Tutorial: Share your Workflows Using GitHub

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The community of Alfred workflow creators spans the world, and the breadth of the Mac ecosystem.

To help new workflow creators share their work, Vítor Galvão, long-time Alfred workflow creator and community member, wrote this guide to sharing your workflows on GitHub.

First, we'll take a look at how to host your workflows on GitHub, which is free, then at the fun part - sharing your workflows with your friends and colleagues.

Part 1: Hosting the Workflow

Typical file hosting services are rife with tradeoffs, usually offering short-lived links. Ideally you'll want to share your Workflow somewhere free of transfer and storage costs, with an established reputation, and that allows you update to your work.

GitHub ticks all the boxes, but it may be daunting to know where to start if you're not a technical person. We'll demystify the process.

  1. Signup for GitHub. You'll set up your email, password, and username.
    • If you're redirected to a "Welcome to GitHub" or similar page where they ask about you or your team, feel free to ignore it.
  2. Create a new repository (the page where your Workflow will live).
    • Set Repository name to something short but descriptive. Example: alfred-search-wikipedia.
    • Under Initialize this repository with, tick the Add a README file box.
  3. You will be redirected to your Workflow's repository page on GitHub. Save the URL in the address bar, it's what you'll share with other people.
  4. Open Alfred Preferences, go to Workflows and locate yours.
  5. Right-click your Workflow in the list and Open in Finder. Copy it to your Desktop.

IMPORTANT: If you're not using the Finder's Column View, you'll be looking at the files of your Workflow. In that case, go to the menubar and click GoEnclosing Folder () to ensure you're selecting the folder of the Workflow.

  1. Right-click your Workflow in Alfred Preferences again and Export.... Save it to your Desktop.
  2. Drag and drop both into the browser window.
  3. You will be redirected. Press Commit changes at the bottom of the new page.
  4. Redirected again, to the main page. On the bottom division you'll see a preview of your README.md. At the moment it contains the name of your repository in big letters. Click the pencil icon to the right to edit it.
  5. The file uses Markdown. If you don't know what that is, don't worry about it and write normally. Describe what your Workflow does and how to use it. Use the About this Workflow text as inspiration.
  6. Click Commit changes at the bottom.

You're done! It gets easier with practice. Learning how to edit your work is left as an exercise to the reader, as are more advanced tasks like releases. GitHub has text and video guides to help you.

Part 2: Sharing the Workflow

Finally, the easy part. Share your Workflow on the official Alfred Forums. For the description, get inspiration from the GitHub's README. Include the link you saved in step 3.

To be extra helpful, include a direct download of the Workflow. To get the link, click the .alfredworkflow file in your repository's main page and copy it from Download or View Raw.

That's it! You've learned the basics of sharing a Workflow for prosperity. Thank you for being part of the community.

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