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I’m blissful to announce that MacStories Shortcuts Icons, our customized icon set for including shortcuts to the House display, has obtained a free replace right this moment that provides 50 new glyphs. With this second free replace, the set has reached 400 distinctive glyphs accessible in 4 variations for a complete of 1,600 icons included within the full Bundle version.
The replace is now accessible, free for current clients (simply obtain the file once more); for brand spanking new clients, the replace is a part of the usual buy for all editions of MacStories Shortcuts Icons: Bundle, Shade, and Basic.
All gross sales are closing. Learn our phrases of use right here.
For individuals who might have missed it final 12 months: MacStories Shortcuts Icons helps you to customise the look of your shortcuts added to the House display by selecting from lots of of glyphs designed particularly with Shortcuts customers in thoughts, going past what’s supplied by Apple within the Shortcuts app. The icons can be found in two variations – Basic and Shade – and a Bundle version containing each (and discounted by 40% proper now) is on the market as nicely.
In right this moment’s free replace, you’ll discover a wide range of new glyphs for various use circumstances, from productiveness (with extra kinds of folders and paperwork) to leisure (AirPods Professional have a devoted glyph now) and health-related glyphs.
Listed here are the entire previews of all the brand new glyphs included on this free replace:
And following this replace, right here’s how I’ve added among the new icons (each within the Basic and Shade variations) to my iPad House display:
Lastly: we’ve been engaged on a model new MacStories Pixel product for the previous few months, which is popping out quickly with a launch low cost. Control MacStories Pixel and @MacStoriesNet on Twitter for updates on this – I’m very enthusiastic about what we’ve ready.
Learn how to Replace and The place to Purchase
Should you’re an current buyer of MacStories Shortcuts Icons, you may re-download the file (utilizing the hyperlink in your authentic e-mail receipt) to discover a new folder with the 50 new glyphs; in case you can’t discover your authentic MacStories Pixel e-mail for MacStories Shortcuts Icons, be happy to get in contact at [email protected]
Should you haven’t bought MacStories Shortcuts Icons but, now’s a good time to leap in and begin customizing your House display. You could find extra particulars on the product web page, learn our FAQ right here, and buy the icons by clicking the Purchase button beneath.
All gross sales are closing. Learn our phrases of use right here.
I want I might quote a single part of Jordan Merrick’s Shortcuts wishlist, however I can’t as a result of I agree with all of it. Should you’re a heavy Shortcuts person, you’ve seemingly come throughout at the least a few the restrictions Merrick factors out (lack of folders and struggling to navigate lengthy shortcuts).
As we glance forward at WWDC 2020, it’s additionally a great time to hyperlink again to my What’s Nonetheless Lacking from Shortcuts part from the iOS and iPadOS 13 evaluation. Hopefully, a number of objects shall be checked off this listing in iOS 14.
Sooner or later, I believe everybody who manages their work and private lives in a process supervisor runs right into a muddle drawback. With every thing from reminders to maneuver my laundry from the washer to the dryer to a different to publish our newest MacStories venture, it typically seems like my checklist of duties by no means will get shorter.
If you happen to’ve ever skilled that feeling your self, or simply desire a light-weight method to shortly handle your life, Due is a incredible choice that Federico and I’ve each lined because it first debuted within the earliest days of the App Retailer. What I like a lot about Due is that by transferring short-term, smaller duties out of my predominant process supervisor to it, my major process supervisor turns into extra targeted and simpler to make use of. It’s additionally so easy so as to add reminders and timers to Due that I’m way more seemingly to make use of the app for ephemeral to-dos, lowering day-to-day psychological overhead.
Due is a pro-user implementation of reminders and timers. The app has among the best quick-entry UIs I’ve utilized in an app. Choosing dates and instances is a clunky, laborious course of in most apps, however Due will get it proper making it easy so as to add a date and time to a reminder with a mix of pure language recognition and a singular date and time grid.
With right now’s launch of model 20.5 of Due, the app provides up to date Shortcuts assist full with actions with parameters, which I count on will make Due an integral part of many customers’ shortcuts. The app’s numbering scheme modified earlier this 12 months, too, leaping from model three to 20 to point the discharge 12 months.
Lengthy-time Due customers could also be questioning what’s modified about Due’s Shortcuts integration as a result of this isn’t Due’s first Shortcuts implementation. There was a built-in motion known as ‘Add Due Reminder’ primarily based on the app’s URL scheme for a very long time. The app additionally had a SiriKit integration, although at instances Siri had problem parsing the required set off phrase.
What’s modified with the newest launch is that Due now contains two devoted, trendy shortcut actions: ‘Create Reminder’ and ‘Create Repeating Reminder.’ It’s price noting that the legacy ‘Add Due Reminder’ motion continues to be out there in Shortcuts in the event you seek for Due actions as a result of it was created by Apple, not the developer. Nevertheless, you’ll wish to swap to ‘Create Reminder’ as a result of it helps parameters.
Create Reminder contains two parameters: the reminder’s title and a due date and time. Create Repeating Reminder contains that very same pair of choices, plus a Repeat Frequency parameter that may be set to each day, weekly, month-to-month, or yearly.
The addition of contemporary Shortcuts actions accomplishes a number of issues. By including parameter assist, customers have extra flexibility than earlier than. Reminders can now be created wherever shortcuts can be found, together with from the In the present day widget and your Dwelling display, with out the Due app ever opening. The up to date Shortcuts assist additionally bypasses the somewhat clunky verbal syntax that was beforehand required to set off Due with Siri as a result of now your shortcuts will be invoked by the title you give them.
Mixed with different actions, Due’s new flexibility makes it extra worthwhile as a part of user-created customized actions. For instance, I can think about myself importing a draft overview to WordPress and setting a reminder to publish it when an embargo lifts with a single shortcut that comes with Shortcuts’ WordPress actions and Due’s Create Reminder motion. With simply two actions, Due has opened up lots of new use circumstances that I’m trying ahead to exploring.
Earlier this 12 months, Due switched to a subscription mannequin for sure options known as the Improve Move that’s just like the one pioneered by Agenda. Buying the Improve Move means you’ll obtain all updates launched for the following twelve months. If the go expires, you gained’t lose any of the options added previous to the expiration date. As an alternative, you merely gained’t get future options. I like this mannequin rather a lot. It creates an incentive for builders to proceed to replace and enhance their apps however offers customers a method to proceed to make use of the app even when they resolve to cease subscribing.
My HomeKit setup began out easy sufficient with a couple of Hue bulbs, however over time, it has grown to incorporate safety cameras, door sensors, electrical retailers, and extra. Because the variety of equipment linked to my community grew, so did the trouble of managing them.
The preliminary setup of a tool isn’t the issue. As a substitute, the difficulty begins when it is advisable to arrange an adjunct once more later. In that case, you could have discarded or misplaced the documentation containing the HomeKit accent code, or it might be in a tough to succeed in location. That’s the place HomePass by Aaron Pearce is useful. It shops and manages your HomeKit accent codes and different related info in a single place.
Digital spring cleansing is one thing that’s been on my thoughts as I’ve been caught at residence and had some additional free time. We mentioned the subject on AppStories this week within the context of apps, however HomePass supplies the chance to increase digital spring cleansing to your HomeKit gadgets too.
We’ve lined HomePass earlier than, so I gained’t go into all the main points of its core performance. As a substitute, I’ll give attention to what’s new and the options that make HomePass one in every of my favourite HomeKit utilities.
As with prior variations, HomePass stays extremely straightforward to make use of as a result of it pulls details about your HomeKit equipment from the Residence app’s database. Add to that the truth that accent codes could be added by scanning the stickers that you simply discover on most gadgets or getting into them manually, and also you’re beginning with numerous info with nearly no effort.
With the most recent replace, HomePass has added larger flexibility and a extra compact UI that works higher with bigger collections of HomeKit gadgets. As an illustration, generally you need to add extra details about an adjunct than is obtainable within the Residence app. With model 1.7 of HomePass, now you can add customized fields to a tool’s entry to gather further particulars. I’ve been glad with the prevailing fields which might be auto-filled from the Residence app, plus HomePass’s notes part, however it’s additionally one thing I’m glad will probably be accessible if the necessity arises for me sooner or later.
