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Sridhar Katakam

Send currently selected item to Alfred

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Is there a way to mimic LaunchBar's Instant Send feature in Alfred?

 

The way it works is like this: Say you select some text. You can then press a key (I have this set to ⌥) and this gets sent to LaunchBar and then we can act on it (like search in google, wikipedia etc.)

 

The beauty is that this works not only with text but also images, files, folders.. just about anything.

 

Basically, with just a single click you can send any kind of active item to LaunchBar and then bring up the action menu and do your stuff.

 

It would be awesome to have this functionality with Alfred. I know it is currently possible with text.

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8 hours ago, vitor said:

You’re looking for File Actions. Default hotkey is ⌥⌘\.

 

Thanks for the reply. I am aware of how to invoke the file actions once an item is in Alfred.

 

I am asking as to how we can get the item into Alfred w/o browsing to it inside Alfred.

 

Say I am using Path Finder and have a folder selected. I would like to press a hotkey and have it appear in Alfred.

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You don’t need to be browsing in Alfred to use that shortcut; it works the same with a file selected in the Finder (not sure about Path Finder, as I haven’t used it in years).

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1 hour ago, Sridhar Katakam said:

One of the most often compared features between Alfred and LaunchBar is exactly this Sending feature that you described. I, too, was hoping Alfred 4 will finally have it. I don’t need to have another app like KM to do this as that’s pretty much like patchwork. 

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6 hours ago, vitor said:

(not sure about Path Finder, as I haven’t used it in years).

 

It works with every file manager I’ve tried. Path Finder, ForkLift, Marta.

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10 minutes ago, deanishe said:

 

It works with every file manager I’ve tried. Path Finder, ForkLift, Marta.

 

Are these file managers worth it? I've never used any of them. What is the best one?

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47 minutes ago, xilopaint said:

Are these file managers worth it? I've never used any of them. What is the best one?

 

Meh. It's worth having at least one of them for copying/moving lots of files, as they all queue copy/move actions instead of doing them all at the same time, as Finder does.

 

I mostly use ForkLift for SFTP stuff. It's a crap file manager because its window/tab management is awful.

 

Marta's quite nice, but it's not very Mac-like. It lacks basic features like the ability to move tabs to a different pane/window.

 

Basically, I'd just like a file manager that's good at, you know, managing files. But those three all lack some basic feature(s) that makes them a bit crap.

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1 hour ago, xilopaint said:

 

Are these file managers worth it? I've never used any of them. What is the best one?

 

I have tried a few of these and settled with Path Finder.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Belfong said:

One of the most often compared features between Alfred and LaunchBar is exactly this Sending feature that you described. I, too, was hoping Alfred 4 will finally have it. I don’t need to have another app like KM to do this as that’s pretty much like patchwork. 

 

I hear you. I am a LaunchBar user myself and use its Instant Send heavily.

 

My guess is that 80% of Alfred users do not know what they are missing if they have not experienced LB's Insant Send.

 

Anyway, for now, I have decided to make Alfred the primary launcher (⌘ + Space) and LB secondary (running in the background) just for its Instant Send.

 

The issue with the KM workaround is that it only works for files, not text.

Edited by Sridhar Katakam

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Sridhar Katakam said:

I hear you. I am a LaunchBar user myself and use its Instant Send heavily.

 

My guess is that 80% of Alfred users do not know what they are missing if they have not experienced LB's Insant Send.

 

I understand the feelings, but while I miss many things from LB by myself, including usage of system services, file navigation, name-based instead of abbreviation-based trigger and InstantSend with just any type of object anywhere, I also remember why I left it in the first place: no community work (the only forum abandoned and closed), no community-based repository for Actions and thus bad overall quality of them, no proper debugger and logging (every time I was to write an action or port one existing from Alfred I had a feeling I would hit a wall and just guess in the dark) and just a general feeling of riding a dead horse with no development and bugs fixed after 3 months.

 

I guess you also had you reasons to switch launchers, since you are here. It seems like we can't have it all, but at the current stage I have more belief in Alfred fixing its problems, than in LB. Because it is, at least, being developed.

 

For InstantSend I've settled to selecting files in Alfred with double ⌘ and for a separate workflow, which is triggered by ⌃+S which selects text, pastes it in Alfred and places a cursor before it so you can call a workflow on it. It is a clumsy solution compared to LB, but it works most of the time.

 

What I really, really miss is the ability to select files and create a new folder with them. I was using it daily in LB - select files, create a folder and move it somewhere. Crazy how easy LB handles such things...

Edited by lycopodiopsida

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5 minutes ago, dfay said:

 

I don't need it in finder, I need it in Alfred...

There should be a file action after I select Item(s). Currently I am trying to reveal an old workflow (again), but it should be built-in and not a bunch of fragile AppleScript... It may be, actually, that LB uses the one from Finder due to its good integration with system. Difficult to check, since its internals are pretty much blackbox.

