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Category: automation (page 1 of 3)

Apple Frames: A Shortcut for Framing Screenshots from Every Apple Device →

Federico Viticci writing for MacStories:

When I published my iPhone XS Frames shortcut two weeks ago, I noted that my goal was to eventually support screenshots and device templates from other Apple devices, starting with the Apple Watch and MacBook Pro. After two weeks spent rebuilding the shortcut and asking Silvia to prepare several more templates, I’m happy to re-introduce my shortcut as the new and improved Apple Frames – a comprehensive custom shortcut to frame screenshots taken on every Apple device. Well, at least most of the current ones that the company is still selling.

Stop looking for a way to create nicely framed screenshots for Apple devices, and just use this. I used the previous incarnation for iPhone screenshots, and it was fantastic. I could lament the absence of support for the 15 inch MacBook Pro, but that would be greedy. This is a completely free tool, and a good example of what you often can find at MacStories, and its subscription service, Club MacStories.


7 Sources for Ready-Made iOS Shortcuts

With the release of iOS 12, the Shortcuts app was released into the wild. Unlike Siri Shortcuts, through which you can assign simple voice commands to frequently used actions on your device,1 the Shortcuts app empowers you to build simple and complex automated workflows with a building block interface.

If you are intrigued by the power of the Shortcuts app, or you just want some inspiration, you’re in luck. Like the communities around other automation tools, Shortcuts users are generous with their creations and have shared their shortcuts online in several locations. Here are the seven best places I’ve found so far for downloading shortcuts:

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  1. Yes, I know that’s a gross oversimplification.


Use LaunchBar to Toggle Dark Mode in Mojave


NightOwl is a menu bar app to help you quickly toggle Mojave’s dark mode on and off. But I f your menu bar is already too cluttered, or if you prefer keeping your hands on the keyboard, you can set up your own tool to accomplish this instead. To do so, you need a program that can invoke an AppleScript, such as LaunchBar. I’ve set forth the steps for creating this below, but you can jump to the end of this post if you only want to download the Actions and don’t care how they’re made.

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Siri Shortcuts and Things →

Marius Masalar, at his blog:

“Hey Siri, Add a new Writing task”
This example creates a new task in Things within my ‘Writing’ area, assigned to Today, and presents me with a pre-filled quick-entry window where I can add the title and hit save.

I’ve already created almost 50 Siri Shortcuts, but I haven’t done much in the way of integrating Siri Shortcuts with Things. I’ve only set up a couple Siri Shortcuts to filter my tasks with particular tag/list combinations. Follow the link above, though, for some really good examples of Siri Shortcuts set up to create tasks in Things. The post inspired me to set up a few.

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macOS Mojave: the Automation Angle →

John Voorhees writing for MacStories:

My hope with Quick Actions is that they are the first step in a ground-up re-imagining of automation on the Mac where Quick Actions become the equivalent of shortcuts on iOS and Automator is replaced by something closer to the Shortcuts app on iOS. Automator has served Mac users well for years, but it doesn’t take long using Automator before you need to resort to scripting inside Automator workflows to get things done. Shortcuts supports scripting too, but I’ve found I can create far more complex automations on iOS without resorting to scripts, which makes it accessible to more people.

Dark Mode is the new feature in macOS Mojave getting all the attention, but I’m most interested in Quick Actions. I agree that seeing a tool like Shortcuts on the Mac would be nice, but the ability to run AppleScript in Automator brings all sorts of possibilities to Quick Actions. For example, I’m no scripter, but I regularly use a very basic AppleScript to launch Keyboard Maestro macros from Automator. Once I upgrade to Mojave, I’ll be seeing if I can get some of my Keyboard Maestro macros working through Quick Actions.1


  1. I need to hold off on updating, since I rely on Mail Act-On, which won’t be ready for Mojave (as part of a new Mail app suite) until October.