Have you ever noticed the subtle change in the subtext of a result in Alfred when you type a search term and press the Ctrl, Alt or Cmd key?
Action modifiers are tiny superpowers hidden in plain sight, so let's take a look at how you can use them.
Imagine that I want to search online for information about the GitHub code repository; I'll type "github" into Alfred... but the GitHub Desktop app that's installed on my Mac appears as a matching result.
How can I quickly search the web for my keyword? Should I delete all characters and re-type it as "google github"?
There's no need; Hidden under the Ctrl modifier hotkey is quick access to my default search engine!
Holding the Ctrl key shows "Search for 'github' with default fallback" as subtext, so I can press Enter to perform this alternative action on my result.
The action modifiers are:
- Ctrl + Return to search with the default web search (Google, or any alternative you've set as your top Fallback Search)
- Alt + Return to search with Spotlight
- Cmd + Return to reveal the result in Finder, if it's a local result such as a file or app
You can change these in Alfred's Advanced Preferences, where you'll find a few more possible actions in the dropdown menus.
Next time you start searching for a keyword that happens to match local files when you need to search the web, remember to hold Ctrl and press Return. Another convenient time saver! :)