Sridhar Katakam's Weblog


Posted on April 15, 2024 | 0 comments

Switched to Raycast as the primary launcher from Alfred. Before Alfred, I used LaunchBar.

There is so much power packed in the free version of Raycast to increase your productivity that it is almost criminal to give it away for free. Combine that with free community extensions, it is equivalent to several other apps bundled into a super compact, easy to use app.

Software like Raycast is what makes Macs shine.

Table of Contents


  • To install: brew install --cask raycast. I installed using the dmg.
  • Turned off Spotlight’s keyboard shortcut in the past in Mac settings. The default keyboard shortcut for Raycast is ⌥␣. Changed it to ⌘␣. Demoted Alfred to ⌃␣.
  • Set up right to press ⌘␣ using BTT.
  • ⌘⎋ to escape to the main search page and ⌘W to close at any time.
  • ‘Calculator History’ command to see the history of all calculations and conversions.
  • Assigned cal alias to ‘My Schedule’.
  • You can use natural language to specify your file search! A couple of examples:
    • Searching text files in a certain folder .txt in ~/Desktop
    • Search for PDF files with “certificate” in its name .pdf certificate
  • Fuzzy search works. So we could simply type the first letters of commands like ss for Search Snippets, Search Screenshots etc.
  • Screenshots search includes OCR.
  • Begin typing Hide All Apps Except Frontmost: to concentrate on the frontmost app and hide all others.
  • To create a snippet, the command is ‘Create Snippet’.
  • To install an extension, begin typing the ‘Store’ command.
  • Didn’t find 1Password extension useful. Disabled it. It keeps asking me to sign in using TouchBar almost every time and that too twice in succession every time 🤷
  • In the Quick Add Reminder, we can specify repeat frequency like ‘every day’ and list name in natural language. Not sure if this needs the Pro version. I upgraded to the Pro w/ Advanced AI.
  • Installed CleanShot X extension but disabled it since I am used to ⌘⇧3, ⌘⇧4, and ⌘⇧5 .
  • Made Google as the first fallback command.
  • Window management frequently used commands:
    • Maximize
    • Almost Maximize
    • Restore
    • Center Three Fourths
    • Center
  • To bring up the emoji picker when typing within Raycast’s config windows, type :
  • It is possible to pass arguments to existing commands that accept text input using deeplinks. See this.
  • Any images in the clipboard history or Show Screenshots command can be annotated with CleanShot X using ⌘⇧X.
  • Turned on ‘Expand within Words’ to ensure that if a snippet’s keyword is typed immediately after another, it gets expanded. Ex.: ⌘⇧
  • Sample snippets for importing:

Apps that Raycast made redundant for me

  • AppCleaner
  • ColorSlurp
  • Gestimer
  • Lungo
  • Paste
  • Unclutter

Extensions installed

  1. Arc: mainly to open URLs incognito
  2. Apple Notes
  3. Apple Reminders
  4. Battery Health
  5. Brew
  6. Change Case: works on selected text
  7. Coffee
  8. Color Picker
  9. Easy New File: Quickly create file in the current Finder window or on the desktop
  10. Dash
  11. Format JSON
  12. GIF Search
  13. GitHub Gist: Generated a fine-grained token here. Granted user permissions to gists.
  14. Google Maps:
  15. Hacker News
  16. Iconify: disabled since there are too many sources to choose from and am not sure which is the general go-to
  17. Image Modification
  18. IMDB
  19. Installed Extensions: Command is ‘Search Installed Extensions’
  20. Lorem Ipsum: To copy 3 paras to the clipboard, type L, tab, 3 and
  21. Messages
  22. Password Generator
  23. Placeholder: for images
  24. Pomodoro
  25. Random Data Generator
  26. for creating beautiful images of code
  27. Remove Background
  28. Remove Paywall
  29. Ruler
  30. ScreenOCR
  31. Search MDN
  32. Speedtest
  33. Spotify Player
  34. SVGO: For optimizing SVGs
  35. Timers: added menu bar icon
  36. TinyPNG: for compressing and downsizing images
  37. Todoist
  38. Twitter
  39. Twitter/X Video Downloader
  40. Unix Timstamp: Convert between unix timestamp and human-readable form date
  41. Unsplash: not working for me
  42. URL Tools: for encoding and decoding
  43. Visual Studio Code
  44. Word Count
  45. YouTube Downloader
  46. Quick Event: Create a calendar event using natural language
  47. Quit Applications
  48. Zoom

