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Direct Access to Alfred's Default File Actions - A Feature Request

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I would love to be able to directly access all of Alfred's default file actions in my workflows.


@Andrew recently added some awesome new actions for the buffer - and, Alfred already included some of the other default file actions, like Reveal and Browse - but I'd love to be able to access other default file actions, too - such as Open With, Recent Documents, etc. At the moment, if you want to access these without extra steps, you have to use GUI-based approaches that type the file action's name into the File Action panel, which are always imminently fragile and problematic.


There are a variety of ways this could be implemented, but here are some early thoughts:

  • Create a new action, in the Actions section - perhaps called Run File Action - where the user can use a drop down to select the file action they would like to run on the file paths that are being passed to it. You might think of it as a more specific application of the "Action in Alfred" action. At a minimum, the dropdown should be populated by whatever file actions the user has enabled (Features > Actions > File Actions). However, if you wanted to get fancy, it'd be even better if the dropdown included both Alfred's file actions AND any the user has created. In theory, the dropdown might operate something like Alfred's "Call External" output, except that it is displaying Alfred's default file actions and any the user created. 
  • Add a new option in the "Action in Alfred" action, which includes a dropdown allowing the user to specify the action that will be run on the file paths included above. The dropdown could operate like either of the options described above (just default file actions or include the user's file actions, too). Unless the user enables this option, of course, the default would be to send the file paths to Alfred's File Actions panel, allowing the user to select for themselves (i.e., the same way they do now).
  • Add a new option to the "Call External Trigger" output that allows the user to access Alfred's default file actions
  • Provide AppleScript access - enhance this existing "actions" command.
    • Example: tell application "Alfred" to action OpenWith theFilePaths


If I had to choose from these options, I'd probably go with the first or second option. But I honestly don't care how it gets accomplished! And, while I didn't include it above, if you really wanted to step things up, I would include some kind of error feedback mechanism - such as a notification, etc - for when users pass file paths to file actions they should not have - such as when they've passed more than one file to an action that can only handle one file, or when the file action is tied to a specific file type that does not match the files the user is trying to pass to it. Again, these are just fancy bells and whistles, I'm not picky here!!


@Andrew Is there any way we can get better access to Alfred's default file actions? 🙏 They're great, and I'd like to start tapping in to these more - as opposed to trying to recreate them myself, in a workflow, or going to GUI route. As always, thanks for your consideration! Long Live Alfred!!

Edited by Jasondm007
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  • 2 years later...

Hi @KennyP! Since posting this, @Andrew added the "Jump to" option to the "Action in Alfred" action, created Universal Actions, and even further improved things in Alfred 5. I think most of the key default actions are now accessible directly using "Action in Alfred" (with the "Jump to" option) or indirectly through other tools. But I'm sure there are still plenty of exceptions.


Which file action did you want to use directly in your workflow? I'm not great with these things, but maybe I could help.


FWIW: I'm with you, and would still like to see all of the default Universal Actions added directly to the "Jump to" dropdown in "Action in Alfred" (which was, in effect, what I was asking for above in #2). It would make things a lot easier than having to poke around and find what you're looking for. Cheers!

Edited by Jasondm007
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