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I am here for the same reason. LaunchBar seems to be going nowhere. There's just no community aspect in it.

 

Quote

and for a separate workflow, which is triggered by ⌃+S which selects text, pastes it in Alfred and places a cursor before it so you can call a workflow on it.

 

Can you tell me how you got this working?

 

I have added one of the built-in workflows that shows Alfred with the selected text.

 

https://d.pr/i/q1cffe

 

When I select any text and press my hotkey, it goes to Alfred alright. But I am not sure how to run an action on it. Nothing happens when I press Fn.

 

The file/folder navigation and operations in Alfred is weak compared to LB's.

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2 hours ago, lycopodiopsida said:

but it should be built-in and not a bunch of fragile AppleScript...

 

This is a rather bad argument, as they're both using the same mechanisms under the hood. It's a question of quality of implementation. Certainly, I don't see why you would need AppleScript for that.

 

38 minutes ago, Sridhar Katakam said:

The file/folder navigation and operations in Alfred is weak compared to LB's.

 

Yes, it is. This is largely a result of the fact that Alfred's "native" format is lists and LB's is trees—a much better fit for navigating a filesystem. A such, you're always going to be able to implement better filesystem navigation in LB than in Alfred.

 

That said, it'd be nice if Alfred were more inclined to copying good ideas from other launchers.

 

Hopefully, Alfred 4 will go like Alfred 3, and Andrew will add a bunch of significant new features with dot releases.

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Posted (edited)

FYI you can act on the selected text with the PopClip Alfred extension ... once it gets updated for Alfred 4.

 

In the meantime, you can set up a workflow with two items:

Hotkey -> Show Alfred with {query} as the argument and cursor 

 

There's no need to script the pasting or cursor movement in the workflow.

Edited by dfay

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7 hours ago, Sridhar Katakam said:

Can you tell me how you got this working? 

 

It is actually pretty simple:

 

- create a new action

- right click on workbench

- Triggers>Hotkey

- do the rest like in the screenshot

 

 

Screenshot 2019-06-02 at 09.06.36.png

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, deanishe said:

This is largely a result of the fact that Alfred's "native" format is lists and LB's is trees—a much better fit for navigating a filesystem. A such, you're always going to be able to implement better filesystem navigation in LB than in Alfred. 

 

I am not sure it can be blamed on "lists vs trees". IMO Alfred does the navigation fine enough and has some nice features, like file preview always shown in the window. The problem is what you can do with things you've found - and here one would again land by support for system services. Zipping a found folder is something macOS can do natively, LB can do it most likely for the same reason, but Alfred would require an extra file action no one has written yet, as far as I searched. I think system services are a low-hanging fruit (well, not necessary from the amount of work needed to implement it) which would add a ton of functions instantly. So let us hope we see it implemented soon enough.

Edited by lycopodiopsida

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1 hour ago, lycopodiopsida said:

IMO Alfred does the navigation fine enough 

 

You said it was weak.

 

1 hour ago, lycopodiopsida said:

system services are a low-hanging fruit

 

Seems a relative no-brainer given how many apps use them, and how difficult it is to implement via a workflow.

 

They’d still be fairly limited, though, as long as Alfred only understands files.

 

It needs to understand a few more types first, say “text” and “url” at least.

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7 minutes ago, deanishe said:

You said it was weak.

 

I should maybe say file-based workflows, navigation as it is is fine - you find some folder and drill down. It it more about doing something with results (though I like the buffer idea since it can keep files forever).

 

7 minutes ago, deanishe said:

They’d still be fairly limited, though, as long as Alfred only understands files.

 

It needs to understand a few more types first, say “text” and “url” at least.

 

Is it difficult to implement in general? As far as I understand, mime-type can be grabbed form any file in macOS. 

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13 minutes ago, lycopodiopsida said:

Is it difficult to implement in general? As far as I understand, mime-type can be grabbed form any file in macOS. 

 

I wasn't very clear. I meant in Alfred itself. It only has File Actions. There's no equivalent action panel for any other type (text, URL, email address, etc.) and the buffer doesn't work with anything but files. Similarly, your workflow can only return items with no type (implicitly text, I suppose) or with type "file" (in which case you can use File Actions on workflow items or add them to the buffer).

 

macOS Services support a lot more types than just files, so I think it would be sensible to expand Alfred's supported types at the same time. Not only would you get much more complete support for Services, but it would also make workflows much more powerful if they could put their own stuff in the buffer and add their own URL Actions or Text Actions.

 

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16 hours ago, lycopodiopsida said:

What I really, really miss is the ability to select files and create a new folder with them.

File Buffer could almost do what you are asking for .. except the Actions available are Copy and Move files.. alas. 

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4 hours ago, Belfong said:

File Buffer could almost do what you are asking for .. except the Actions available are Copy and Move files.. alas. 

 

You can add your own File Actions. Making a "New Directory with Items" one would be fairly straightforward.

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