Alfred 5.5 Beta - Find out what's new

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.

Yak Saver Workflow: Using the New Expression Utility

Amongst all the new features in Alfred 5.1, there is an inconspicuous new workflow object: the Expression Utility. It allows you to do maths calculations within your workflow without having to code a script.

It became immediately useful in the Yak Saver Workflow. Because it uses a Delay Utility which waits a number of seconds, you'd have to do some arithmetic yourself to configure the desired wait time.

Configuration for timer in seconds

Now we can ask for minutes and let the Expression Utility do the maths.

Expression Utility configuration

Yak Saver Canvas

Configuration for timer in minutes

Much better! A small change which makes a big difference.

Download the Yak Saver Workflow or browse the Alfred Gallery.

Alfred 5.1 Released: Automation Tasks, Gallery Improvements and More

Alfred 5.1 was released this week; It's a major update adding a wide range of improvements to Automation Tasks and the Alfred Gallery integration, Clipboard History and Snippets, and much more.

You can update to Alfred 5.1 from the Update tab in the preferences, or download it from alfredapp.com.

Automation Tasks Auto-Updater

Automation Tasks make it effortless to perform a wide variety of tasks; From changing your wallpaper or opening a new Safari tab to moving windows and converting dates and times.

There are over 150 tasks currently available already, which can be used as building blocks to create more complex workflows without writing a single line of code!

To support this, we've added the ability to keep these Automation Tasks auto-updated; In Workflows > Alfred Gallery > Automation Tasks Options..., check the box next to "Automatically keep Automation Tasks up to date" to ensure you always have the most recent version.

Automation Tasks Auto-Updater

If you're a workflow creator, you can also add the Automation Tasks to the Palette to make them easier to add to your own workflows; They'll then be included in the Palette search results for fast access.

The Workflow Gallery is Growing

The Alfred Gallery now contains more than 150 curated workflows and continues to grow with so many more to be added. Be sure to check out the Gallery and grab some new favourites!

Take a look at the Change Log for the full list of changes and improvements in this release.

Bringing AI to Alfred with Chatfred

Recently, Chris Lemke released a workflow for Open AI's ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 AI models. It seemed appropriate to ask ChatGPT to tell you more about the ChatGPT workflow!

Chatfred: A blog post by ChatGPT

Chatfred is an incredible Alfred workflow created by Chris Lemke that empowers Mac users to chat and generate images using state-of-the-art AI models like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. To use Chatfred, users will need to sign up for an account with OpenAI and create an API key as this is essential to use the workflow. Don't worry, creating an account is easier than pronouncing "DALL-E"!

Image of a robot created using DALL-E 2

This workflow is a game-changer for anyone looking to enhance their productivity and creativity while using their Mac. With Chatfred, you can chat and generate images directly from Alfred without switching between apps or browsers. It's fast, easy, and convenient. The support for AI models like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 makes Chatfred a standout workflow that can help you generate human-like responses and create stunning images with ease.

To use Chatfred, simply type the "cf" trigger keyword (or "cfi" for images) and the name of the model you want to use into Alfred's search bar. Then follow the prompts to generate your chat or image.

Alfred window containing the DALL-E 2 prompt

Chatfred is a must-have for anyone looking to streamline their workflow and take advantage of the latest AI technology. And hey, who knows, maybe you'll even be able to outsource some of your chatting to Chatfred so you can focus on other things... like telling more terrible jokes!


Download the Chatfred workflow on Alfred Gallery

Note: While ChatGPT wrote the article, I added relevant links and formatting.

Image credit: Created using DALL-E 2 via the Chatfred workflow, using the query "Photorealistic futuristic powerful AI productivity machine in cityscape, with purple and turquoise colours".

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Alfred 5.5 Beta: Exciting New Workflow Views & Stunning AI Integrations!

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