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Speeding up Workflow Hotkeys

Did you know that Alfred has different Hotkey Trigger modes, and selecting the correct mode could significantly improve performance?

Spotify Workflow in Alfred Workflow editor

The modes, which can be access by clicking the turquoise symbols to the right of the Hotkey Trigger field, are:

  • Simulate modifier keys released
  • Wait until modifier keys are released
  • Pass through modifier keys

By default, Alfred will simulate the release of the hotkey combo. This, along with the option to wait until modifier keys are released, is the most compatible with any action connected to the hotkey, but inherently introduces a small delay before the connected action is run.

If the action following the hotkey is unaffected by modifier keys being held, then you can make your hotkey much more responsive by selecting the mode to pass through modifier keys. Alfred can then run the connected action the instant you press your hotkey combo.

A Practical Example

The following little workflow toggles play and pause in Spotify, regardless of the media context in macOS. I use this workflow to quickly pause Spotify if I want to watch a YouTube video, and YouTube has already assumed the Mac keyboard media keys.

By selecting the "Pass through modifier keys" mode, there is no latency when using this hotkey to pause and un-pause Spotify.

Download Spotify Play Pause Workflow

Has this helped speed up your hotkeys? Let us know on Twitter @alfredapp :)

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