Alfred 5 is here - Find out what's new

Alfred 5.1.3 Released: Ready for macOS Sonoma

On Tuesday, 26th September, Apple will be releasing macOS Sonoma to the general public. Alfred 5 is stable on Sonoma, so feel free to upgrade to it if you're keen to adopt the new OS early.

There is one known issue; A rendering bug present in Sonoma causes Alfred's main results to sometimes appear in the incorrect location. (This bug has been reported to Apple with a reproducible case as Feedback reference FB13188204.)

It doesn't affect the contents of your Alfred results, only their visual placement. The Clipboard & Snippets, File Navigation, and preferences all render as expected.

Workaround for the Sonoma Rendering Bug

First, ensure you're using Alfred 5.1.3, which includes a few mitigations to work around the visual glitch.

You may only rarely see the issue, and it may not bother you, but if you prefer, you can enable a workaround which you'll find in Alfred's General preferences.

Open Alfred's preferences to the General tab to enable "Default Results Fixed Size" in the Sonoma Rendering Bug box in the top right. This will make Alfred's window a fixed height based on the number of results you've selected for Alfred to show, and therefore won't exhibit the bug.

Sonoma Rendering Bug checkbox

This is a temporary measure, which we'll remove as soon as the issue is fixed.

Update to Alfred 5.1.3 today

You can update to Alfred 5.1.3 from Alfred's Update tab, or download it from alfredapp.com.

We recommend using Alfred 5 with macOS Sonoma, so if you have an older Powerpack license, you can upgrade at a discount. Not yet taking advantage of the great Powerpack features Alfred has to offer? You can get a new Single User or Mega Supporter license to get started!

A Workflow in 2 Minutes: Convert .heic images to .jpg in one keystroke

When we say that you can create an Alfred workflow without code in a matter of minutes, we're not kidding!

I created the first version of this workflow in under two minutes to solve a recurring problem by using 3 workflow objects.

The problem: Apple's default format for iPhone photos is .heic. However, this isn't a universal format and many non-Apple devices and websites don't accept that format.

The solution: Rather than manually opening the .heic photo in Preview and exporting it to .jpg, I used the Automation Task Convert Image Format, which can be found in the Image Manipulation group.

Tiny version of the workflow

Two minutes, done!

Giving the Workflow Superpowers

I then let my teammate Vítor loose with the workflow... and, in his own words, he got a little carried away. :D

The workflow is now far more powerful and can be configured with:

  • A keyword
  • Your preferred folder where images are saved
  • The option to trash the original HEIC image after conversion
  • A choice of actions to take after conversion, from 5 possible outcomes including Reveal in Finder, Add to File Buffer, Move to New Location

Convert one file, or multiple files at once. Filter files via Alfred's results with the heicjpg keyword, or use your Universal Actions hotkey. Much more versatile!

Download the HEIC to JPG workflow from the Alfred Gallery.

Full workflow

New to Automation Tasks?

If you haven't experimented with Automation Tasks yet, you'll find them in Alfred's Workflows. Add an Automation Task object to your workflow to get started.

If you see "Tasks Not Installed", you'll first need to install them. We recommend checking the box to "Automatically keep Automation Tasks up to date".

Interacting with Web Browsers via Automation Tasks

Alfred's Automation Tasks have been able to interact with web browsers since their first release. They allow you to effortlessly get a list of open tabs, create new windows, interact with tabs matching a certain pattern, run JavaScript, and more.

Frontmost Browser Automation Tasks

Because different browsers require different commands for certain operations, until now, you needed to specify which browser to run an action on. While that's fine for your own workflows if you only use one browser, it requires extra steps if you wish to support multiple browsers at once.

This is why, in the 2023.3 release of Automation Tasks, we introduced the Frontmost Browser collection. It supports every Task from the other groups and adapts its behaviour to the browser which is the frontmost app.

While the previous tasks maintain their relevance because they can target specific browsers in multiple contexts, often you just want to run something on whatever browser you're working in at the moment. With the new Tasks, that becomes significantly easier.

Note: The web browser has to be the frontmost app. You'll know an app is frontmost if you can see its name in bold in the menubar, to the right of the .

