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Howdoi: Instant coding answers


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Sherlock, your neighborhood command-line sloth sleuth


Instant coding answers via Alfred

Never open your browser to look for help again


I am the maintainer of this workflow, and of the `howdoi` repository.

Visit Howdoi in the Alfred Forum and view the workflow on Github.


  • Make sure howdoi is installed on your machine with brew install howdoi.


Invoke the Alfred workflow with the keyword Question Keyword (default: `howdoi`) and then your query. The output will be shown as large type and also copied to the clipboard. Use ⌘↩ to open the answer's web page instead.


Typing the howdoi query


New to howdoi? You can get started by running:

howdoi howdoi

Useful Links

Edited by gleitz
Updated to latest version of install instructions
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1 hour ago, gleitz said:


That's a good idea! I'll give that a spin for the next release.




I thought a bit more about my suggestion and there's a problem I didn't think of at first. Some outputs have multiple lines. Now I'm not sure if a script filter is the best option anymore. Perhaps a Terminal Command object would be more suitable.

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@gleitz I started making a PR yesterday for other changes to make it suitable for inclusion in the Gallery, but if you’re updating it, better share those first.


Instead of recommending installing the CLI with pip, recommend Hombrew as that’s what we’re recommending too. Alfred 5 itself includes the Homebrew locations in PATH, meaning the Configuration to set the path to the CLI can be removed.


Adding a Text Field Configuration for the Keyword (or Script Filter) is good, though. It means users will be able to change it but you can keep your default.


As for the conversation above, a Script Filter could indeed be fine. Even if some examples have multiple lines, just showing the first is already helpful. But in the last step, Large Type might work better than a notification.

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Great ideas! Go ahead with the PR @vitor as I'm traveling this week and won't have time to put some of these ideas into action. 

A useful flag for howdoi will be -j for JSON output to populate the text field. You could also pass -n3 to get up to three potential answers.

The last time I checked, homebrew was reluctant to add utilities that could already be installed via pip. I agree that the way this plugin is configured now is annoying.

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