Command-L now starts with an empty text field.
  • Improved Text to Speech support.
  • Various other bug fixes and improvements.

What's new in LaunchBar 4 beta 2


  • Improved "Applications" indexing rule: "Search Everywhere" vs. "Search in Specific Places" (can be configured in the rule's Options pane).
  • The factory configuration now includes Classic applications by default.
  • Improved OmniWeb 5 bookmarks support.
  • Many indexing rules in the factory configuration are now disabled by default to keep the index at a reasonable size. You can turn them on later in the configuration window.

Search Templates

  • %s can be used as an alternative to * as a wildcard in search templates.
  • LaunchBar automatically detects search templates in web browser bookmarks and treats them accordingly.
  • When performing a web search, space characters in search strings are now replaced by + instead of %20.
  • Opening a search template without a search string opens the search engine's "home page" (preserves port number, username and password if available).

Improved iTunes support

  • Playing Albums
  • Playing radio streams that have been added to playlists
  • Album browsing: Album tracks are sorted by track number, the total time of each track is displayed.
  • Opening a song or playlist in iTunes is now performed in background.
  • LaunchBar now hides itself after opening songs or playlists.
  • The iTunes Music folder is now found more reliably.


  • Soft text shadow in the bar for better readability (requires Mac OS X 10.3)
  • Optional "Dimmed Details" (can be turned on in the Appearance preferences)
  • Optional larger icons in the search result popup

Other Changes

  • AppleScripts are now executed in background.
  • The "Do you really want to quit…" dialog now only appears when using the Command-Q keyboard shortcut.
  • The abbreviation search algorithm has been further improved.
  • The "Show in Frontmost Finder Window" shortcut has been changed to Command-Shift-Return.
  • File Content Search now works with a wider range of plain text document types (e.g. PHP files).

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes some crashes related to index rescans.
  • Fixes some problems related to automatic startup at login.
  • LaunchBar now hides properly when started automatically at login.
  • Sherlock channel caching - prevents Sherlock from being opened when LaunchBar is started.