On the iPhone, gadgets saved in HomePass at the moment are organized in a two-column grid of rounded rectangles just a little just like the tiles discovered within the Residence app. Like Residence+ four by Matthias Hochgatterer, HomePass does one thing Residence can’t, although, which is collapse rooms by tapping on their names to cover away gadgets you don’t need to see. Mixed with the brand new structure on the iPhone, which is analogous to the prevailing structure on the iPad, it’s simpler to handle a big assortment of gadgets from a single display screen.
HomePass is organized into tabs now too. The primary tab organizes gadgets by your own home’s rooms. The second tab organizes the identical equipment by class like ‘Bridge,’ ‘Digicam,’ ‘Outlet,’ and ‘Sensor.’ Like rooms, gadgets are specified by a grid, and sections could be collapsed. Classes is a superb different strategy to break down your HomeKit gadgets functionally.
Gadget tiles assist context menus now too. Lengthy-pressing on a tile presents choices to edit or delete the gadget or copy its code. It’s a terrific strategy to shortly seize a code when that’s all you want.
Tapping on an merchandise opens up a view with the main points about every gadget. Lengthy-pressing on the HomeKit accent code means that you can copy it. Additionally, on the backside are buttons to arrange ‘Get Code’ and ‘Copy Code’ actions utilizing Add to Siri. As soon as arrange, the actions could be triggered utilizing Siri voice instructions or included in customized shortcuts you construct.
Along with device-specific actions, the app comes with the next built-in Shortcuts actions which have been improved by the addition of parameters:
‘Copy HomeKit Code,’ which presents a listing of your gadgets by default, and copies the code for the one you decide to the clipboard. The motion can be used to seize the code of a specified gadget and go it to the subsequent motion.
‘Get HomeKit Code’ additionally retrieves a tool’s code, however passes it to the subsequent motion with out copying it.
‘Get Accent,’ which the app’s description appears to counsel retrieves all the details about a tool, although it solely returns the identify of a specified accent after I’ve used it.
‘Get All Equipment,’ which retrieves a listing of all of your HomeKit gadgets.
The app contains an x-callback-url scheme that builders can use to routinely add gadgets to HomePass from their apps too.
The app’s last tab is Settings, the place you may handle the brand new customized fields, decide from amongst 4 Residence display screen icons, and export your gadget knowledge as a PDF or CSV file for safekeeping.
I don’t use HomePass usually, however it’s a type of utilities I’m glad is on my iPhone as a result of it eliminates frustration after I want it. Too usually previously, I’ve needed to dismantle gear to discover a HomeKit code. Now that I’m within the behavior of including codes to HomePass after I get a brand new gadget, troubleshooting points with my setup is way simpler. Furthermore, with a bigger assortment of gadgets than I had after I began utilizing HomePass, model 1.7 has considerably improved their administration.
Pushcut is a one-of-a-kind utility that extends the facility of Apple’s Shortcuts app with a sensible notification system that supercharges your shortcuts and residential automations.
Pushcut contains an easy-to-use however refined notification editor that lets customers arrange push notifications primarily based on components like location and time. The notifications are feature-rich permitting customers to select from a number of decisions and carry out a number of actions from a single notification.
The app features a highly effective internet API too, which lets you prolong the performance of Apple’s Residence app, for instance. Residence contains an automation element, nevertheless it’s restricted. Nonetheless, with Pushcut, controlling a HomeKit machine can set off a notification in your iOS machine that prompts you to run a shortcut that couldn’t be run in Residence.
Pushcut is being up to date on a regular basis and simply added a characteristic that lets customers run a private Automation Server on an iOS machine they maintain at house. Set off your shortcuts from IFTTT, Zapier, Integromat, or HomeKit automations, run Residence scenes routinely when leaving from or arriving at a location, and even run shortcuts on a schedule with out person interplay. It’s a strong technique to take Shortcuts to an all-new stage.
In the event you’ve ever been annoyed by a few of the limitations of Shortcuts, you must attempt Pushcut right now. Whether or not you wish to prolong Residence’s automations, improve how location and iBeacons combine with Shortcuts, schedule shortcuts, or kick off shortcuts out of your Apple Watch, Pushcut is the highly effective companion you want.
For this week’s installment of the Shortcuts Nook, I’ve ready fairly an assortment of miscellaneous shortcuts to share with MacStories readers and Membership MacStories members (as a result of I’ve been spending all my time at residence because of the state of emergency in Italy, I’ve been reorganizing my complete Shortcuts library, amongst different issues). Following this week’s launch of NetNewsWire for iPhone and iPad, I’ve tailored an present shortcut to allow you to subscribe to feeds utilizing the favored RSS shopper. I’ve additionally created shortcuts to reopen the watch later queue within the YouTube app, copy app hyperlinks from the App Retailer, and duplicate a webpage choice from Safari as wealthy textual content.
Moreover, solely for Membership MacStories members, I’ve created a complicated shortcut to add pictures to a distant FTP server and duplicate their public URLs to the clipboard. Let’s dig in.
Earlier this week, the parents at Ranchero launched the iOS and iPadOS model of NetNewsWire, the favored RSS shopper that was rebooted on the Mac final yr as an open-source venture. You’ll be able to learn our evaluation of the brand new iPhone and iPad app right here. I’m liking NetNewsWire lots, and I’m giving it a strive as my go-to RSS reader for some time (extra on this experiment quickly, if it goes effectively). As John highlighted in his evaluation of the app, probably the greatest features of NetNewsWire is its integration with trendy iOS applied sciences comparable to darkish mode, keyboard shortcuts on iPad, context menus, and parameter-based shortcuts. Because of this, I used to be in a position to take my present shortcut to subscribe to RSS feeds with Fiery Feeds and simply adapt it to NetNewsWire.
As earlier than, the shortcut makes use of the native ‘Get RSS Feeds from Web page’ motion to extract RSS feeds from the present webpage in Safari. Simply run the shortcut from the share sheet when viewing a weblog in Safari, and, if RSS feeds are discovered, you’ll be introduced with an inventory of feed URLs you’ll be able to subscribe to. Decide one, and the RSS feed can be handed to NetNewsWire’s ‘Add Feed’ motion, which can allow you to subscribe to a brand new feed in your default account (I’m utilizing Feedbin) within the background, with out launching the principle app. The ‘Add Feed’ motion helps parameters; I’ve configured the ‘Folder Title’ one with the ‘Ask Every Time’ property, which implies you’ll be capable of select a vacation spot folder each time you add a brand new feed to NetNewsWire.
Because of this shortcut, I’ve been ready so as to add a handful of latest subscriptions to NetNewsWire with out interrupting my navigation in Safari, which, as soon as once more, exhibits the benefits of Shortcuts’ parameter framework. You’ll be able to obtain the shortcut under.
Open YouTube Watch Later
Like hundreds of thousands of different individuals, I watch numerous YouTube content material. Ever since I began taking part in Pokémon competitively final December, nonetheless, I’ve discovered myself saving much more movies about methods and team-building for later because of YouTube’s native watch later queue performance. The watch later queue is a default playlist that lives in your account and syncs in all places, so you’ll be able to atone for a video you initially saved in your telephone whereas utilizing the YouTube app in your TV, for instance. In my case, I like to look at YouTube movies on my iPad Professional, and whereas it’s straightforward sufficient to get to the watch later queue by choosing Library ⇾ Watch Later within the app, I began questioning if there was a sooner technique to open it.
Because it seems, there’s: the YouTube app affords a particular URL scheme to launch the watch later queue, which I’ve included in a easy, two-action shortcut that may immediately open it. Whether or not you wish to launch YouTube’s watch later queue from the Shortcuts widget or as an icon from the Residence display screen, this shortcut will open the YouTube app straight within the watch later web page, so you can begin catching up in your saved movies.
Copy App Hyperlink
File this below “I can’t consider I by no means really shared this shortcut earlier than”: for years now, I’ve been utilizing a shortcut that lets me search the App Retailer for a particular app, then copies its hyperlink to the clipboard. That’s it. I take advantage of this shortcut at any time when I point out an app on MacStories or the MacStories Weekly publication – it’s even pinned to my iPad’s dock because it’s a shortcut I invoke a number of instances every week.
