The main window can be opened by clicking on the icon in the menu bar or alternatively by pressing a hotkey. Here you can define the hotkey which displays the main window.
Start can be displayed either as a popup menu in the menu bar or as a window in the middle of the screen. Here you can set which of the two options you want to use.
The display as popup menu is very flexible and adapts dynamically. For example, if you don't have a menu bar because you are working in a full-screen application, Start will automatically appear as a window in the middle of the screen. As soon as the menu bar is visible again, the popup menu is used again.
Start as a separate window
If Start is displayed as a pop-up menu, you can drag the window away from the menu bar with the mouse. Start will then temporarily become an independent window and remain open in the foreground. As soon as you close the window, Start will be included as a pop-up menu on the menu bar next time.
Do you want to launch entries with a single or a double mouse click?
Do you want to use another application to open a selected folder? If yes, just leave the path to the application here. If the path is invalid or nothing is defined, start simply uses the Finder.
Here you can select the icon that will be displayed in the menu bar.
The categories give you quick access to all files, directories and URLs managed with Start. The most recent applications or the currently active applications are also displayed in a corresponding category. In the "Categories" area you can now control whether these entries are visible in the main window. If, for example, you only want to find the directories in the respective tags and not in a central place, you can simply deactivate the corresponding category here.
If the main window is displayed on the menu bar, this can alternatively be done with an animation. You can switch this on or off here.
This option allows you to specify whether the search in the main window should only search for the title (Application name, etc.) or alternatively also in existing comments.
The entries in the main window can be displayed in two different sizes. With this option you switch to the smaller representation.
Start also displays the path or URL of an entry in addition to its title. This can be controlled with this option.
If this option is active, the number of entries currently assigned to the tag is displayed next to the tags.
With this option you can let Start launch automatically when you restart your Mac.
Normally the entries in the sidebar are selected by mouse click. If you activate this option you can switch through the entries by leaving the mouse pointer briefly over an entry.
Here you can see in which directories Start uses Spotlight to search for applications. You can add your own entries to this list here.
The search scope is especially interesting for users of macOS 10.15 Catalina or higher. By default, Start does not search in the application directory of the current user (~/Applications) due to sandbox restrictions.
To protect your data, Start runs according to Apple's specifications in a so-called sandbox. The sandbox gives Start only very limited access to the files and folders on your Mac. For example, applications can be started in the applications directory, but for files or programs in their own directories, Start requires permission from you. When you add your own files to Start, permission to open them from Start is automatically added. You can see which accesses you have set up over time (and which may no longer be needed) in the "Sandbox Access" list in the settings.
If you have allowed access to a directory, the permissions also apply to its subdirectories.