Add Custom Global App Specific Buttons On Mac [Paid]

Keyboard shortcuts make it easy to use apps, but sometimes, it’s hard just to remember what shortcuts you’ve set. Often, the same shortcut does different things in different apps and that complicates things further. What’s needed is a universal system for managing these functions, possibly an app wearing a golden ring with something like ‘One shortcut app to rule them all’ engraved on it. Nifty is a Mac app, available for $4.99 in the Mac App Store, that adds a dynamic toolbar on your desktop. The buttons on this toolbar change as different apps are active. The toolbar shows all open windows of a particular app, and lets you add buttons of your choice. These buttons can be app specific; they will appear only when that particular app is active, or they can be global; they will appear regardless of which app is active.

To add buttons, click the app’s icon in the menu bar and select Button Settings. You can add a global button by clicking the global icon, and proceed to select its appearance, function, and shortcut key. However, to add a button for a specific app, drag & drop the app on to the Apps section, select it and then select a button you want to add. Select an image and name for the button, enter a menu item, i.e. which function the button will perform (menu items are functions that are present in the app’s menu). Click Fetch Menu Items and Nifty will analyze which functions an app supports in its menu options. Select the function you want from the Item dropdown and click Save. When the app you select is active, the buttons you’ve added will appear on the toolbar.

By default, there are only five buttons added to the toolbar which allow you to access the app’s help, toggle the theme, view your favorite apps, access the app’s preferences or quit the app. To add an app as a favorite, click the star button and drag the apps over the window.


Additionally, when you select an app (lets say Chrome), the Chrome icon appears on the toolbar (wearing Nifty’s glasses). Click the icon and you will see the buttons replaced with all open windows of Chrome. Click anyone of them t o switch to another window.

The app’s preferences allow you to make cosmetic changes to the interface like the toolbar button size, the theme and the button width and height.

Nifty preferences

If for some reason you don’t see the usefulness of this app, you aren’t using your imagination. The global shortcuts will let you add a button for everything like opening folders, quitting, switching apps and more.

Get Nifty From Mac App Store

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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