The shortcut begins by asking you for the identify of the app you’re in search of with an ‘Ask for Enter’ motion. Then, because of the built-in ‘Search App Retailer’ motion, the shortcut searches the U.S. App Retailer for apps that match your question, returning as much as 10 outcomes. As you’ll be able to see within the screenshots under, you’ll be able to select whether or not to seek for iPhone, iPad, or Mac apps at runtime; moreover, you’ll be able to configure the motion to look in one other worldwide App Retailer by tapping the ‘Area’ parameter and selecting a unique nation.
Because of Shortcuts’ assist for wealthy lists, app outcomes from the App Retailer are returned together with their icons, developer identify, and price ticket. If the app you have been in search of is within the record, you’ll be able to faucet it and its public apps.apple.com URL can be copied to the clipboard, prepared for use elsewhere.
Safari Choice to Wealthy Textual content
You could be questioning: why would you ever have to convert a variety from a Safari webpage to wealthy textual content if the choice itself is already in wealthy textual content format? Right here’s why: to eliminate extra formatting comparable to customized fonts, font sizes, font colours, and different components chances are you’ll not essentially need when pasting wealthy textual content in Mail, Pages, or different phrase processors.
I spotted I wanted this shortcut once I wished to electronic mail a variety from a Safari webpage to somebody, solely to see that copying from Safari and pasting in Mail was preserving the supply’s customized fonts and colours, which I didn’t need in my message. And since Apple Mail doesn’t assist the Mac’s ‘Paste and Match Format’ command on iPhone and iPad, I made a decision to put in writing a shortcut for it.
The shortcut is a primary adaption of my present Safari Markdown Choice one, with an added ‘Make Wealthy Textual content from Markdown’ step on the finish. Basically, the shortcut “sanitizes” wealthy textual content by preserving primary formatting components (hyperlinks, daring, italics, and so on.) whereas eliminating others. This may be performed by changing a variety from Safari backwards and forwards between wealthy textual content and Markdown: the Markdown syntax doesn’t assist font sizes and colours, so these components are eliminated within the first conversion from wealthy textual content to Markdown; when the Markdown is transformed again to wealthy textual content once more, solely primary components supported by the syntax make the lower.
This one’s a easy trick to scrub up wealthy textual content whereas sustaining helpful components comparable to emphasis and tappable hyperlinks within the pasted textual content, and it’s a shortcut I take advantage of typically with Notes and Mail.
Membership MacStories: Add Picture by way of FTP
Solely for Membership MacStories this week, I’ve created a shortcut to add pictures to an FTP server utilizing Safe ShellFish.
Right here’s how I described the shortcut within the publication, out at the moment for Membership members:
For the previous couple years, I’ve been utilizing a private FTP server to host a wide range of recordsdata and webpages that I can’t/don’t wish to publish on MacStories or our web site’s CDN. These are often non-work associated photographs or recordsdata that I wish to share with different individuals. Whereas I may use thirty-party sharing providers comparable to Dropbox or Imgur to add and share such recordsdata, I wish to at all times management the content material I put out on the Web for others to see, and I don’t belief third-party corporations to maintain my recordsdata accessible without end. Which is why I love to do it old-school and let others entry my shared photographs with a direct URL that factors to my FTP server.
Now, whereas I may use a third-party file supervisor with FTP integration to add and share pictures (and I’ve coated this matter on MacStories earlier than), I clearly favor an automatic resolution with as little friction as attainable. Years in the past, I’d have used Pythonista and its FTP module to place recordsdata on a server and return their public URLs; at the moment, I can merely depend on Shortcuts’ visible automation and lengthen Apple’s app with third-party actions that present lacking performance. On this case, I made a decision to make use of Safe ShellFish’s wonderful Add File motion.
And if you wish to see my Picture FTP shortcut in motion, try the video under:
I’ve been utilizing this shortcut for the previous couple months, and it’s grow to be a fantastic resolution for all these instances once I wish to share a picture on one of many Slack workspaces I take part in with out importing recordsdata to Slack’s personal space for storing. The shortcut can also be a stable demonstration of the ability of parameters in iOS 13, which developer Anders Borum has aptly applied in Safe ShellFish.
For this installment of Shortcuts Rewind, I’m going to give attention to date and calendar actions. I’ll additionally contact on a few of the Shortcuts actions that Apple Maps gives and clarify dictionaries.
I wished to cowl date and calendar actions early within the Shortcuts Rewind collection as a result of they’re the form of actions that come in useful again and again in all kinds of shortcuts. Plus, date-based shortcuts are helpful to plenty of individuals. In spite of everything, everybody offers with schedules and conferences to some extent.
With Shortcuts, dates turn out to be modifiable constructing blocks that go hand-in-hand with occasions that the app lets you decouple out of your calendar app and recombine in new methods. It’s a strong pairing that, together with an understanding of dictionaries, will be prolonged to different contexts again and again.
You’ll be able to obtain every of the three shortcuts I cowl on the finish of every part of this story or by visiting the MacStories Shortcuts Archive, the place you’ll discover these and over 200 different shortcuts. When you obtain one of many shortcuts, opening it on an iPad side-by-side with this walkthrough is a terrific technique to learn the way every works. One other method that’s efficient is to rebuild every shortcut from scratch your self, as you observe alongside under.
Days Till… is a terrific place to start out with date actions. The shortcut prompts you for a date, which will be entered utilizing pure language like ‘this Friday’ and calculates the variety of days till then. It’s a easy shortcut that highlights a few of the alternative ways the app can format dates, the way it interprets date enter by a person and date math. It’s additionally a pleasant refresher on If actions, which I coated in the final installment of Rewind.
Days Till…, Half 1
Step one is finding the date actions in Shortcuts. You gained’t discover them by tapping within the classes like Apps or Scripting on the high of the actions catalog. As an alternative, merely seek for ‘date’ and the 5 obtainable actions will seem on the high of the record.
➊ Date and Format Date
Step 1 makes use of ‘Date’ and ‘Format Date’ actions. The Date motion features a single parameter that by default is ready to the Present Date, which is what we would like. The Format Date motion features a single parameter known as ‘Date,’ which is able to take the Present Date handed from the primary motion. Develop the Format Date motion by tapping the Present Extra button. By default, the Date Format and Time Format are each set to ‘Brief.’ It’s price tapping Date Format and Time Format to see the totally different choices as a result of there are loads. It’s a disgrace there aren’t examples of what every of those date and time codecs seem like in Shortcuts, so I made a desk with examples of every:
Mar 2, 2020
March 2, 2020
At this time
Presents Brief, Medium, and Lengthy variations of relative dates.
Mon, 02 Mar 2020 12:00:00 -0600
Has no Time Format possibility as a result of it’s constructed into the date format.
Gives possibility to incorporate ISO 8601 time.
EEE, dd MMM yyyy HH:mm:ss Z
A syntax utilized in programming to create customized dates from strings of textual content.
There are fewer time choices, however right here’s what every seems to be like:
12:00:00 PM CST
7 hours in the past
You too can require Shortcuts to ‘Ask Every Time’ for the date and time while you run your shortcut. Whenever you achieve this, the shortcut pops up the Format Date motion’s UI as quickly because it reaches that step of your shortcut, supplying you with an opportunity to set the date and time to no matter format you’d like. Nonetheless, for the needs of Days Till…, set the Date Format to Brief and the Time Format to None.
➋ Date, Format Date, and Get Time Between Dates
Now that we now have right this moment’s date, we have to ask for the date to which we’re going to match it. Step 2 requires a ‘Date’ motion. Date actions default to the ‘Present Date,’ which isn’t what we would like. Faucet Present Date and decide Specified Date as a result of we wish to use a single date the person will decide when the shortcut runs.
After including Specified Date to the Date motion, you’ll see a brand new lighter subject added to the motion that claims ‘June 29, 2007.’. Lengthy-press the date and decide ‘Ask Every Time’ so the person is prompted to choose a date.
