Ways to quickly launch the screen saver are useful, esspecially in an environment where one want to lock the machine when stepping away from the desk.

The probably most common way is to define a “Hot Corner” (under System Preferences -> Desktop & Screensaver -> Screen Saver -> Hot Corners) to launch the screen saver. After doing so a quick move of the mouse into the specified corner will engage the screen saver.

My problem with this method is that I rarely use the track pad on my Mac Book Pro, so decided to use a Quicksilver keyboard trigger to engage the screen saver.

First Step: How can we launch the screen saver with Quicksilver? All we need to do is open the Screen Saver Engine, which is located here:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app

Therefore, we launch Quicksilver, enter Text Mode by typing a period and enter the path to the engine. Quicksilver should look something like this:

Start screen saver with Quicksilver

The only thing left to do is to define a keyboard trigger. I’m using “Shift/Control/Command-L” as my trigger.

This key combination may sound a bit awkward at first, but I’m using “Shift/Control/Command” for all my Quicksilver trigger. The nice thing about this combination is that it rarely cause conflicts with other keyboard shortcuts, and once you are used to this combination it’s really not this bad. So in this case I combined it with the letter “L”, for “Lock”.

6 Responses to “Start the screen saver with Quicksilver”

  1. #1 chad says:

    Thank you!

    nice bg

  2. #2 John says:

    This works. The only trick is that you have to let go of “Shift/Control/Command” before you let go of the L otherwise the screensaver will be activated and then immediately deactivated by the key up event that’s getting trigger when you release “Shift/Control/Command”. Once you realize this, then this works really good!

  3. #3 andrei says:

    The trick with releasing “Shift/Control/Command” before “L” doesn’t work for me, screensaver always deactivates immediately :(

  4. #4 andrei says:

    Ok I’ve done it… My trigger for screen saver is “?L”, activates “On Release” and works really fine when sequentially doing these actions: press “?” , press “L”, release “?” and release “L”.

  5. #5 andrei says:

    “?” is “Command”…

  6. #6 James Chevalier says:

    I had trouble where the Command portion of my trigger kept going blank (between reboots?).

    To get around the issue, I went into Preferences & selected Catalog. I added the exact path to the ‘ScreenSaverEngine.app’ file, so now I can trigger it directly.