Jump to content

Automations Tasks Suggestions


Recommended Posts

Hi Alfred team, requesting a few new Automation Tasks. Feel free to share if this is the right place for a request like this or the Github repo.

 

- Merge images to make a GIF

- Compress images

- Convert video format (e.g. MKV to MP4)

- Convert video to GIF

- Merge PDF files

- Merge text files with a separator in between the contents of each file (like a `=======` maybe which translated to a separator in MD format)

- HTML to markdown (with images of course) and vice versa

- Currency conversion

 

Not sure these are large or small enough to be part of Automation Tasks but just putting it out here. :)

 

Please like or comment on this post to acknowledge if a team member has read it. Thank you 🙇

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Optimise Image Colour for Sharing” compresses the image. A Workflow like TinyPNG also does compression, but through an API and with more size reduction.


I see the value in these as automation tasks. Most require using external tools (e.g. to convert video you’d use ffmpeg, which does not ship with macOS) so they require a different type of consideration.


Thank you for the request.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, vitor said:

A Workflow like TinyPNG also does compression,

Yeah, I prefer something local which is what `Optimise Image Colour for Sharing` would provide.  Don't prefer uploading my images to a remote server for compression, who know what's their privacy policy :)

 

 

2 hours ago, vitor said:

I see the value in these as automation tasks. Most require using external tools (e.g. to convert video you’d use ffmpeg, which does not ship with macOS) so they require a different type of consideration.

 

Thanks for considering!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more suggestions :):

 

- For `Move Window to Different Screen`, could we please also have the options, `Move to Desktop 1/2/3/4`?

- "Paste first Element in Clipboard" or "Paste Second Element in Clipboard" 

- "Type Clipboard Content". This is useful for fields that don't allow you to paste text. 

 

@vitor I'm gonna use this thread to add more suggestions when I think of them. LMK if you'd like me to use a different place. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, andy4222 said:

- For `Move Window to Different Screen`, could we please also have the options, `Move to Desktop 1/2/3/4`?

 

Do you mean the virtual desktops? As far as I’m aware there’s no public macOS API to do that. Even the few apps who do something with those you can notice use hacky solutions via GUI automation.

 

18 hours ago, andy4222 said:

- "Paste first Element in Clipboard" or "Paste Second Element in Clipboard" 

 

Use a Copy to Clipboard Output with {clipboard:N} where N is a number. See Dynamic Placeholders.

 

18 hours ago, andy4222 said:

- "Type Clipboard Content". This is useful for fields that don't allow you to paste text.

 

Unfortunately, telling macOS to type text isn’t reliable. It trips itself up on diacritics and sometimes even on capitals (e.g. typing ANdy) or eats letters. Just tested it again and the issue is still there. If we can find a reliable way to do it, I’ll add the Automation Task.

 

I can give you the code:

 

function type_text(text_to_write) {
  text_to_write.split('').forEach(character => {
    Application('System Events').keystroke(character)
    delay(0.01)
  })
}

function run(argv) {
  type_text(argv[0])
}

 

Stick that in a Run Script with Language set to /usr/bin/osascript (JavaScript) and it’ll type the text you pass into it.

 

18 hours ago, andy4222 said:

I'm gonna use this thread to add more suggestions when I think of them. LMK if you'd like me to use a different place. 

 

Here is fine!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, vitor said:

Do you mean the virtual desktops?

 

I meant macOS desktop. 

 

image.jpeg.cd35ca4bfd32d75e8e4e39421c75f608.jpeg

 

 

BetterTouchTool has these options:

 

image.jpeg.c1ca612623cddad433e4aa028c827f50.jpeg

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, vitor said:

Unfortunately, telling macOS to type text isn’t reliable

 

Got it. Keyboard Maestro and has this feature and people seem to love it and it works reliably if and when I use it with KM. But I'm trying to move everything to Alfred, especially after introduction of Automation Tasks. I'll ask other people in a different forums and let you know if I can find anything, but this would a great feature to have. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/4/2022 at 4:11 AM, andy4222 said:

BetterTouchTool has these options

 

That’s what I mean. Try instead its “Add New Space to Mission Control”. Now try this code in the Script Editor. Do you see how they’re essentially the same showing the action? That suggests the solution is similar, and it relies on GUI automation which is error-prone.


Similarly, for switching desktops they’re probably using a private API. I agree with Rectangle’s developer on the matter (#16 #55). Not to say there’s anything inherently wrong with other solutions, it’s essentially a matter of programming philosophy and what you prioritise.

 

On 8/4/2022 at 4:11 AM, andy4222 said:

I'll ask other people in a different forums and let you know if I can find anything

 

That’d be great. The approach that I shared is years old so there may be an alternative approach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Tried out `2022.9` release. 

 

- `Resize image by percentage` works great!
- Reg `Add, Remove, Set, Clear Tags`, could we have a `get Tags` task, so users can put that in a list filter and select one of the existing tags `set Tag` or `Add Tag`. Else, users have to manually type the tag or set it in the config which is not the most efficient and could be prone to typos. Also users might not remember they created a similar tag a while ago.

 

Not related to this release but a Automation Task (AT) request:

- Append/Prepend text to file (this is of course different from "Merge text files with separator" that I had requested earlier)

Edited by andy4222
Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Stephen_C said:

As a more general suggestion, and with the increasing number of Automation Tasks, it might be quite useful to have a search facility within the Automation Task window to assist with finding tasks quickly.

 

+1 I totally forgot about the search feature in AT. I had to go through the entire list to find the one I need as I wasn't sure of the category it might be in. Thanks for bringing this up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Stephen_C said:

As a more general suggestion, and with the increasing number of Automation Tasks, it might be quite useful to have a search facility within the Automation Task window to assist with finding tasks quickly.

 

We have a really exciting roadmap for Automation Tasks during Alfred 5 and into the future, including improved organisation and searching tasks, so stay tuned :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, andy4222 said:

could we have a `get Tags` task

 

Sure. It’s on my list but wasn’t in yet because I am considering use cases to decide on the best interface when passing in multiple files. Same thing for reading Finder comments (in these latest Automation Tasks, there are also Tasks to write and clear them). Knowing specifically how you’d use the tag reading (to list them and apply to others) helps. I’m keeping that in mind.

 

11 hours ago, andy4222 said:

Append/Prepend text to file

 

You can append with the Write Text File Output.

 

You can also take advantage of that object for merging with a separator. Use the Read File Contents Automation Task to save file contents to a variable (do that for each file). Then reuse those variables (and use whatever separator you want) in the Write File Output.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, vitor said:

Sure. It’s on my list

 

You are the best!!

 

32 minutes ago, vitor said:

You can also take advantage of that object for merging with a separator. Use the Read File Contents Automation Task to save file contents to a variable (do that for each file). Then reuse those variables (and use whatever separator you want) in the Write File Output.

 

This would work, thanks for suggesting. But just thinking in general terms, I think it would still be useful to have a merge feature in AT. That would remove the need for having multiple objects in a workflow. Up to you.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...