What’s actually neat about Shortcuts is simply how versatile it’s in taking dates from the person. Specified Date will be in any of the codecs listed within the desk above. This offers latitude that reduces the opportunity of person error, particularly because it even works with relative dates like ‘subsequent Tuesday.’
Subsequent, add one other Format Date motion and set the Date Format to Lengthy and the Time Format to None. We’re formatting this date a little bit totally different as a result of we’re going to make use of it once more as a part of the alert we present customers with the results of the shortcut.
The ultimate step of this part of Days Till… is to make use of the present date and the one offered by the person to calculate the numbers of days between every. For this, seize a ‘Get Time Between Dates’ motion and add it to the shortcut.
For those who’ve already downloaded the Days Till… shortcut from the MacStories Shortcuts Archive, you’ll see that the motion says ‘Get time between At this time and Formatted Dates in Days.’ The primary parameter known as At this time is the results of the formatted date from the shortcut’s first motion.
For those who’re establishing the shortcut from scratch, the results of that first motion known as Formatted Date, however to differentiate it from the subsequent date within the Get Time Between Dates motion, it has been renamed. Begin with the Get Time Between Dates motion, and long-press the default ‘Present Date’ parameter. Subsequent, decide Choose Magic Variable. Select the ‘Formatted Date’ consequence that seems beneath the primary motion. Subsequent, faucet ‘Formatted Date’ within the Get Time Between Dates motion and rename it by choosing the Rename button within the toolbar simply beneath the Shortcuts editor. In Days Till… it has been renamed ‘At this time.’
Lengthy-press the ‘Date’ parameter subsequent, decide Choose Magic Variable, after which the Formatted Date consequence from the instantly previous motion. Lastly, faucet the ‘Minutes’ parameter and alter it to Days from the eight choices obtainable.
Days Till…, Half 2
➌ Nested If Actions
Step three of Days Till… consists of three nested ‘If’ actions that account for the person selecting a date greater than in the future sooner or later, tomorrow, and right this moment. For extra on If actions, make sure to take a look at the Create Hyperlink shortcut in the primary installment of Shortcuts Rewind.
Every of the If actions begin with the results of the Time Between Dates motion, which Shortcuts will fill in mechanically while you add an If motion. Faucet the Situation parameter and select ‘is bigger than’ and enter 1 for the Quantity parameter.
The following motion is a ‘Textual content’ motion that reads ‘is in Time Between Dates days.’ To incorporate the outcomes of Time Between Dates to the Textual content motion, decide it within the horizontally-scrolling record of variables within the toolbar on the backside of the editor. The opposite two pairs of If and Textual content actions are related, addressing the conditions the place the time between days is 1 day and zero days with customized textual content indicating the dates are tomorrow and right this moment, respectively.
➍ Present Outcomes
Step four makes use of a ‘Present Consequence’ motion to show the Time Between Dates variable and If Outcomes variables. Whenever you add the motion, it is going to solely present one placeholder for a variable. Faucet the Variables button to indicate the obtainable variables and after selecting the primary one, ensure that the insertion level is the place you want it and decide the opposite. When the shortcut runs, the outcomes will probably be displayed together with an ‘Okay’ button to dismiss the message.
That’s a reasonably lengthy rationalization of a comparatively easy shortcut, however as with every of those shortcuts, it pays to poke round in any respect the choices for every motion. After I try this, I inevitably discover one thing that can come in useful for a future shortcut.
Shortcuts isn’t restricted to dates, although. You too can construct shortcuts primarily based on occasions that you simply beforehand entered into your calendar.
Calendar Areas seems to be ahead to the subsequent three days price of occasions in your calendar, extracts location information included in them, and presents you with an inventory of places. Faucet on one and the shortcut will inform you how lengthy it is going to take to get to the placement. The shortcut is a superb introduction to calendar actions, Apple Maps actions, and the ‘Repeat with every merchandise in’ scripting motion that we haven’t coated but.
Calendar Areas, Half 1
➊ Discover Calendar Occasions
Step 1 of Calendar Areas is to seek out your calendar occasions. Shortcuts consists of eight built-in calendar actions, however for this shortcut all we want is ‘Discover Calendar Occasions.’ By default, the motion finds all calendar occasions the place the beginning date is within the subsequent seven days. We solely need the subsequent three days, so should you’re constructing the shortcut from scratch, faucet the textual content subject within the motion and exchange ‘7’ with ‘three.’
It’s price noting that along with trying ahead for occasions ‘within the subsequent’ variety of days, you possibly can faucet on ‘is within the subsequent’ and alter it to an actual date, right this moment, a spread of days, or within the final variety of days. You’re not restricted to days as a measure of time durations both. You too can use seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, and years.
The Discover Calendar Occasions motion features a filter possibility that permits you to filter which calendars are included within the motion and a sorting possibility for sorting the motion’s outcomes by ten totally different standards. It’s worthwhile to poke round these choices to see what’s potential, however this shortcut doesn’t use any of them.
➋ Repeat with Every
Step 2 makes use of a ‘Repeat with Every’ motion to carry out the identical set of steps on every of the occasions handed to it from the final step. For every calendar occasion present in step 1, the repeat loop will look to see whether or not the occasion features a location and if it does, add it to an inventory of places which might be saved in a variable.
First, add a Repeat with Every motion and an If motion. Subsequent, drag the If motion so it’s contained in the Repeat with Every motion, which is able to assume you wish to use the Calendar Occasions magic variable that was output by the primary motion. That’s right, so no have to make adjustments there.
There are a few adjustments to make within the If motion, nevertheless. First, faucet on the ‘Repeat Merchandise’ parameter. Shortcuts shows the totally different kinds the merchandise can take. By default, every Repeat Merchandise will probably be a Calendar Occasion, however we would like the occasion’s location, not the opposite included information, so scroll down and decide ‘Location,’ which adjustments the variable title within the If motion to ‘Location’ too. Second, we have to fill within the Situation parameter. Faucet the parameter and decide ‘has any worth’ from the record as a result of all we’re checking for right here is whether or not the calendar occasion features a location or not.
Subsequent, drag an ‘Add Variable’ motion between the If and In any other case actions. Faucet ‘Repeat Merchandise’ and alter the merchandise from Calendar Occasion to Location, as we did above. Then, faucet the Variable Parameter and title it Areas as a result of that is the place the record of places collected out of your subsequent three days of calendar occasions will probably be saved. Each occasion the shortcut finds will probably be run by this Repeat with Every loop, including the places it finds to the Areas variable till all the occasions are processed, at which level it is going to proceed to the subsequent step.
Calendar Areas, Half 2
➌ Select from Areas
Step three checks if the Areas variable you created above has any worth. If it does, the shortcut prompts you to choose a location after which calculates the journey time to your vacation spot.
To examine if the Areas variable has a price, add one other If motion to the shortcut. The If motion defaults to checking the Repeat Outcomes, however by long-pressing on it, the variable will be modified to Areas. The Situation parameter ought to be modified to ‘has any worth’ as within the final If motion above.
Nest a Select from Listing motion contained in the If motion and long-press on the parameter to alter from the default ‘Repeat Outcomes’ magic variable to the Areas variable you created. That can show an inventory of the places discovered amongst your subsequent three days of occasions. For those who develop the ‘Present Extra’ button within the Select from Listing motion, you possibly can fill within the non-obligatory Immediate subject with ‘Areas’ to assist the person perceive the record they’re viewing.
➍ Get Journey Time
The steps of the Calendar Areas shortcut calculate the journey time to your occasion’s vacation spot and shows the outcomes of the shortcut.
Apple Maps consists of a number of actions. Step four makes use of ‘Get Journey Time,’ which must be dragged contained in the If motion after the Select from Listing motion from the final step. The default values don’t have to be modified for this motion. The primary parameter the motion takes is the mode of transportation, which accepts Driving, Strolling, and Transit. Calendar Areas is ready as much as present drive instances to places, however will be modified to strolling or transit instances as an alternative. The motion additionally defaults to measuring the journey time between your present location and the occasion’s location, however you possibly can set a unique start line should you’d like by tapping ‘Present Location.’ Lastly, the motion defaults to the Chosen Merchandise magic variable for the vacation spot, which is what we would like because it’s the placement picked within the previous motion.
