9 Alfred Features You Might Not Know Exist Yet

Lately, I’ve seen a few tweets from Alfred users who discovered a feature they hadn’t tried before, and immediately found their discovery life-changing. We always get a kick out of your friendly tweets, the best of which we add to our favourites.

Whether you’re new to Alfred or have been a power user for years, take a look at the great tips from recent tweets. A number of these features are available in the core version of Alfred, available for free, and Powerpack-only features are denoted with [P].

Weather web search

It’s unavoidable, the whole northern hemisphere is hurtling towards winter. Find your local weather by typing “weather” followed by your location and see whether you should dig out your hat and mittens or reach for the shorts and sandals one last time. (hey, let me dream a little!)

File Buffer [P]

A lesser known feature, the File Buffer allows you to stack up files before taking action on all of them at once. Especially handy to move multiple files to Dropbox in a single action, for example.

It’s never too late to learn how to use the File Buffer!

Alfred’s built-in Calculator

Simple, yet effective.

Quicklook

Quick way to check you’ve found the right file. Particularly useful when looking at obscurely named screenshots!

Force Quit keyword

System Commands are a brilliantly handy way to control your Mac.

Clipboard History & Merging [P]

Even if you’re aware of Clipboard History, it bears repeating.

But you might not yet have discovered clipboard merging, a handy way to append a copied item to the previous one.

1Password bookmarks integration [P]

Terminal commands [P]

Put your sunglasses on and you’ll feel like you’re in a scene out of Hackers.

Large Type

And finally, this is truly technology at work.

Use Cmd + L to show text in large type on your screen, whether it’s a contact’s phone number, the result of a calculation or asking your other half whether they want pizza for dinner.

I can’t help but finish this post by giving a huge shout out to all the lovely +38,400 people who follow us on Twitter and make us smile every day, as well as to WordPress.com for making it so simple to include your tweets in this post. Any tips of your own you’d like to add?

5 Tips To Make Workflows Work Harder For You

Workflows are a great way to extend Alfred in ways that fit your particular needs and the frequent tasks in your personal routine. In this post, I’ve gathered a few valuable tips on organising and managing your growing collection of workflows.

Sync your workflows

NsntJZzYPbAY4hb-v2mPIxYuSjcFKtg0rpCJgw5vIsoIf you have a Mac at home and that you’re lucky to have an enlightened boss, you might have a Mac at the office too. If you use Alfred on both, you can sync your Alfred settings – including your workflows - between your two Macs using Dropbox. Create a new workflow at work (or a theme, custom search or snippet) and it’ll be automatically synchronised with your Mac at home.

Jump to the Advanced tab in Alfred’s preferences to set synching up, or take a look at the tutorial on syncing using Dropbox for a walkthrough on syncing your settings.

Categorise and filter your workflows

As your collection of workflows grows, you can organise them into categories. There are a few default categories to get you started, but you can add your own so that you can quickly locate all your music-related workflows, for example.

Once you’ve assigned your workflows to categories, you can filter to show a single category by clicking on the magnifying glass at the top of your list of workflows.

Find out more about creating workflow categories and filtering on our support site.

Show which hotkeys are in use

If you’re a hotkey fiend but your memory sometimes fails you, you can see at a glance all of your workflow hotkeys in the workflows list. You can toggle this view by clicking on the magnifying glass and checking the “Show hotkeys” box under Display Options.

sidebar_categories

As well as showing the hotkeys, there are other Display Options; Show categories, show workflow creator’s name and only show enabled workflows.

Group actions into a single workflow

A handy way of keeping track of similar actions, such as hotkeys used to launch applications, is to add them to a single workflow instead of creating a new workflow for individual hotkeys.

For example, below is the workflow I use for launching applications like browsers and tools I need frequently. To add these hotkeys, you simply need a “Hotkey” trigger connected to a “Launch Apps / Files” action.

multiple_hotkeys

You could do the same for a collection of file filter workflows or any other actions you’ve grouped together, making it quicker and easier to locate them.

Look out for workflows created by other users

As well as creating your own workflows, it’s worth taking a look at the wonderful range of workflows created by fellow Alfred users.

You’ll find some here on the blog, on the Alfred forum and on the wonderful Packal (created and maintained by Shawn Rice). Many developers host their workflows on their own websites so it’s also worth a quick Google search and a look at Github. It’s likely that if you’ve thought about it, someone has created a workflow for it! :)

Giveaway: Share your Alfred tips [updated with winners]

As you might know, about 3 months ago I started Alfred Tips tumblr which now houses over 50 tips and tricks, helping you make the most of the many, both free and Powerpack features that Alfred offers.

There are tips for beginners as well as advanced users, ranging from descriptions of how to launch multiple apps and files at the same time, tips showing the possibilities of custom search uses or even mini-tutorials explaining how to teach Alfred to behave just as you want him to.

Now it’s your turn!

What is your tip or trick for how to make the most of Alfred? Is there one thing that makes you incredibly productive? Is there a feature you can’t imagine not having anymore? Have you found a neat little way to do something that used to take you lots of time?

Share your own Alfred tip in the comments below for a chance to be one of the 5 randomly selected entries that will receive a gift pack of the lovely and gorgeous Field Notes notebooks. Or do it just for the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes once you’ve realised that your tip may be helping thousands of Alfred users.

Submission time has ended, thank you all for participating!

For a taste of what some of the best tips were, we particularly liked the following one by Molo One:

Turn Aiport on or off in four keystrokes (or less) using the new “silent” terminal mode [PP]:
1| Create two shortcuts : aion & aiof
2| Define aion as : networksetup -setairportpower on (for Leopard) / networksetup -setairportpower AirPort on (for Snow Leopard)
3| Define aiof as : networksetup -setairportpower off (for Leopard) / networksetup -setairportpower AirPort off (for Snow Leopard)
4| Check the “Silent” checkbox.

The 5 random winners of a Field Notes pack or beautiful Alfred schwag are:

Congratulations! We’ll be emailing you shortly with more information.

We’ll close the comments in 24 hours, so be quick! You have until 4pm UK time (11am EST/8am PST) on Tuesday 10th May to submit your tip. We’ll then post the names of the randomly selected winners as an update to this blog post.

I’ll be looking forward to reading your tips!

Anna (@annamanasova)