Alfred 5 is here - Find out what's new

A Handy Workflow to Open System Settings in macOS Ventura

Last week, Apple released macOS Ventura to the general public and, so far, it is proving to be a fairly stable new OS.

One minor hiccup in Ventura is that the new System Settings feature appears to be unfinished; Many of the preferences are not currently searchable in the way they were in previous macOS versions. Apple may improve this in an upcoming update, otherwise we'll look at tweaking Alfred's search to add these results.

In the meantime, we've created a workflow to open System Settings panes via all of the usual keywords, such as bluetooth, passwords, wallet and so on.

You can Download the System Settings workflow and view the numerous keywords from the GitHub page.

Workflow example with "screen" keyword

If you have any questions about the workflow, you can pop by the forum thread.

We'd also like to tip our bowler hat to community member Stephen C who created a first workflow to open System Preferences in macOS 12, helping establish many of the valid URL schemes. We truly have the best community members! :)

Alfred 5 is Ready for macOS Ventura

Apple have announced that macOS 13 Ventura will be generally available early next week.

We've been actively using macOS Ventura beta builds for the past few months, both internally and in the Alfred community, and we're happy to say that Alfred has been stable and running smoothly.

As such, if you need to upgrade to Ventura early on, you can do so with the confidence that you'll be able to use Alfred 5 with it right away. Be sure to check for updates in Alfred, and grab 5.0.3 for the best Ventura support if you haven't done so already.

Alfred Gallery: Submit Your Favourite Workflows

Alfred 5 has now been available for just under three months, and it's been brilliant to see both new and experienced users create excellent workflows which use many of the new workflow objects and Automation Tasks.

To help you discover, install and update all the amazing Workflows community members have been creating, we will be launching the Alfred Gallery next month.

You'll be able to submit workflows to the Gallery for inclusion, making it the ultimate resource for Alfred workflows!

At this stage, we're seeking your contributions; We’d love to hear about your favourite or most-used workflows. You can suggest your own workflows, or those created by other community members.

We're looking for all types of workflows, from simple, focused ones with little to no code to the more advanced ones out there.

How To Submit Your Workflows

Take a look at the Alfred Gallery Workflow submission forum where you'll be able to share workflows you'd like to suggest, as well as find tips on preparing your workflows for sharing.

If you have any questions about the submission process, don't hesitate to ask on the forum. We're excited to see this Gallery grow!

Alfred Gallery

Introduction to Automation Tasks

Automation Tasks are one of the new features introduced in Alfred 5. They behave like other Alfred Workflow objects, but instead of one specialised task, they contain a growing library of actions to choose from.

Together with the rewritten Workflow Editor and the new Palette, Automation Tasks allow you to build Workflows faster and without code.

Let's build a Workflow and look at a few Automation Tasks.

Building a Workflow without code

My Mac is set to Dark Mode and rotates the wallpaper every hour, but for screenshots I like to use Light Mode and the macOS default wallpaper. I may also resize the screenshot because retina images are large.

Changing everything back and forth is time consuming: I have to open the System Settings, go to two different panes, change the preferences in each, take the screenshot, resize it, then revert every changed setting. Even writing about it takes long!

Let's use Automation Tasks to do it for us.

We'll start simple: one Hotkey Trigger connected to two Automation Tasks in sequence. The first turns on Dark Mode and the second one changes the wallpaper.

Each Automation Task has simple configuration tailored to itself, which you can set directly from the object.

This is already an improvement. At this point we could duplicate everything and invert the settings to turn on Dark Mode and restore our wallpaper. Those two sets of actions take care of the most time-consuming part of the process, allowing us to take the screenshot in between.

But we can do better. Automation Tasks are straightforward to add and configure, plus they interact with other Alfred objects; we'll take advantage of that to do everything in one swoop.

Ready to use the Workflow?

You can download the Workflow to follow along.

  1. Save the path of the current wallpaper for later.
  2. Turn off Dark Mode (Light Mode on).
  3. Change to macOS' default wallpaper.
  4. Enter interactive screenshot mode. The Workflow waits until you're done.
  5. Resize the image to 50% the size.
  6. Restore Dark Mode and the original wallpaper.

Ten objects, zero scripting, one handy Workflow.

Automation Tasks can do so much more

We've barely scratched the surface; Automation Tasks can manipulate text, interact with web browsers, resize windows, and more! Each can be useful on their own, but they shine when strung together. Check the Automation Tasks documentation for more examples with fewer objects.

More is still to come to Automation Tasks, and we're loving the enthusiasm and ideas from the community. We're excited to see what Workflows you'll build next.

Latest Blog Post:

Alfred 4.8 Released: Improved Support for macOS 13 Ventura

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