Step 5 of the shortcut shows its outcomes to the person. Drag a Present Alert motion after the Get Journey Time motion and exchange its textual content with a mixture of static textual content and three Magic Variables, so it reads ‘It’ll take Journey Time to get to Avenue through Route Title.’ It’s price inspecting every of those magic variables as a result of they reveal how magic variables will be adjusted to entry the exact information wanted for the displayed message.
The primary magic variable hasn’t been modified in any respect. The Journey Time magic variable is mechanically created by the Get Journey Time motion and is on the market within the toolbar on the backside of the shortcut editor. Simply faucet it is going to be added to the provide you with a warning’re constructing.
The ‘Avenue’ magic variable is a little bit difficult. What you need is the road for the placement you picked earlier within the shortcut. That’s the ‘Chosen Merchandise’ within the instantly previous motion. Nonetheless, while you add the Chosen Merchandise magic variable to your Present Alert motion and faucet on it, you’ll see that it’s been added as a Calendar Occasion. To change to the Location illustration of the magic variable, faucet ‘Calendar Occasion’ within the view that seems below the motion editor while you faucet the Chosen Merchandise variable. A listing seems with all of the bits of information obtainable for the Chosen Merchandise, together with the road handle. Choose Avenue and the title of the magic variable adjustments to Avenue too.
I want this magic variable performance was surfaced higher as a result of I discovered it to be one of many hardest issues to get used to as I used to be studying Shortcuts. Happily, after modifying the info you’re accessing from magic variables a number of instances, the method turns into simpler. Like different components of Shortcuts, that is one other good place to poke round to see what’s potential as a result of there are loads of totally different choices.
The ultimate magic variable so as to add is the route. The primary clue of what to do is that the icon subsequent to ‘Route’ is the Apple Maps icon. Though Journey Time could appear a little bit counterintuitive, add it to the Present Alert motion and faucet it. Journey Time is the default worth for the variable, however among the many different choices is Route. Choose that and the variable title adjustments to Route.
The one different factor to do is add a second Present Alert motion after the In any other case motion to deal with the case the place the If motion finds no places in your Areas variable. In that case, the Calendar Areas shortcut shows a static alert that claims there aren’t any occasions with places developing within the subsequent three days.
Other than the inherent usefulness of Calendar Areas, what I like about this shortcut is the way it highlights the flexibility of Repeat with Every Merchandise actions and exposes the alternative ways you need to use magic variables to entry totally different bits of information from calendar occasions and places. Due to the flexibleness of every motion and magic variable, the identical parts utilized in Calendar Areas will be integrated into all kinds of different shortcuts when you perceive what every gives.
Repetitive, template-based duties are excellent for automation. Create Calendar Occasion from Template, which was initially created for Membership MacStories members, presents an inventory of templates for calendar occasions. Choose one, fill within the particulars, and the shortcut provides an occasion to your calendar. The shortcut makes use of a dictionary motion inside one other dictionary motion to retailer calendar templates and a mixture of different scripting and calendar actions so as to add the mandatory particulars.
Create Calendar Occasion from Template, Half 1
Step 1 is to arrange the dictionary that can retailer the shortcut’s occasion templates. ‘Dictionary’ is likely one of the Scripting actions constructed into Shortcuts. In Create Calendar Occasion from Template, the dictionary consists of three instance templates (Recreation Launch, Dentist, and Canine Coaching) which you can modify to match recurring occasions in your personal schedule.
At their easiest degree, dictionaries are pairs of information which might be sometimes known as keys and values. On this shortcut, Recreation Launch, Dentist, and Canine Coaching are the keys, and collections of particulars represented by ‘6 gadgets’ in blue subsequent to every key are the values. Dictionaries get their title from the truth that they work like a conventional dictionary for trying up definitions of phrases, however in programming, the secret is the phrase, and the worth is the definition. Retaining that in thoughts goes a good distance towards understanding dictionaries.
Whenever you add a Dictionary motion to a shortcut, it’s empty and prompts you to ‘Add new merchandise.’ For those who faucet the immediate, Shortcuts asks what kind of worth you wish to add to the dictionary: textual content, a quantity, an array, one other dictionary, or a Boolean.
With Create Calendar Occasion from Template, we’re diving proper into the deep finish by making a dictionary of dictionaries. The explanation for that’s so the shortcut can entry a number of templates. If we had just one occasion template, we might create a single dictionary with pairs of keys and values for every facet of the occasion we wish to automate. Nonetheless, every template on this shortcut is a little bit totally different from the others, which you’ll see by tapping on ‘6 gadgets’ subsequent to every template title. The answer for dealing with the state of affairs is to create a dictionary that has three entries – one for every template – the place every worth within the top-level dictionary is its personal dictionary of keys and values which might be distinctive to that template.
To make it a little bit extra concrete, it helps to take a look at the Dictionary motion in Create Calendar Occasion from Template. The highest-level dictionary that you simply see within the Shortcuts editor has three keys: Recreation Releases, Dentist, and Canine Coaching. Subsequent to these keys are their values, that are every represented by the hyperlink to ‘6 gadgets’ in blue. Faucet on the primary one and also you’ll see the dictionary of keys and values for Recreation Launch.
Inside this nested dictionary for Recreation Releases, you possibly can see that there are six keys – Calendar, Location, Length, Notes, All Day, and Alert – that are fully user-defined. There are a few issues price noting about every of those nested dictionaries. First, you possibly can add default values for every merchandise in a dictionary. A very good instance is the Calendar key within the Recreation Releases template, which has been set to a calendar named ‘Recreation Releases.’ Tapping on any textual content subject enables you to add a default worth. Alternatively, you possibly can go away a subject clean to be crammed in later when the shortcut is run by the person. The identical goes for numbers and Boolean fields. Faucet considered one of their fields and Shortcuts gives acceptable choices you possibly can fill in.
With nested dictionaries, there’s loads occurring in our single Dictionary motion, nevertheless it exhibits off one of many biggest strengths of Shortcuts. When you’ve thought by the templates you want for any form of information entry job that you simply repeatedly do, you possibly can flip it right into a shortcut to save lots of time sooner or later. The identical sample can be utilized for all kinds of repetitive duties, together with creating duties in a job supervisor or sending template-based e mail messages.
The rest of Create Calendar Occasions from Template handles accessing the key-value pairs within the shortcut’s dictionary, prompting the person to fill within the mandatory data, after which creating the occasion.
➋ Get Dictionary Worth and Select from Listing
Shortcuts consists of 4 dictionary actions in its Scripting library. Step 2 makes use of a Get Dictionary Worth motion as step one in asking the person to choose which calendar template they wish to use. By default, the motion will retrieve a single worth for a key in a specific dictionary. Nonetheless, to permit the person to choose from amongst every of the calendar templates in Create Calendar Occasion from Template, faucet on the Worth parameter and alter it to ‘All Keys.’ That adjustments the language of the motion to ‘Get All Keys in Dictionary,’ which is able to retrieve the keys within the top-level dictionary: Recreation Releases, Dentist, and Canine Coaching.
Subsequent, the shortcut makes use of a Select from Listing motion to show the record of template decisions to the person. Dictionary Worth, which is the results of the final motion, is mechanically crammed in, so no have to make any adjustments there. For those who disclose full contents of the motion, you’ll see that this motion added a ‘Choose a Template’ immediate to assist clarify what the shortcut expects the person to do.
➌ Get Dictionary Worth and Ask for Enter
Step three makes use of the outcomes of the selection made by the person above and presents the title of the template as a prompt occasion title, which the person can edit in the event that they’d like. First up is one other Get Dictionary Worth motion. Not like the final one used, although, we solely need the worth for the calendar template chosen by the person.
There are three fields obtainable to fill in. We wish the worth for the calendar template that was chosen, so long-press Key, faucet Choose Magic Variable, after which choose ‘Chosen Merchandise.’ On this shortcut, ‘Chosen Merchandise’ has been renamed to ‘Template Title’ for readability, utilizing the rename button that seems on the backside of the editor while you faucet on ‘Chosen Merchandise.’
