How to create a "Quake-style" console in OS X

Using the fantastic application Visor (brought to you by the same geniuses who created Quicksilver) you can create an easy keyboard-shortcut to invoke a drop-down console, just like in Quake.

visor for os x

  1. First things first, download and install SIMBL, a very small (but required) application. Installing SIMBL is easy, just run the package and click next a bunch of times. Once it’s installed, download Visor itself.

    Open the Visor .zip file and drag the Visor.bundle file to your Mac HD -> Library -> Application Support -> SIMBL -> Plugins folder.

  2. visor for os x
    click to enlarge

  3. Now open a Terminal – which can be found in your Applications -> Utilities folder (or launched via Quicksilver or Namely, if you use either of those great programs).
  4. visor for os x
    click to enlarge

  5. When the Terminal opens, you should see a Visor icon in your menu bar. Click it and select Visor Preferences….
  6. visor for os x

  7. From here you’ll want to define your own HotKey (keyboard shortcut) to open Visor. Select the Edit button and then set a HotKey by actually clicking the keys on your keyboard that you want to use to open Visor. I opted for Apple Key + ` but you can use pretty much anything you’d like.
  8. visor for os x
    click to enlarge

  9. Close out of the Visor preferences and invoke the HotKey you just set. Visor should now slide a Terminal down from the top of your screen, just like the Quake console.
  10. visor for os x
    click to enlarge

  11. Invoke the same HotKey and Visor will slide away, revealing your full desktop again.

    One of the fun (admittedly not entirely useful) features of Visor is that you can set it to have a Quartz animation as the background. To do so, go back to the Visor Preferences and place a check in the box labeled Use Quartz Animation: and then click Choose File to navigate to a suitable animation. Hint: most often you can find Quartz animations in your Library -> Screen Savers folder.

  12. visor for os x
    click to enlarge

  13. The next time you bring up Visor, it will have the Quartz animation as its background
  14. visor for os x
    click to enlarge

  15. If you have any questions or problems by all means please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you want to set your Terminal (and Visor) to have a transparent background, the details are outlined here. Cheers!

8 thoughts on “How to create a "Quake-style" console in OS X”

  1. Pingback: How To Create A “Quake Style” Console In OS X - Linkosphere [ ]

  2. Hi, I’m having a problem getting my visor console to display transparent.

    I’ve set my Terminal preferences to transparency as per the linked instructions; and when I launch it comes up with transparency, but when I activate the Visor console with my key combo it always comes up as the default white/opaque terminal.

    How do I get Visor to use the same prefs as my Terminal?


  3. hi man,very sweet, id like to have something like thus,BUT to have console real on background, on my desktop, could it be possible?
    you know,just real time changing background with console output..
    it would be great..

  4. Pingback: My Apple Menu Bar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *