Mac Software

What’s the quickest way to access GPT-3 on a Mac?

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AI at your fingertips: get fast access to GPT-3 from a Mac

If you’ve played with the AI sensation that is ChatGPT, you may also have signed up for an account to access OpenAI’s GPT-3, the system that powers the chatbot. However, accessing OpenAI’s web platform is a pain if you just want a quick answer. It involves multiple clicks, logging in, and an unwanted degree of faff. How about getting access to GPT-3 with a single keyboard shortcut? Here’s the quickest way to access GPT-3 on a Mac.

Warning: this guide is designed for people who are familiar with GPT-3 and have some experience with using it. It’s not the ideal way to start experimenting with the AI. At the very least, make sure you read the documentation on the OpenAI website and are familiar with the charging mechanism (or tokens) before you proceed.

Accessing GPT-3 on a Mac via Raycast

To get this fast access to OpenAI’s GPT-3, we’re going to use an app called Raycast. I’ve written about Raycast here on Forbes, but in short it’s a brilliant, much more powerful alternative to Apple’s own Spotlight search. You can use it to open apps, search your Mac and (crucially) install extensions, which is how we get quick access to OpenAI. Here’s how to do it.

Time needed: 10 minutes

Access OpenAI’s GPT-3 on a Mac from Raycast

  1. Install Raycast

    Download and install the Raycast app, if you haven’t already done so. During set up, you can choose which keyboard combo to use to trigger Raycast. Mine is set to Option + Spacebar, but you can completely replace Spotlight on Command + Spacebar if you choose. Raycast does pretty much everything Spotlight does, and a lot more.

  2. Install the OpenAI extension

    Open Raycast and search for ‘store’, and open the Raycast store. Once that’s open, search for “OpenAI”. Click on OpenAI GPT3 from the store search results, and then follow the prompts to install the extension.OpenAI in Raycast Store

  3. Get your OpenAI API key

    Assuming you’ve already set up an account with OpenAI, now log in on the OpenAI website and click on your profile icon in the top right-hand corner of the site. Click on the option to View API keys or click here if you’re already logged in. Generate a new API key and copy it.

  4. Enter your API key into Raycast

    Now invoke Raycast and search for “OpenAPI”. You should be prompted to enter an API key the first time you select the OpenAI GPT3 extension from the search results. Paste the key into the space provided and confirm.

  5. Start using GPT-3

    You should now be able to start using GPT-3 straight from Raycast. There’s a space to enter your prompt and tweak with parameters such as the AI model, temperature and other things. If you don’t understand these, you should read the OpenAI documentation before proceeding. Here we’re asking the AI to write us a business email, based on the scant details we’ve provided.OpenAI prompt in Raycast

  6. Wait for a response

    It can take a few seconds for responses to appear, depending on how busy OpenAI’s servers are, so don’t get impatient. The response should appear in the same box that you wrote the prompt. From here you can copy and paste the response into your email client, for instance.
    OpenAI response in Raycast

  7. Create a keyboard shortcut to query GPT-3

    Searching Raycast for “OpenAI” is much quicker than accessing the website, but you can make it even faster. Type “settings” into Raycast and open the Advanced settings menu. Now click the Extensions tab and scroll down to find OpenAI GPT3. You now have two options, and you can use either or both. You can enter an alias, say “gpt”, which means you only have to type “gpt” in the Raycast window and press Enter to get quick access to the prompt window. Alternatively, you can create a keyboard shortcut (such as Command + Shift + G) to access the prompt window directly. Now you’re never more than a few keystrokes away from the AI assistant!Raycast extension settings

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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