Additionally, long-press on the final parameter within the motion and decide the Dictionary variable from the primary motion. The motion now reads ‘Get Worth for Template Title in Dictionary.’ For those who drop a Fast Look motion right here, you’ll see that what this does is retrieve the nested dictionary for the calendar template worth you picked, which incorporates six pairs of keys and values for that template.
The following motion is an ‘Ask for Enter’ motion that asks the person to substantiate the title of the occasion. As a result of the title of the occasion is textual content, the Enter kind is textual content. It replaces the default Query parameter with ‘Affirm Occasion Title.’ For those who faucet Present Extra, you’ll see that it makes use of the Template Title because the default occasion title, which the person can change when prompted.
Create Calendar Occasion from Template, Half 2
➍ Ask for Enter
Step four lets the person change the length of the occasion. The primary motion is one other Ask for Enter motion with the enter kind modified to ‘Date and Time,’ so the system date and time picker seems when the shortcut reaches this step. The textual content of the picker has been custom-made to make clear what’s being requested and consists of the Template Title magic variable, reinforcing what’s being requested.
➎ Regulate Date
Step 5 units the length of the occasion and provides an alert primarily based on the values you included for these in your templates within the very first Dictionary motion. Because the remark within the shortcut explains, if a template occasion is ready up as an all-day occasion, the beginning date requested within the earlier motion serves because the alert time. In any other case, the length is added to the beginning date and time from the final motion, so it seems on the right time in your calendar.
The primary motion is the ‘Regulate Date’ calendar motion for establishing the length of the occasion. So as to add a length in minutes, the default Add parameter is left alone, however seconds must be modified to minutes by tapping on that parameter and selecting minutes. As an alternative of a set variety of minutes, long-press the zero parameter and select Choose Magic Variable and decide the Dictionary created within the first motion. We don’t need the entire dictionary although, simply the length worth from the occasion template. To try this, faucet ‘Get Worth for Key’ and sort in Length. It’s necessary for the important thing title you enter right here to match what’s in your dictionary. Lastly, long-press the final parameter and alter the magic variable to the Offered Enter from the final motion. In Create Calendar Occasion from Template, the title of this magic variable has been modified to Begin Date for readability.
The following motion is one other Regulate Date motion that exhibits which you can subtract time from a date, which is precisely what we would like for an alert to go off earlier than the occasion happens. The setup course of for this motion is rather like the final motion besides that the primary parameter must be modified to Subtract, and the dictionary worth for the variety of minutes to subtract ought to be set to the Alert key from the dictionary within the first motion.
➏ Add New Occasion
Step 6 is the ultimate step, which provides the occasion created to your calendar utilizing an ‘Add New Occasion’ motion. There are three predominant parameters to fill in. The primary is Occasion Title. Right here, you wish to use the Magic Variable that’s the results of the motion in Step three, through which the occasion title was confirmed. In Create Calendar Occasion from Template, that variable’s title has been modified to ‘Remaining Occasion Title.’ The second parameter is the Begin Date magic variable from the motion the place the beginning date and time had been chosen. The third and ultimate parameter is the Finish Date magic variable that’s the renamed results of the calendar motion above, through which the length of the occasion was added to the beginning date.
Whenever you step again, Create Calendar Occasion from Template entails a good quantity of setup for the templates and asks the person to enter the issues that change from occasion to occasion, however the result’s a streamlined course of for including occasions sooner or later. As an alternative of establishing related occasions again and again, filling out each related subject, this shortcut cuts out the repetition and reduces the duty to a few requests of the person. It’s the form of shortcut that eliminates a little bit of trouble and saves a while each time it’s used, which piles up when used again and again.
What’s extra, realizing easy methods to create templates utilizing dictionaries and mixing them with person enter is a sample that can be utilized repeatedly with all kinds of shortcuts. Studying it as soon as for a shortcut like this provides you the instruments to roll it out in different shortcuts, which is the purpose at which you actually begin reaping the advantages of constructing shortcuts.
Over the previous a number of years, Federico has constructed a whole bunch of shortcuts which can be sprinkled all through the tales he’s written. Final spring we debuted the MacStories Shortcuts Archive, a one-stop vacation spot that collects all of these shortcuts organized by matter, so readers can discover them simply.
There’s no higher technique to discover ways to construct your individual shortcuts than by downloading another person’s, which is what makes the Archive such a beneficial useful resource to readers and one in all MacStories’ hottest options. Nonetheless, it may be onerous to choose up finest practices and patterns or different suggestions and tips from experimentation and tinkering.
That’s why as we speak we’re introducing a brand new collection on MacStories known as Shortcuts Rewind so as to add context to the shortcuts within the Archive. Periodically all year long, we are going to choose a number of shortcuts from the Archive that we predict would profit from an additional clarification, whether or not that’s to assist new Shortcuts customers be taught the fundamentals, for example a specific approach that can be utilized throughout a number of shortcuts, or to automate a activity that you simply may not have thought was attainable.
Tying Shortcuts Rewind collectively is a brand new graphical strategy to explaining shortcuts. As you’ll see, we’ve created a system that dispenses with distracting UI components and breaks shortcuts into logical units of actions. The strategy permits us to concurrently present step-by-step directions alongside commentary that we hope will assist readers obtain a deeper understanding of Shortcuts and help them in constructing their very own automations.
Let’s get began.
For this primary installment of Rewind, I needed to begin with a trio of comparatively easy shortcuts that illustrate the ability of Shortcuts’ capacity to streamline the transformation of 1 kind of content material into one other. All three shortcuts will be present in the Textual content part of the Shortcuts Archive, however there are additionally hyperlinks to them beneath. The muse of this course of is the Content material Graph, a core a part of Shortcuts courting again to its origins as Workflow. The concept is a straightforward however highly effective one which eliminates complexity for the consumer, dealing with a lot of the information compatibility and conversion chores behind the scenes with little or no effort on the a part of the consumer.
On the coronary heart of the three shortcuts mentioned beneath are transformations between plain textual content, wealthy textual content, and URLs. Because of the Content material Graph, Shortcuts has the pliability to create highly effective textual content and hyperlink dealing with performance.
Clear Up Wealthy Textual content
You’ve in all probability been there. You copy textual content from a webpage and paste it into an e mail message, and the wealthy textual content copied consists of numerous undesirable baggage just like the supply’s font, textual content colour, and background colour. That makes the pasted textual content look misplaced at finest, and sometimes unreadable.
This primary shortcut cleans up ugly wealthy textual content whereas preserving fundamental formatting like daring, italics, and hyperlinks. To make use of Clear Up Wealthy Textual content, merely run the shortcut after you’ve copied wealthy textual content however earlier than you paste it into one other app. In 4 easy steps that run virtually immediately, the shortcut will course of the textual content in your clipboard, changing the clipboard’s contents with the cleaned-up model, so you possibly can paste it elsewhere.
➊ Get Clipboard
While you’re constructing a brand new shortcut, it pays to consider the context wherein you’ll use it as a result of that usually dictates step one, the sorts of enter it handles, and different facets of the design of the shortcut. Clear Up Wealthy Textual content is constructed to remove undesirable formatting once you’re pasting wealthy textual content into one other app, which is why Step 1 is to seize the contents of the iOS clipboard utilizing the ‘Get Clipboard’ motion.
➋ Make Markdown from Clipboard
Step 2 of the shortcut converts the wealthy textual content pulled from the clipboard to plain textual content utilizing Markdown, the plain textual content markup syntax created by John Gruber, utilizing Shortcuts’ built-in ‘Make Markdown from Wealthy Textual content’ motion. The trick of this shortcut lies in its use of Markdown, which helps fundamental formatting like daring, italics, and hyperlinks, however not wealthy textual content formatting like textual content or background colours. Because of this, changing the wealthy textual content in your clipboard to Markdown leaves different formatting behind.
Nevertheless, we’re not fairly completed but. If we pasted the outcomes of Make Markdown from Wealthy Textual content into an e mail message, we’d find yourself with one thing like this:
As an alternative, we would like the extra readable wealthy textual content model of the Markdown generated by Step three, which requires yet one more conversion motion.
