The $2000 Question

Alfred users are all over the world; From the US to Australia, from the island of CuraƧao in the Caribbean to Antartica!

It's always interesting for us to see your tweets and posts of where you've seen Alfred lately, whether you spot a conference speaker using it on stage or you let us know that you've done a presentation about productivity to your work team.

This month, we had what might be the most surprising and funny Alfred mention yet! We woke up to loads of you tweeting and emailing us to let us know that Alfred had been featured as a $2000 question on the American show Jeopardy!

We were stunned and amused to see Alfred appear on this quiz show, which is an American institution broadcast since the 1960's, which covers a broad range of topics, testing the knowledge of its contestants!

Of course, we know you guys would've known the answer. :)

Huge thanks to Kyle Swank for the Jeopardy clip.

Upgrading or Installing a New OS

With macOS Sierra's release just around the corner, we wanted to share a few tips to get you up and running with Alfred as quickly as possible on a new version of Apple's operating system.

Alfred is Sierra-ready and will work smoothly right away once you've upgraded to macOS. We recommend ensuring you're on the latest update (3.1.1) which is available from the Update tab in Alfred's preferences or from alfredapp.com.

If you're installing your Mac from scratch, the tips below will help you activate your Powerpack license, re-set your preferences and find results when you need them.

Activate your Powerpack

If you've reinstalled your Mac, you'll need to activate your license to take advantage of the Powerpack features.

We sent licenses by email automatically when you made your purchase, so look for emails from @alfredapp.com or for the "Your Alfred License" subject line for the original license email we sent you.

Set up preferences syncing

A great way to keep your Alfred preferences handy is to use Dropbox cloud-based syncing. If you've just re-installed Dropbox on your Mac, give Dropbox sufficient time to download all of your cloud-based files before selecting your Alfred preferences folder in Dropbox.

Why? If you set syncing up before your preferences have been downloaded, a new set of preferences will be created. Waiting until Dropbox completes its download ensures you'll be able to use your existing settings.

Find out more about syncing your Alfred preferences, which is also a convenient way to keep a backup!

Let your Mac reindex

Alfred uses refined queries over macOS's metadata index, the same index that Spotlight uses.

As such, if you're re-installed from scratch, your Mac will need a bit of time to build up its metadata index. During this indexing time, search results may be incomplete but this takes under an hour. Once it's done, you'll be sorted.

We've been using Sierra since the early betas and Alfred performs beautifully, so happy upgrading!

Alfred 3.1 Released: Workflows and Performance Improvements

Today, we released Alfred 3.1, which brings you new workflow objects, as well as tons of great performance improvements.

Three new workflows objects have been added; A "Hide Alfred" utility, and the "Dispatch Key Combo" and "Call External Trigger" output objects.

The "Call External Trigger" output is a powerful new output object which allows you to call a workflow trigger directly. This not only removes the need to use AppleScript to loop-back in a workflow, it gives the flexibility of passing through the current argument and stream variables. It also allows you to create callback-style functions from one workflow to another. Take a look at the new example in the Getting Started workflows collection in 3.1 to see this object in context.

The new "Dispatch Key Combo" output simulates a keypress in OS X as an output from a workflow.

We've also made significant performance improvements in many areas, giving you an even faster and more reliable experience. In particular, responsiveness has been improved when a Mac is under load, as well as making the Actions panel and Large Type snappier.

To find out more about the numerous other improvements in this release, take a look at the complete change log.

You can update to Alfred 3.1 from Alfred's Update preferences or by downloading it directly from alfredapp.com.

Alfred 3.0.3 and 2.8.6 Released: Ready for macOS Sierra

In June, Apple announced the next version of its Mac operating system was coming soon, and announced its new name: macOS.

In preparation for the public release of macOS Sierra, due in the autumn, we've released Alfred 3.0.3 and 2.8.6 to ensure compatibility with Apple's new requirements.

Alfred 3.0.3 bring improvements to workflows, including fixes to a few issues and the addition of a script environment variable (alfred_workflow_version) so that the version can be set in the workflow. It also includes improvements to Clipboard History and Snippets; speed and efficiency improvements, the ability to exclude snippets from the clipboard, and better support for non-standard applications.

You can take a look at the full change log for details.

For those who are still on Alfred 2, updating to the latest build will provide you with compatibility enhancements ahead of macOS Sierra too.

Don't forget: If you have an existing Powerpack license, you're eligible for a discounted upgrade to Alfred 3, so why not join the fun with Alfred 3?

Alfred 3.1 is already in the works, with some exciting new features ahead! Stay tuned, and follow us on Twitter (@alfredapp) for sneak peeks in the coming weeks! :)

How To Get The Results You Want in Alfred Every Time

When you start using Alfred regularly to launch apps and find files, you'll quickly find that Alfred presents you with the right results. But how can you ensure you always get what you want?

Alfred learns from your usage

Prefer using "s" to launch Spotify rather than Safari? Simply select Spotify a few times when typing "s" to teach Alfred this is the app you want to match.

No need for fancy steps; Alfred will learn, and the more you use him to launch your apps and files, the more he'll add to his knowledge.

Setting the right search scope

The next most important step to get the right result quickly is setting the scope of the results you want include in Alfred's search.

By default, when you type your search term with no prefix, Alfred's search scope includes Applications, Contacts and Preferences in the locations set in Features > Default Results.

Setting your Default Results

I like to add folders to these results, and we offer a few additional file types you can add. To keep your results tidy, don't add all available file types; Just your essentials for types you'll need instantly.

Searching for files

To search for a broader set of files, including your images, PDFs, music and more, the spacebar is your friend.

To open a file, type "open" or press the spacebar, followed by the name of your file.

You'll see all the relevant results, and you may need to scroll down if there are a lot of results - Just use the arrows to keep navigating down the list. Press Enter to launch your file.

There are two other useful keywords; "find" will reveal the file in Finder instead of launching it and "in" will let you search for the content of files, such as text in a document.

Adding keywords as nicknames

Let's say the app you want to launch is Photos, but you keep calling it "iPhoto", out of habit or nostalgia for the old days.

Alfred can help you resolve this in a few ways:

1. Create a mini-workflow

You can create a simple workflow using Templates > Files and Apps > Launch file group from keyword or by creating your own blank workflow and connecting a keyword to a Launch Apps/Files object.

Workflow for app nicknames

You can add multiple objects to this particular workflow, connecting each app you want to launch to its respective alternative keyword.

2. Add a Tag or Spotlight Comment

Why did I put this simple option second? OS X can require permissions to add tags & comments to System files, which can make it a little fiddlier.

However, using Tags to label your files can be a very powerful way to search for files. Our guide to using OS X tags for better search can help you make the most of tagging.

Creating custom file filters

We love file filters so much that we've included an example workflow to show you how smoothly they can help you find what you need.

To add it, click the [+] at the bottom of the Workflows preferences, and choose Examples > Dynamic File Search.

Type "ff" in Alfred to first select a search scope:

File Filter Workflow

Then type the name of the file you're searching for within that folder:

Searching for files in a File Filter Workflow

You could even add an extra filter object to set the file types you want to search for.

This shows just how flexible Alfred's search is; Whether you just want to get the right app first, or dig out obscure files in the depths of your file system, your results are just a few keypresses away!

Take a look at the Tips and Tricks category for more ideas on how to make the most of Alfred.

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