Extensions to check out

  • Authy
  • Bitwarden
  • Daily Log
  • DevUtils
  • PastePlain
  • PromptLab

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcutFunction
⌘⇧NFloating notes
⌘⇧SSearch snippets
⌘⇧VClipboard history
⌘⇧/Search menu items
⌘⌥DSearch selected text in Dash
⌘⌥GSearch selected text in Google
⌘⌥NNew Bear note
⌘⌥PPick color
⌥ESearch emojis & symbols
⌥JAI chat (set in AI tab of Settings)
⌥MSpark mail
⌥PPath Finder
⌥RQuick add reminder
⌥SSearch screenshots
⌥VVisual Studio Code
⌘⌥←Left half
⌘⌥→Right half
⌘KTo change the selection in popups
like raycast-interface.png
⌥⇥Switch windows


calMy Schedule
fFile search
fnFloating notes
nNew Bear note
pPlay/pause Spotify
sSearch Bear notes
ytSearch YouTube


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Today’s Date{date format="d MMM yyyy"};td
Left Arrow;la
Right Arrow;ra
Up Arrow;ua / ;up
Down Arrow;da / ;down
Option;alt / ;opt
Control;ctrl / ;control
Backspace;back / ;del
Check/Tick;chk / ;tick
Middle Dot·;dot
Pretty print PHP arrayecho "<pre>" . print_r( {cursor}$arr, true ) . "</pre>";
Bricks dynamic data in WordPress block editor in a HTML block<p><span>{</span>{cursor}echo:fn(arg)<span>}</span></p>
Bricks Query Results Count{query_results_count:{cursor}};qrc
Search Google{Query}
Search Google Images{Query}&tbm=isch
Search YouTube{Query}
Today’s Notes in Bearbear://x-callback-url/search?term=%40last1days
Bear notes from the last 7 daysbear://x-callback-url/search?term=%40last7days
Search selected text in Dashraycast://extensions/RSO/dash/index?fallbackText={Query}
Search Mac Power Users (MPU Talk){Query}%20order%3Alatest
Search Bricks Academy{query}
Search Bricks Forum{query}%20order%3Alatest

Raycast AI

  • Has 3 components: Quick AI, AI Chat and AI Commands.
  • The default Quick AI Model in settings is GPT-3.5 Turbo. Changed it to Sonar Medium.
  • Press tab on the root search for quick AI or to access the result of the last AI command.
  • New chat: ⌘N.
  • To toggle the sidebar in the AI chat: ⌘⇧S (this isn’t going to work for me because I set it to bring up Snippets).
  • To search previous chats: ⌘⇧F (for searching by chat content) or ⌘P (for searching by chat titles).

Anthropic models: Claude 3 Opus, Claude 3 Haiku, Claude 3 Sonnet.

Available models

  • Recommended by Raycast for Quick AI:
    • GPT-3.5 Turbo
    • Claude 3 Haiku
  • Sonar Small
  • Sonar Medium
  • GPT-4
  • GPT-4 Turbo
  • Claude 3 Sonnet
  • Claude 3 Opus
  • Llama 2 70B
  • Mixtral 8x7B
  • Code Llama 70B

From other users

We mainly recommend using the Perplexity Sonar models in Quick AI as they are optimized for question-answer scenarios and not multi-turn conversations.

– Thomas of Raycast

I use the following setup:

  • Quick AI: Perplexity Sonar Medium
  • AI Chat: Anthropic Claude 3 Opus
  • AI Commands: Depends, but mostly the built-in ones
by Thomas of Raycast

I found them more fluent, so I enjoy Claude for some copywriting.
(referring to Anthropic)

Thomas of Raycast

Absolutely loving Mixtral 8x7B for coding work. It’s just so fast

For Quick AI, I use Haiku as it is optimal for this task in terms of speed and quality of responses. For AI Chat, I mainly use GPT-4 Turbo and Opus.

Sonar Medium for Quick AI

Opus has better reasoning and is more conversational. Tbh, I find even Sonnet better than GPT-4 Turbo.

I will start. I find Perplexity is great for Quick AI. GPT 4 Turbo is well rounded. Opus is sophisticated but slow.

I’m really liking the suggested Sonar Medium  for quick AI. Very zippy and so far has had great responses for those quick/short questions.

In my experience, they are the best for coding tasks
(referring to Anthropic models)

Compared to Alfred

  • More consistent UI and UX
  • More keyboard-centric
  • Better and larger 3rd party extensions ecosystem


  • Not possible to pass text/file/folder from anywhere in the system like webpage/Finder/Trickster to Raycast as input. Hence also using Alfred for its universal actions incl. “Open with..”. To upload a recently captured screenshot to Droplr, for example, I press ⌃Z to bring up Trickster, press arrow in the Trickster window to select the file (if it’s not the latest file), ⌘⇧O (custom keyboard shortcut – o to open), begin typing Droplr in Alfred and hit . The beauty about this is we don’t have to define custom shortcuts per app to pass that to Alfred to further pass it to any app. It’s just a single shortcut. Alfred’s Universal Actions. Also see this. LaunchBar’s Instant Send is even more epic!
  • Poor file management and directory browsing compared to LaunchBar and Alfred.


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