➌ Make Wealthy Textual content from Markdown
Step three takes the Markdown you created within the final step and converts it again to wealthy textual content utilizing the ‘Make Wealthy Textual content from Markdown’ motion. Once more, Shortcuts is wise sufficient to know that you probably wish to convert the Markdown from Step 2, so it fills within the parameter for you routinely. As a result of Step 2 stripped undesirable formatting, the wealthy textual content generated by this motion will embrace simply the fundamental formatting supported by Markdown.
➍ Copy to Clipboard
Clear Up Wealthy Textual content ends very similar to it started, however as an alternative of grabbing the contents of the clipboard, Step four locations the outcomes of the shortcut again on the clipboard utilizing the ‘Copy to Clipboard’ motion. With the cleaned up wealthy textual content in your clipboard, now you can paste it into an e mail message or another app that accepts wealthy textual content.
The results of Clear Up Wealthy Textual content is a a lot nicer, extra readable model of the textual content copied from a webpage that preserves the hyperlink and bulleted checklist, however eliminates the blue background from the supply textual content. The shortcut additionally reveals the way it pays to grasp the attributes of the information codecs dealt with by Shortcuts as a result of it’s the distinction between wealthy textual content and Markdown that permits Clear Up Wealthy Textual content to strip away the blue background on this instance.
Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink combines Markdown and wealthy textual content in a approach that’s much like Clear Up Wealthy Textual content for a completely totally different objective. This shortcut generates a wealthy hyperlink to one in all your current shortcuts and locations it on the clipboard, so you possibly can paste it into one other app. Maybe you’ve got a observe associated to a challenge in Apple’s Notes app or a recurring activity in Reminders the place you need quick entry to one in all your shortcuts. With Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink, you possibly can put a hyperlink to the shortcut you want the place you want it, so that you don’t need to hunt round for it within the Shortcuts app.
This shortcut is slightly longer than the final, so I’ve damaged it into two components.
Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink, Half 1
Shortcuts makes use of a URL scheme to open particular person shortcuts that consists of a base URL which opens Shortcuts and a parameter primarily based on the title of the shortcut you wish to open. Due to this fact, to create a wealthy hyperlink to a shortcut, you might want to choose a shortcut, get its title, construct a URL, after which apply the Markdown and wealthy textual content methods from the final shortcut to create a wealthy hyperlink.
➊ Get My Shortcuts
The very first thing you want is a listing of your shortcuts. Step 1 makes use of the very meta motion ‘Get My Shortcuts’ to retrieve a listing of your shortcuts. It is a quite simple however helpful motion that doesn’t take any parameters.
➋ Select from Record
Step 2 makes use of one in all Shortcuts’ scripting actions known as ‘Select from Record.’ Scripting is a whole part of the Shortcuts motion library containing dozens of helpful actions that don’t belong to a specific app or one other motion class. The Scripting part of the motion library is split into subsections, together with a Record part, which incorporates three actions for dealing with Lists and the objects in them.
Select from Record shows a listing of the shortcuts generated by Step 1. You’ll discover that on the backside of the motion is a ‘Present Extra’ button. Faucet that to disclose elective motion settings. For this shortcut, a ‘My Shortcuts’ immediate has been added, which provides the checklist a title by that title. The ‘Choose A number of’ toggle is off as a result of we’re solely making a hyperlink to at least one shortcut.
➌ Textual content
Step three of Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink makes use of a ‘Textual content’ motion to create the URL to your shortcut. Shortcuts makes use of a URL scheme that begins shortcuts://open-shortcut?title= and is tough coded on this shortcut as a result of it received’t ever change.
Should you’re constructing this shortcut from scratch, you’ll see a listing of Magic Variables instantly beneath the editor, one in all which is ‘Chosen Merchandise.’ While you faucet it, a tokenized model with a gear icon seems on the finish of your Textual content motion. Beneath the editor is a listing of knowledge obtainable to you. The default is ‘Identify,’ which is strictly what we have to full the URL, so no adjustments are wanted. Simply faucet it, and ‘Chosen Merchandise’ adjustments to ‘Identify’ within the URL you constructed.
Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink, Half 2
The rest of Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink transforms the textual content generated above right into a URL, builds a Markdown model of the hyperlink to your shortcut, after which converts it to a wealthy hyperlink.
Step three used a Textual content motion to piece collectively the components of the URL that may hyperlink to the shortcut you picked. Nevertheless, it’s not a URL but; it’s simply textual content. To create a URL that hyperlinks to the shortcut, a ‘URL’ motion is required.
While you add the URL motion to the editor in Step four, you’ll discover that it’s not linked to the textual content motion above it but, and there’s an empty parameter for a URL. Lengthy-press on the parameter, faucet Choose Magic Variable, after which choose the ‘Textual content’ variable that seems just under the Textual content motion. That connects the URL motion to the Textual content motion above it, and ‘Textual content’ now seems within the URL motion to point out that the textual content output from the earlier motion shall be used to create the URL.
Steps 5, 6, and seven of the shortcut will look acquainted as a result of they’re much like those utilized in Clear Up Wealthy Textual content, however as an alternative of changing a wealthy hyperlink to Markdown and again once more to strip undesirable formatting, Step 5 builds a Markdown-formatted hyperlink utilizing a Textual content motion and two Magic Variables: the title of the shortcut picked in Step 2 and the URL generated by Step four. That Markdown hyperlink is then transformed to wealthy textual content utilizing a Wealthy Textual content from Markdown motion in Step 6, which is copied to the clipboard utilizing a Copy to Clipboard motion in Step 7.
What I like about Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink is that the identical hyperlink creation approach utilized in Clear Wealthy Hyperlink to strip formatting is used to construct a tappable hyperlink. The shortcut is a terrific instance of how remixing the identical actions may end up in very totally different shortcuts.
The ultimate shortcut I wish to cowl is Create Hyperlink, which takes the hyperlink creation approach from the shortcuts above and combines it with stream logic to achieve totally different outcomes relying on what’s fed to the shortcut.
Create Hyperlink, Half 1
Create Hyperlink can pull URLs out of your clipboard and use them to create hyperlinks no matter what else is on the clipboard. Meaning whether or not you’ve got a listing of uncooked URLs or a paragraph of textual content copied from a webpage that features linked textual content, Create Hyperlink can use the URLs in your clipboard to create a hyperlink.
This shortcut is a bit more concerned than the earlier two as a result of it consists of stream logic to take care of three situations the place: there is no such thing as a URL on the clipboard, wherein case the shortcut alerts you to that reality, there’s one URL on the clipboard, wherein case there is no such thing as a motive to make you choose from a listing, and there are a number of URLs on the clipboard, wherein case the shortcut asks you to choose one.
➊ – ➋ Get Clipboard and Get URLs from Enter
The primary two steps of Create Hyperlink are simple. The Get Clipboard motion in Step 1 takes the contents of your clipboard and sends it to the ‘Get URLs from Enter’ motion in Step 2, which defaults to utilizing the contents of the clipboard from Step 1.
Step 2 passes the URLs extracted from the clipboard to a utility motion known as ‘Rely’ in Step three, which does as you’d anticipate. By default, once you add it after Step 2, the motion will depend the ‘Objects’ in ‘URLs,’ which is what we would like. If for some motive, you needed to depend one thing aside from the objects from Step 2, you possibly can lengthy press on Objects or URLs to choose one thing else.
Create Hyperlink, Half 2
Half 2 of Create Hyperlink is the place the branching logic comes into play. There are three attainable situations that should be addressed:
There are not any URLs on the clipboard
There’s one URL on the clipboard
There are a number of URLs on the clipboard
To deal with these three choices, Create Hyperlink makes use of nested ‘If’ actions. An If motion is comprised of three components: the If motion, an ‘In any other case’ motion, and an ‘Finish If’ motion. A single If motion is all you want in case you have simply two choices to take care of, however as I’ll clarify beneath, you might want to nest two extra If actions inside the primary If motion to deal with all three of the situations described above.
➍🅰 If actions and Present Alert
Step 4A covers the case the place the clipboard incorporates no URLs. As quickly as you add your first If motion, Shortcuts assumes you wish to base it on the variety of Objects from Step three, which is right. All you might want to do is faucet the Situation parameter within the If motion and choose from the 9 totally different strategies of evaluating values. For this primary If motion, the primary choice, ‘is,’ works as a result of we wish to measure if the variety of URLs counted is zero. After selecting the ‘is’ parameter, a brand new parameter for a quantity seems. Faucet it then kind zero.
