Use workflows to extend Alfred and get things done in your own way. By replacing repetitive tasks with workflows, you'll boost your productivity.
Overview: What are workflows?
Workflows are part of the Powerpack features available in Alfred.
You'll find the Workflows section in Alfred's preferences under the "Workflows" header. Take a look at the topics below to discover how workflows can help you make repetitive tasks a thing of the past, making you more efficient on your Mac in ways you never thought possible!
- Adding your first workflow
- Downloading and discovering workflows
- Creating your own workflows
- Workflow object types
- Organising workflows with categories and defaults
- Workflow Script Environment Variables
- Workflow Troubleshooting
- Using Script Filter objects
- Using Alternative Actions in workflows
Workflow object types:
To find help on a specific object, navigate to it below, search for it or click the question mark icon in the object's settings in Alfred's Preferences.
- Triggers: Activate Alfred from a hotkey, another Alfred feature or an external source.
- Inputs: Keyword-based objects used to perform an action, on its own or followed by a query.
- Actions: The objects that do most of the work in your workflows; opening or revealing files and web searches, running scripts and performing commands.
- Outputs: Collect the information from the earlier objects in your workflow to pop up a Notification Centre message, show output in Large Type, copy to clipboard or run a script containing the result of your workflow.
Adding Your First Workflow
When you first navigate to the Workflows section of Alfred preferences, there are no active workflows in the left sidebar. You can get started by adding an example workflow. Click on the + at the bottom of the sidebar to reveal a menu with four options; Workflow defaults, examples, templates and blank workflow.
A great example to start with is the "Should I watch this movie?" workflow.
Each of the blocks is an object with its own settings. Double-clicking on each one will reveal the settings for it.
In this workflow, the keyword "movie" (on the left) followed by your search term will launch the three actions (on the right):
- YouTube will launch in a Google Chrome window
- IMDB will launch in your default browser
- Rotten Tomatoes will also launch in your default browser
In a few seconds, you've launched the sites you need to find out if the movie you want to watch is a winner or a flop.
Tip: Need help understanding what a workflow object does? Click the question mark icon to be taken to the relevant support page.
Downloading and Discovering Workflows
Now that you know how to use workflows, take a look at the wonderful workflows created by fellow Alfred users.
We've highlighted a few of our favourite workflows, and you'll find hundreds more in the following locations:
- On the Alfred blog
- On Packal, a fantastic site for workflows and themed created by Alfred fan and friend Shawn Rice
- On the Alfred Forum
If you don't find what you're looking for, it's worth taking a look on Google as many users choose to host workflows on their own websites.
Creating Your Own Workflows
In Alfred's Workflows preferences, you'll see a + button at the bottom of the left sidebar. This is your starting point when creating a new workflow.
The fully functional Examples show you how different types of workflows work, from simple ones like "Should I watch this movie?" to advanced script-based workflows like the Amazon and Google Suggest which present you with in-line results.
The Templates provide you with a starting point on the workflow canvas. Templates pre-populate your workflow canvas, so that you can just fill in the gaps.
If you prefer starting with a Blank workflow, click on the + button in the top right of the workflow canvas to start choosing objects to add to your workflow.
At any time, you can find help on a specific object by clicking the question mark icon in the object's settings in Alfred's Preferences.