Instant Open

Instant Open is a powerful technique to open items via LaunchBar even more quickly. You no longer have to press the Return key - you just hold down the last entered abbreviation character and the selected item opens immediately.


Instead of typing an abbreviation and then hitting Return to open the selected item, you just type the abbreviation and keep the key of the last entered character pressed. This allows you to open your favorite applications or search templates with just a single keystroke!

The delay between the last keypress and Instant Open depends on the Delay Until Repeat setting in System Preferences > Keyboard. Change this delay to Short if you want Instant Open to operate as fast as possible.


The following examples assume that the abbreviations have already been trained to select the corresponding items. The blue colored boxes indicate a key that is kept pressed.

⌘ Space S Opens Safari
⌘ Space G Triggers a Google search
⌘ Space V Shows a list of all mounted Volumes
⌘ Space D Opens the Desktop folder
⌘ Space = Opens LaunchBar’s built-in Calculator
⌘ Space N M New Mail Message
⌘ Space E E Eject All Ejectable Volumes
⌘ Space P P iTunes - Play/Pause
⌘ Space N N iTunes - Next Song
⌘ Space M M Mutes the speaker (runs the “Mute” script)
⌘ Space Q T P Opens Quick Time Player
⌘ Space C N N Opens the CNN home page
⌘ Space Z Z Z Runs the “Sleep” script

Instant Open and Sub-Search

You can also use Instant Open to quickly sub-search a collection of items. First, you select and open the collection, then you pick up the desired item from that collection.

If you wish to sub-search folder contents via Instant Open you must select the Instant-Open Folders > Browse in LaunchBar option in the Actions pane of LaunchBar preferences. Otherwise folders are opened in Finder, so you can’t sub-search them in LaunchBar.


⌘ Space A B O S Sub-searches the Albums category and opens the Best Of Supertramp album.
⌘ Space A A F B Sub-searches the Applications category and opens the Font Book application.
⌘ Space U L Sub-searches the User Accounts indexing rule and opens Login Window