If there are not any URLs on the clipboard, we wish to show an alert to that impact, so add a ‘Present Alert’ motion to the shortcut. The Present Alert motion will seem after your If motion block, so drag it between the If motion and the In any other case motion. Then, you possibly can change the textual content of the alert to one thing just like the language used within the model discovered within the MacStories Shortcuts Archive: “Your clipboard doesn’t include any URLs in the intervening time. Run this shortcut once more after copying a hyperlink.”
➍🅱 Set Variable
Step 4B is the place we add the primary nested If motion. Add an If motion to the shortcut such as you did above and drag it between the In any other case and Finish If actions of your first If motion.
This second If motion likewise assumes you wish to management what occurs primarily based on the depend of the objects from Step three, which is right. Faucet the ‘Situation’ parameter, select ‘is’ from the checklist, after which set the Quantity to 1.
Create Hyperlink was created earlier than an replace to Shortcuts that can be utilized to simplify the shortcut slightly. Shortcuts makes use of variables, together with Magic Variables, to retailer information quickly that can be utilized by different actions within the shortcut. Beforehand, you needed to ‘get’ a variable each time you needed to set it to a different worth. Now, you possibly can skip the ‘Get’ actions you see in Steps 4B and C, and go on to the ‘Set Variable’ motion. The Create Hyperlink shortcut within the MacStories Shortcuts Archive nonetheless works with the Get actions, however in the event you’re creating it from scratch, proceed to the Set Variable motion, which defines a brand new variable known as ‘Hyperlink’ and assigns it the URL Magic Variable output from Step 2.
➍🅲 Select from Record and Set Variable
Step 4C requires one other If motion to be dragged after Step 4B’s In any other case motion. This time, nonetheless, set the situation so it reads ‘If Rely is larger than 1.’ If there’s a couple of URL on the clipboard we have to choose one, so add a Select from Record motion, just like the one we used within the Shortcut Wealthy Hyperlink above. While you drag the motion into place after the If motion, Shortcuts will assume you wish to choose from the Rely variable, however we would like the URLs as an alternative so lengthy press on Rely, faucet Choose Magic Variable, and choose URLs, which seems simply after Step 2.
Lastly, add a Set Variable motion and set it to the Hyperlink variable. Shortcuts will routinely recommend setting Hyperlink to Chosen Merchandise, which is what we would like, so no change must be made there. Should you’ve set the nested If actions up accurately, they are going to finish in an In any other case motion adopted by three Finish If actions.
Create Hyperlink, Half three
The ultimate a part of Create Hyperlink takes the URL from Half 2 and makes use of it to generate a hyperlink.
➎ Ask for Enter
Step 5 makes use of an ‘Ask for Enter’ motion, which would be the textual content to which the URL is linked. The shortcut makes use of an ‘Enter Hyperlink Textual content’ immediate to let the consumer know what enter is being requested.
The ultimate three steps needs to be acquainted by now. Step 6 builds a Markdown hyperlink that mixes the textual content enter in Step 5 and the URL from Half 2 above. Subsequent, Step 7 converts the Markdown hyperlink to a wealthy textual content hyperlink, and eventually, Step eight copies the hyperlink to the clipboard for pasting in one other app.
My favourite a part of these three shortcuts is the pliability they reveal regardless of being comparatively easy. There are occasions and locations for extra complicated shortcuts, however typically it’s the best shortcuts that come in useful probably the most. Meaning even in the event you’re a newbie, you possibly can construct shortcuts that may prevent effort and time immediately, whereas concurrently studying methods you possibly can construct on to create extra complicated shortcuts later.
Keep tuned for future installments of Shortcuts Rewind. Though this inaugural story is geared toward novices, our plan is to construct on it and publish a wide range of tales that may attraction to Shortcuts customers of all expertise ranges.
After engaged on this for months, I’m thrilled to announce the second product launched below the MacStories Pixel model: right now we’re launching MacStories Shortcuts Icons (Colour), a unique model of our icon set that options multi-color glyphs and two background choices.
Right here’s the gist of right now’s launch: MacStories Shortcuts Icons (Colour) are a brand new, separate set out there for $14.99 right here. In the event you bought the unique MacStories Shortcuts Icons set, now referred to as Traditional, you may get the Colour one for simply $6 as a limited-time supply.
What makes the Colour set totally different: whereas the Traditional set comes with monochrome glyphs, the Colour model options multi-color glyphs with white or pure black backgrounds.
And right here’s a take a look at the distinction between the 2 units in follow:
As a part of right now’s launch, we’ve additionally redesigned the MacStories Pixel homepage to accomodate our new suite of merchandise.
MacStories Shortcuts Icons (Colour)
Ever since we launched the Traditional set of MacStories Shortcuts Icons in September 2019, we hoped to supply a multi-color model down the highway. We began with the Traditional set (through which every icon maintains the unique shade of your shortcuts) to maintain a sure degree of consistency with Apple’s Shortcuts app. Nonetheless, each Silvia and I felt that whereas some customers appreciated how the Traditional icons appeared like native Apple ones, others wished to have one thing totally different, extra customized and distinct from the standard Shortcuts icons.
That’s why we’ve spent the previous few months developing with a constant shade palette we might use in a multi-color model of MacStories Shortcuts Icons. The result’s the Colour set, through which each glyph has been painstakingly coloured by Silvia and tailored to work properly on each white and black backgrounds. Similar to iOS 13’s darkish mode, the colour palette adjustments subtly between gentle and darkish modes within the MacStories Shortcuts Icons (Colour) set for an optimum viewing expertise.
In addition to the multi-color glyphs, which I personally adore, one other key characteristic of the Colour set is the choice to decide on between white or pure black backgrounds. The latter is very attention-grabbing: when you’ve got a pure black wallpaper in your iPhone or iPad House display, the icons will mix in with the House display seamlessly, permitting you to place collectively some fascinating customized layouts.
As an illustration, right here’s a “sidebar” of folder shortcuts I created on my iPad Professional (utilizing FS Bookmarks):
And on the second web page of my iPad Professional, I created a customized grid with shortcuts within the center, surrounded by app icons:
Our purpose with the brand new Colour set of MacStories Shortcuts Icons is to offer customers with extra selection – extra choices that transcend the usual look of House display shortcuts. As you may see, I’ve ended up mixing and matching each the Traditional and Colour units of MacStories Shortcuts Icons; I hope that clients within the icons will do the identical.
On this free replace, we’ve included a shocking new monochrome model of the icons that includes white glyphs on black backgrounds. This black & white model is right for these searching for a minimalistic House display expertise, and it really works significantly properly on pure black wallpapers.
In the event you’re an present proprietor of the Traditional set, examine your electronic mail inbox for a message from MacStories Pixel, which is able to include a hyperlink to re-download the up to date set without cost.
The place to Purchase, Bundle Version, and Reductions
You’ll find a whole preview of the icon set right here and right here. Alternatively, use the Purchase button under to buy the Colour set straight.
In the present day, we’re additionally introducing a brand new Bundle version of MacStories Shortcuts Icons.
If you wish to personal each variations of the icons, you should buy the Bundle version at 30% off the mixed value of each units. The bundle is out there right here, or you should use the Purchase button under.
In the event you bought the Traditional set of MacStories Shortcuts Icons earlier than January 22, 2020, you may get the brand new Colour set at simply $6. It is a limited-time supply: be sure to examine your electronic mail inbox for a message from MacStories Pixel, which is able to include a promo code to buy the Colour set at a reduced value.
Lastly, beginning right now Membership MacStories members have entry to a different unique perk – a reduction code to get the whole Bundle version of MacStories Shortcuts Icons for simply $15.99. Membership members can discover their coupon code of their Downloads dashboard over at macstories.memberful.com.
We’re thrilled with the response to the Traditional set of MacStories Shortcuts Icons, and I can’t wait to begin seeing how customers customise their House screens utilizing the brand new Colour set.