Shortcut Bar

I am always on the lookout for an App or Utility that can improve my daily workflow. Lately I have been experimenting with Shortcut Bar by FIPLAB. I have owned this App for a while, but have just now started experimenting and using it. So far, I really like it. There are other Apps similar to Shortcut Bar, but this one is quite versatile. Let me show you around the App.

Shortcut Bar Operation

You can get Shortcut Bar directly from FIPLAB or from the App Store. I like buying directly from Developers when I can so I bought Shortcut Bar from the FIPLAB website for $8.99. They have a free trial if you wish to just test the Apps functionality.

The whole idea behind the Shortcut Bar App is to place all kinds of shortcuts in the menubar drop down:

In my Shortcuts Bar menu I have Applications, Databases, Projects and Snippets folders. You can manage Files, Folders, Web Bookmarks, Text Snippets and Color Swatches. You set all this up by going into the Manage Shortcuts area when you click on the “Gear Symbol”:

Once you are in the Manage Shortcuts area you add Groups and items to the Groups:

Click the plus symbol to add a Group in the left sidebar, then select the Group and click the plus symbol in the right window area to navigate to an item to Add. I should mention that the App comes with the “Pinned” Group already setup in the Groups area. Pinned is used for items you use frequently so they can be pinned to the top of the list like so:

I put the things I use all during the day in the Pinned area, it is very handy.

Of course, you can add your favorite Applications in a group along with files and other stuff. I especially like the ability to add Text Snippets:

When you use a Text Snippet it is copied to the Mac Clipboard ready for you to paste wherever you wish. If you wish to have the App do what they call Direct Paste bypassing the Clipboard, you have to set that up in Preferences. It installs a “Helper” App for the Direct Paste function.

Shortcut Bar Preferences

The Shortcut Bar Preferences area is pretty straightforward. Here is what it looks like:

The settings I like the most are “Start at login” and “Automatically paste clicked snippets” which, as mentioned, needs a setup process. The remainder of the Preferences are pretty straightforward, you can just experiment with them as you like.

I have some additional observations about this App. You can only access the the Shortcut Bar menu from the macOS Finder menubar area. You can place an icon of the App in the Dock, but when you click on it, the menubar App drops down. It does not open up from the Dock. It would be really nice to be able to access Shortcut Bar from different areas on your Desktop using a right-click perhaps. Maybe that will be in a future release.


If you are familiar with launching Files and Applications using a different method, using Shortcut Bar takes some getting used to, but it is not hard to learn. The App’s functionality is pretty straightforward once you have used it for a day or two. I like it and will continue to use it in the future. FIPLAB supports their Apps quite well.