I use Alfred for all sort of triggers, including launching applications and initiating Google searches, but I also like it for pasting selected content from filtered lists.
For example, I have a filter list of affiliate links that I use in articles, emails, and other newsletters. Using Alfred, I can easily access this list by simply typing the assigned keyword, “link” in the search window, and it will in turn display my list of affiliate links.
After I select an item from the list, I simply hit the Return key and Alfred automatically pastes that item in the most current document.
Note: As you see in the movie demo above, you can select an item by using a keyboard shortcut, but I prefer using the Up and Down Arrows keys to navigate a list. However, to trigger the Arrow keys, I don’t lift my right hand off the main keys of the keyboard.
Instead, I use a Keyboard Maestro macro that enables me to trigger the Down Arrow key by pressing the assigned keyboard shortcut, Command+J. I use Option+J to trigger the Up Arrow key.
Why do I do this way? Because it’s difficult for me to press the Arrow keys without looking down at my keyboard to locate them, and it also means I need to remove my right hand from the main keys to press the Arrow keys. Thus, my Keyboard Maestro macros are faster for triggering those keys.
How to Create an Alfred List Filter
Time needed: 15 minutes.
- Open and select the Workflows editor in Alfred preferences
Only the premium version of Alfred includes the workflow features.
- Click the + button and select Getting Started > List Filter
The dropdown will include information about list filters. Press the Continue button.
- Double-click on the List Filter action
This action editor is where you create your list and input a keyword to display the list in Alfred.
- Create your list and give it a keyword
Create your list by changing the default items and then adding additional items by clicking on the + button at the bottom of the editor. Each item needs a title and an argument (Arg). Note, you can add an image icon for each item or you can add the same icon for all the items.
- Add memorable keyword, and an optional placeholder title and placeholder subtext.
It’s a good idea to drop an icon in the icon window on the right. I simply found my icon using an Internet search.
Click the Save button when you’re done.
- Right-click on the Larger Type action and replace it with the Copy to Clipboard action
Notice that there are other output actions that you can use, like displaying the selected item in large type, writing the information to a text file, or displaying a selections as a notification.
- Paste Selection
You can add another out for pasting the selected item. Right-click again in the editor and select Outputs > Dispatch Key Combo. Hook that action to the last action.
- Action Workflow
- Optional: Double-click on the workflow and add more information
In the workflow editor, you can change the name of the workflow, change the data for the Bundle ID in case you want to share the workflow. And if you created categories for your workflows, you select which category to place the filter list workflow in.
If you give this workflow a try, I would love to hear from you about the type of list you created. The filter list could also be created in TextExpander or Keyboard Maestro, but I prefer setting it up in Alfred because it provides a cleaner user interface. If you’re using Alfred, you can download a free trial version here.
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