Welcome to Twit Menulet

Twit Menulet Twitter client for Mac logo

Twit Menulet is a simple, fun, and powerful Twitter client for Mac OS X.  We hope you will have as much fun using it as we had writing it.

1. Getting Started Twitter accounts table

To use Twit Menulet, you must have a Twitter account.  If you don’t have one, visit http://twitter.com and sign up.

When first started, Twit Menulet will ask for your Twitter account credentials.  The Twitter Accounts table will be opened automatically.  Enter your Twitter user name and password.  The message “Downloading tweets…” will be displayed in the menu bar and then, shortly, a tweet will be displayed instead.

2. Tweets in the menu bar

Menu bar with tweet shown

Twit Menulet displays one tweet in the menu bar at a time.  When the menulet has sufficient width, the posting user’s icon is displayed to the left and the text of the tweet is displayed to the right.

The first tweet displayed is the oldest of the downloaded tweets (but Twit Menulet will “fast-forward” to avoid tweets more than 24 hours old).  Twit Menulet will then step through your tweetstream, displaying more and more recent tweets on a schedule designed to get through them before the next scheduled download.

New tweets are initially collected from Twitter every 50 seconds.  This schedule is then adjusted to in response to collected tweets; e.g., if no tweets are collected then the interval is extended slightly.  Conversely, collected tweets prompt a decrease in the interval. 

Normal tweets are displayed in the system font; direct messages are displayed in italics.

3. The drop-down menu

Click on the menulet to display the drop-down menu.  This menu lists your tweets for easy viewing, with the most recent tweet at the top.  The menu items listed include:

Main drop-down menu showing tweets

4. The “Preferences” panel

The preferences panel is displayed after choosing “Preferences…” from the main menu.  The panel is divided into three tabs: Preferences, Twitter Accounts, and Lists.  The Twitter Accounts tab contains a table that can accommodate the user information for all your Twitter Accounts.  Press the “+” button to add another account; edit the user name and password directly in the table.  Similarly, the Lists tab contains a table showing all the lists to which you have subscribed.  Press the “+” button to subscribe to a new list and then enter the list specifier in the table.  The list specifier contains the screen name of the list curator (e.g., “bettydraper”), a forward slash (“/”), and the name of the list itself (e.g., “rolodex”).  Therefore, @bettydraper’s list called “rolodex” should be entered into the table as “bettydraper/rolodex”.

Preferences panel for Twit Menulet

The Preferences tab allows you to customize Twit Menulet’s behavior:

5. The “Send a tweet” panel

The “Send a Tweet” panel appears after choosing “Tweet…” from the main menu.  The panel is dominated by a text box.  Type the text of your tweet in this box.  The number of characters remaining before reaching Twitter’s 140-character maximum is shown at upper right.  The “Send” button is located below the text box.

Send a tweet panel

When you have entered more than one Twitter account in the Twitter Accounts panel, the “Send” button will be replaced with a “Send as” button that is juxtaposed with a popup menu allowing you to choose the account for sending.

When more than 140 characters are entered in the text box, Twit Menulet gives you the option to send your text as a “long tweet” (a checkbox appears beneath the text box labeled “Send as a long tweet”).  Leave this box check to send your text as a single “long tweet” than can be properly displayed by Twitter clients that follow our specification.  Clients that don’t follow the specification will display two or more consecutive tweets separated by ellipses.

If you have a URL in your tweet that you would like to shorten with bit.ly, control-click (i.e., right click) on the URL.  The first item in the popup menu will read Shorten with bit.ly.  After choosing this item, the URL is replaced with the shortened bit.ly link.

To send a direct message, use the official Twitter format: type the single letter d (in lower case), a space, the screen name of the recipient (without the @ symbol), and the message itself.

6. Per-tweet submenus

Per-tweet submenus

Each tweet displayed in the drop-down menu is linked to a sub-menu containing common actions to be taken.  These per-tweet submenus can be hidden by un-checking the “Show sub-menus” item in the Preferences panel (see the section above titled The “Preferences” panel.)  The options shown are:

7. Global hotkeys

Twit Menulet implements global hotkeys to allow easy, direct access to the tweetstream at any time: