Start Your Day Productively: A Workflow to Launch Your Work Environment

Alfred includes a brilliant range of features, between the free version and the Powerpack. To help you discover (or re-discover) them, we've created this collection of tips and tricks.

Are you a writer? A software developer? A photographer? No matter your field of work, it's likely that when you sit down to work at your Mac, there are a few key bits of software, some websites or resources you need to access regularly.

To avoid the temptation to become a professional social media surfer, here's a simple workflow you can use, and tweak to your needs, to get your work environment up and running, so that you can get into your work groove.

Workflow to launch a few apps and websites to start your day

This workflow consists of three object types:

1. Keyword input

The workflow is triggered with the keyword "morning", used with the "No argument" option in its settings.

Keyword Input

You could alternatively set a hotkey if you prefer to mash a hotkey combo to get your apps launched while having your morning coffee.

2. Launch Apps / Files object

The keyword connects to two "Launch Apps / Files" objects for Xcode and Slack.

Using this object couldn't be simpler; When its configuration panel is open, search for the app you want to launch in Alfred, and drag it from Alfred's results to the configuration panel.

Note that multiple apps can be launched with a single object; Xcode and Slack were added separately in this workflow for illustration purposes.

Launch Apps and Files Object

3. Open URL object

The "Open URL" object is used to launch the team bug tracker.

You can enter a URL to launch, or use one of your existing custom searches.

Open URL object with example URL

Launch your Workflow (and revisit it occasionally)

You can add as many actions as you like to this workflow, whether it's to launch scripts or perform any other actions.

Every so often, take a look at your work habits and see where you can speed up repetitive tasks by creating a new workflow, adding a few snippets or setting up a file filter.

After all, Alfred's workflows are designed to be completely flexible to help you make the most of your time.

Don't forget to take a look at past tips & tricks for more Alfred features you may not have discovered yet!

Alfred 3.8 Released: Signed, Sealed and Notarised

This week, we released Alfred 3.8, which includes the new Notarisation security feature for macOS Mojave.

Notarisation was introduced in macOS Mojave as an extension of Gatekeeper. When we submit an Alfred build to Apple's notary service, it automatically scans the app for malicious content, checks for any code-signing issues, then notarises the app so that we can release it to you.

Apple's intention is that, by having more granular control over software distributed outside of the Mac App Store, Mac users can have even more confidence in the apps they use.

In practice, it simply means that Alfred will show you this message when you launch it for the first time.

macOS notice on launch that Alfred is notarised

It's only subtly different from the previous notice, but includes the "Apple checked it for malicious software and none was detected." message, confirming that the app was notarised.

Click "Open", and you'll be back to your superbly productive self with Alfred's help!

Create Auto-Expanding Rich Text Snippets with Workflows

Alfred includes a brilliant range of features, between the free version and the Powerpack. To help you discover (or re-discover) them, we've created this collection of tips and tricks.

Have you ever wanted to create rich text snippets in Alfred?

With a workflow, you can create snippets which includes formatted text and links. (You can do much more with Snippet Triggers, but let's start with something simple!)

Download the example snippet here to follow along this quick and easy tutorial.

The workflow consists of three objects:

Workflow objects for the Rich Text Format example workflow

1. Snippet Trigger object

Choose your keyword and set it in this object, as snippet keywords are stripped when importing a workflow to ensure it doesn't clash with keywords you've already set.

Double-click the object to open it and enter your keyword; Note that it'll then be prefixed by the "Shared Prefix" set below.

Configuring the Snippet Trigger keyword

Take a look at our Tips for Better Snippet Expansion if you need a hand choosing suitable snippet keywords.

2. Run Script object

The next object is a Run Script action. This contains a very simple script which copies the content of the snippet1.rtf file (which is stored in the workflow folder) to the clipboard.

Run Script Configuration

Edit the content of the RTF file by right-clicking the workflow name in the sidebar and choosing "Open in Finder", which opens the workflow folder. Open the RTF file in TextEdit and make the snippet look exactly as you wish. Save your RTF file and you're all set!

Editing the snippet content in TextEdit

3. Dispatch Key Combo

Finally, our third object outputs the copied clipboard content to the frontmost app by performing a Cmd + V paste.

You're all done; In a rich text environment, use your snippet keyword and it'll be replaced by your new rich text snippet!

Want more?

You can then duplicate the workflow as many times as you need to create other rich text snippets, by right-clicking the workflow in the sidebar and choosing "Duplicate".

Being able to harness the power of workflows directly from a text snippet gives you immense flexibility. Let us know on Twitter how you use Snippet Triggers.

Don't forget to take a look at past tips & tricks for more Alfred features you may not have discovered yet!

Search your Browser Bookmarks in Alfred

Alfred includes a brilliant range of features, between the free version and the Powerpack. To help you discover (or re-discover) them, we've created this collection of tips and tricks.

We all squirrel away useful and interesting links in our browser bookmarks, but searching through them can be a hassle. Alfred makes it quick and easy to find just the right one, with Browser Bookmarks integration.

image

In the results, you'll see the name of the page, the URL and the browser folder in which the bookmark is saved.

Search your Safari and/or Chrome bookmarks, and tell Alfred whether you prefer to include bookmarks in your default results or via a customisable keyword.

Bookmarks Preferences in Alfred

To take advantage of this feature (and many more!), make sure you're using the latest Alfred 3 update. If you're on an older version, you can download Alfred 3 from alfredapp.com. If you're already using Alfred 3, simply update in-app for the latest.

Using macOS Mojave?

If you're on macOS Mojave, be sure to grant Alfred the necessary permissions for bookmarks to be found. These permissions are no different to previous macOS versions, but Mojave is more granular in requesting access.

Don't forget to take a look at past tips & tricks for more Alfred features you may not have discovered yet!

Enhance Your Vocabulary with Alfred's Dictionary Keywords

Alfred includes a brilliant range of features, between the free version and the Powerpack. To help you discover (or re-discover) them, we've created this collection of tips and tricks.

Did you know that Alfred's Dictionary feature includes two keywords to help you broaden your vocabulary when writing?

Defining a word

First, the "define" keyword will show in-line a brief definition of the word you're searching for. Press the Return key to pop up the Dictionary with a more complete definition if necessary.

If you're looking to expand your lexicon with synonyms, choose the Thesaurus the first time you launch the Dictionary app, and Alfred will ensure it's launched to the same tab next time.

Defining the word

Checking spelling

Secondly, the "spell" keyword helps you check the spelling of a word, showing you the correct spelling in-line. Pressing Return copies the correct spelling to your clipboard.

Spelling the word

Under Features > Dictionary, you can choose to automatically paste the correctly spelled word to the frontmost application to save time.

May your future literary oeuvres be erudite and scholarly! ;)

Don't forget to take a look at past tips & tricks for more Alfred features you may not have discovered yet!

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