This update also includes support for two new browsers: full support for Orion and initial support for Arc.

A few caveats apply: because Webkit browsers (Safari, Orion) do not have AppleScript hooks to open Private Windows, that functionality is disabled for them. In that same vein, Arc's AppleScript support is limited (e.g. cannot get tabs from a single window) and strays from other Chromium browsers, so current support is restricted to tasks which interact with the frontmost tab. We will continue to adapt the Automation Tasks as browsers evolve their AppleScript functionality.

Error handling has also gotten a lift: every browser Automation Task checks early if it can act on a particular browser and will show an error on the debugger if it cannot, together with an exhaustive list of every browser which supports the action.

Finally, this update brings with it general code improvements and other new tasks, including one to change the URL of the current tab and ways to strip leading and trailing arguments and lines of text.

Use Universal Actions From Anywhere

Did you know that you can select a file, some text or a URL anywhere on your Mac or in Alfred, and perform an action instantly?

For example, you can select a file in Finder and move it to the right folder, or choose a snip of text from your browser and turn it into a new snippet in just a few keypresses.

Universal Actions for an image

Using Universal Actions

Universal Actions are deeply integrated into Alfred, so you can trigger them from search results, File Navigation or the Clipboard Viewer. Press the right arrow to reveal the File Actions panel from any of these views.

From Finder or any other app on your Mac, you can select a file, a URL or some text and use Cmd + Alt + \ to pop up relevant actions for the item type you picked.

You can even use Alfred's File Buffer to gather a few files first before taking action on all of them at once.

Files added to the File Buffer

Using Workflows and Custom Actions

Need more than the built-in actions? Many workflows also include Universal Actions as part of their features. There are currently 45+ workflows in the Gallery containing Universal Actions like image compression, file comparison, QR code generation, and much more!

Still want more? You can create your own custom actions to perform tasks tailored to your specific needs, like moving files to a specific backup, running scripts for a selected URL, or anything that can make your day easier!

Automation Tasks Get a Big Update in Alfred 5.1

Automation Tasks were introduced in Alfred 5 to allow you to build even more complex Workflows without a line of code. Nothing beats introducing someone to Automation Tasks, and seeing the world of new ideas they spark!

With Alfred 5.1, they've had a big upgrade; New Automation Tasks were added, and installation, auto-updating and searching is even easier now.

New installation mechanism and auto-updates

When navigating the Workflow Preferences, Alfred lets you know if Automation Tasks updates are available.

Automation Tasks update available banner in Alfred Preferences

Turn on auto-updates and you'll never have to wonder if you have the latest version.

Automation Tasks options

New ways of searching Automation Tasks

Automation Tasks can now be searched for and added directly from the Workflows Palette, helping you filter and find what you want faster.

Searching for Automation Tasks via the Palette

New Automation Tasks

New tasks have been added, including keyboard simulation (media keys, volume keys, screen and keyboard brightness keys), clicking menubar items, opening in Quick Look, timezone conversion, and general improvements to existing tasks.

We add new tasks regularly, so do check the Automation Tasks object periodically to discover what new ones you can include in your own workflows!

More ways of providing input

Tasks like Does Path Exist? used to have no configuration. Instead, you'd need to have the preceding object (or Inbound Configuration) send it the path to check. This makes the task versatile, allowing dynamic paths or multiple paths to be specified. But sometimes you always want to act on the same fixed file, or you saved it as a variable earlier in the workflow and don't want to add a new Arg and Vars Utility just to pass that in.

So we added an alternative: Automation Tasks which require an input can now have it be given from the preceding object or from configuration directly in the task ({var:} variables work). This makes them easier to set up for simple cases, while keeping the more powerful functionality. And it gives you more hints of what's happening!

New configuration in Does Path Exist

Future Automation Tasks

This update gives you new functionality to play with while strengthening the framework Automation Tasks are built upon. New ones will continue to be added with these improvements for all Alfred 5 users.

If you're just discovering Automation Tasks, this Introduction to Automation Tasks is a good place to start.

You can also ask questions about using them in our friendly community forum.

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Alfred 5.1.3 Released: Ready for macOS Sonoma

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