Screenshot of Enso

I read about the Enso Launcher on the 37 signals blog yesterday and I figured since I currently have to use Windows at work I should give it a try as I just love Quicksilver on my mac and I can’t imagine life without it.

I’ve earlier tried to get similar functionality as Quicksilver on Windows using a program called Quickstart. It worked quite ok, but slowed down my computer and didn’t really do anything extravagant.

Enso Launcher by Humanize on the other hand looks much more promising. It uses the Caps Lock key, which normally is the key I never ever use on my keyboard. Enso looks good, has a slick user interface that doesn’t get in the way. It also has a really easy way to teach the program new commands, which is something I’ve used all the time during the few hours I’ve had Enso installed.

It’s not all good though, there are a few things I think could be improved.

  • You need to keep the Caps Lock key pressed while using Enso. I don’t know if it’s only me, but I find it uncomfortable to write q,w,a,s,z,x while keeping Caps Lock pressed with my left little finger. I would rather use Caps Lock as a toggle. One press-and-release on Caps Lock and you would get into Enso-mode and the next press-and-release would execute the Enso command.This issue is discussed on the Support & FAQ page and the creators strongly argue for keeping Enso “quasimodal”, and while I agree with that I still don’t think it’s worth the pain in my left hand. Luckily there seems to be a “capslock-alt” (press down Caps Lock, then press down Alt, then release Caps Lock, then release Alt) which will make Enso “sticky” until the next press on Caps Lock. I guess I’ll have to use that one for now but I would rather see this configurable.
  • The writing in Enso mode doesn’t support your local keyboard layout. I have my keyboard layout set to Swedish as I have a Swedish keyboard but when in Enso-mode I have to remember that to get a question mark I don’t do Shift and the +-key as I usually do, but instead I have to press the key with the * symbol on it. Not a bit thing when you are aware of it, but it’s still unexpected behaviour.

Still it’s a great product and so far I’m in love!