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Text and URL Actions


Alfred0
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Would be awesome if we could create Actions for other types of content. e.g. similar to File Actions you could add Text Actions, Url Actions, etc..

 

This would allow for things such as text manipulation (e.g. Mardown, convert to upper case, etc..). This would really fly with the ability to send the highlighted text to Alfred.

 

Edited by Alfred0
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  • 4 months later...

This is one area of migrating from Quicksilver to Alfred that bugs me every day. I've found myself keeping QS running as a fall back when I really "need" text actions.

 

Some QS text manipulation features that I used weekly, if not daily:

  • Copy text to clipboard (may seem superfluous, but I used it all the time)
  • Send text to "Shelf" (the shelf idea is like a quick and easy Snippets on the fly)
  • Create new file with text
  • Append text to file
  • Prepend text to file
  • Type text
  • Display text in large type
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I might be misunderstanding you or I may not have explained myself clearly …

 

I'm talking about typing directly into Alfred's prompt, not pulling in text from a selection in the OS. I do need to explore the latter, but first I'd like to solve the former. I didn't realize how much I used that in QS until it was gone.

 

One other feature I'm missing that's directly related to text manipulation: Line breaks! It was a little cumbersome, but hitting <opt> + <return> would insert a line break into the QS input, which allowed me to queue up a multiline body of text to operate on. I used this frequently for quick notes in a meeting, coming back to it later to drop somewhere else (eg Jira, nvAlt, a slide deck, or email).

Edited by plainclothes
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  • 1 month later...
On 6/18/2021 at 7:55 PM, plainclothes said:

hitting <opt> + <return> would insert a line break into the QS input

 

You can paste multi-line text into Alfred’s input, though not write it there. The modifier keys to add a new line could get in the way of Workflow options. How would you get around that?

 

13 hours ago, plainclothes said:

- Create file

- Append / prepend to file

 

Two of those three (create and append) can are available in the Write File Output object.

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Thanks for the file creation pointer! I'll have to dig into that. 

 

I realize that line breaks in an input like Alfred's comes with some compromises, but it's worth it for me. For example, I don't really need shift+return to do anything special so I'd probably take that over for line breaks.

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Just now, plainclothes said:

For example, I don't really need shift+return to do anything special

 

Maybe you don’t need it in regular operations, but that can (and is!) used as a modifier in Workflows. It wouldn’t be reasonable to break every Workflow which implements it for a niche feature.

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1 minute ago, plainclothes said:

"One size fits all" fits no one.

 

And has nothing to do with my argument, either.

 

6 minutes ago, plainclothes said:

I would expect a "line breaks" config somewhere that allows you to enable the behavior and set the modifier key(s).

 

If Alfred’s team implemented every configuration every user asks for, every tab of the preferences would be more complex than a cockpit. They need to carefully consider every request and how it interacts with the whole of Alfred. Niche features with a huge potential to break what exists are harder sells.

 

I’m not saying this couldn’t work or shouldn’t be a preference, but when making a request it helps if you consider how what you want impacts everyone else. Get ahead of those problems to offer solutions, and your feature has a greater chance of being implemented.

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Okay. Sorry to offend the Feature Gatekeeper.

 

So … like I was saying … I still miss line breaks from Quicksilver. I'm not saying anyone should build this for me and break Alfred, just pointing out that Universal Actions got me a little closer to the text actions I miss. Thanks, Alfred.

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4 hours ago, plainclothes said:

I'm not saying anyone should build this for me and break Alfred

 

If we can figure out a way how it could be implemented without breaking existing stuff, like Vítor is trying to do, then maybe we can have it.

 

One possibility might be a hotkey to toggle Alfred's window between the current result list and a single, large, multiline text input to edit the query. Then you'd have to toggle back to view and action the results. For users that deal with a lot of multiline inputs, there could perhaps be a global "show Alfred in multiline mode" option to start Alfred in multiline edit mode if the received query has multiple lines.

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@deanishe I like what you're thinking! When jumping into text entry mode, expanding the input field would make for a smoother entry experience.

 

The QS input can be switched into text mode by typing `.` at any time. As soon as that character is typed, the characters entered are preserved and the input visually changes to a small single-line text input. The option/alt key can be used to input line breaks.

 

To simplify matters, I think forcing a certain first character (eg `.`) to change mode would be a reasonable compromise. 

 

A handy result of having this dedicated text entry mode is that the new Universal Actions feature wouldn't try to select a "best match" item in the list when what I really want is to action on the string input. That's where UA is causing me trouble at the moment.

Edited by plainclothes
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