I recently stumbled upon a Mac web browsing application that is easily accessible, but stays tucked away until needed. The application is called Slidepad, and it works similar to the slide over window feature in the iPad.
Similar to the Biscuit web browser I recently reviewed, Slidepad is not a full blown web browser, but its purpose is for quickly viewing bookmarked sites by simply dragging your mouse to the side of your desktop screen. The browser slides into view and it automatically hides itself when you switch to another application. Note also, that Slidepad also functions like SuperTab, another favorite application of mine that can be triggered your my trackpad.
How I Use Slidepad
So far I use Slidepad to quickly view several sites, including my Feedly RSS feed account, and my Amazon, Twitter, YouTube and ClickUp task management accounts. In the coming weeks, I will no doubt add a few more, but not so many that it becomes cluttered.
Slidepad also works great for web applications sites like Evernote, Todoist, Google Calendar, Notions and Slack. But any site or webpage can be bookmarked in the browser.
I use Slidepad on my 27” iMac, and my smaller second monitor. With that much screen real estate, I have plenty of room to view multiple windows while I’m working. And fortunately Slidepad provides multi-screen and even picture in picture support.
By default, Slidepad slides in from the right of your desktop when you point your cursor to the right side edge of your screen. Here’s Slidepad’s promo video of how it works.
You can also trigger Slidepad using an assigned keyboard shortcut, but because I use BetterTouchTool I never have to manually type the keyboard shortcut. I let BTT do that for me.
Slidepad also includes a button for temporally turning off the Auto Slide Out feature, which comes in handy when you want Slidepad to remain open for a while.
Trigger Slidepad With BetterTouchTool
Slidepad’s multi-screen follow mouse feature means that Slidepad will slide onto the screen that the mouse is currently on.
You can drag and assign Slidepad to the left or right side of your monitor. But because I have two monitors, I have to park Slidepad either on the right side of my main iMac monitor, or on the far left side of my Dell monitor. I chose the left side because that way I can quickly view the bookmarked pages without the browser covering existing windows on my main monitor.
To trigger Slidepad on my second monitor I simply drag the cursor over to the left side of the screen and it pops out in less than a second. (Note: you can disable the faster slide animation, so that it triggers a little slower.)
So what if I don’t want to drag my cursor all the way over to the left side to trigger it open?
Well, that’s where BTT comes it. Using the BTT screen edge trigger, I can actually cause Slidepad to slide from the left side of my main monitor when I want it to. I simply drag the cursor down to the bottom edge of my monitor (the assigned trigger area), and in about a second, it pops into view.
As you can see in the above image, when you configure an edge trigger, you can set a delay time for when the trigger fires. The delay is important because without it, the trigger might occur when you’re trying to click on an application icon in the dock or while moving the cursor across the monitor.
Like other BTT triggers, the edge trigger is really convenient for when my hand is already on my trackpad. But what about when it’s not?
String Trigger Action
On a rare occasion, I can also use a Keyboard Maestro string trigger to trigger the Slidepad shortcut. This might be useful for when I’m typing and I want to quickly view something in Slidepad without moving my hand from my keyboard.
Because I enabled the Multi-Screen Follow Mouse feature, that means Slidepad will appear on the main screen where I’m typing, and in turn it will block the area where I’m typing.
If I disable the Follow Mouse feature, Slidepad will always appear on my second monitor, and my BTT trigger won’t make it appear on my main monitor when I want it to. I hope that doesn’t sound too confusing.
For now I’m leaving the Follow Mouse feature enabled.
A Few Other Features
Slidepad includes a few other handy features that make it useful.
It includes a button for keeping the browser window open until the button is disabled. When you click on a link inside a webpage, it opens the linked page in a new Slidepad window, but you can also click to have the link open in your default web browser.
Slidepad also includes other keyboard shortcuts for switching to the next and previous browser app, or you can use assigned shortcuts to switch to a specific web page or site. As with other web browsers, you can Command+R to refresh the page. There’s no menu bar for these shortcuts, but they do work when Slidepad is the frontmost application. However, for some reason I can’t use BTT to trigger some of the other Slidepad shortcuts. BTT can trigger the refresh page shortcut works but not the switch to next app shortcut.
Slidepad is available for a free 30-day trial download. It’s $9.99 for the license. I also recommend Slidepad for laptop users, because it’s a great way to bring most visited web pages into view without having to navigate to them in Safari or another web browser.
Let me know what you think of Slidepad and if you plan on trying it out.