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Simple ideas: anatomy of a moving workflow

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I’ve posted this workflow before but I’m going to dissect it to show you some of the features available in a really simple but useful workflow. Of course, there’s an Alfred Universal Action to move a file or files but there’s also a way to create a quick shortcut to that Universal Action. That’s what this workflow does but it’s worth looking under the skin to investigate some of the details.


The skeletal workflow



The explanation

  1. We use a Hotkey Trigger rather than a Keyword Input because we want something that's quick to use. Double click on a Hotkey Trigger and take a moment to look at the options (see next screenshot but one). We choose “Pass through to workflow” as opposed to “Show Alfred”. The Argument is “Selection in macOS” because we’re wanting to move a file or files selected in macOS. If you click on the “Related Apps” tab you can add Finder in order to ensure the hotkey works only when Finder has focus:   RelatedApps.thumb.png.e70948abc59f46884e9624449794a703.png


Tip: Use that to ensure your Alfred hotkeys work only in the apps where you want them to work—or to use the same hotkey in different apps triggering different features in each app.


Return to the Hotkey Settings tab and click where indicated:



Then you’ll see the following:



We check “Pass through modifier keys (Fastest)” because we want the fastest possible reaction from Alfred when we have a file or files selected and we then press the hotkey.


      2. The Action in Alfred dialog has a little trick up its sleeve (double click on the Action to open the dialog box):



We limit the “Treatment:” to “File” and (the trick) change “Jump to:” from a blank to “Move to…”. That way we have instant access to Alfred’s “Move to…” Universal Action. (The other things to which you can jump, bypassing the list of Universal Actions, are Recent Documents…, Open With…, Open URL in…, Email to…, and Copy to… .)


In conclusion

When using a workflow like this all you need to do to move a file (or files) in Finder is to select it (or them), press the hotkey and start typing, in Alfred’s window, the name of the folder to which you wish to move the file or files. When the relevant folder name is displayed simply press to move the file or files to it. But even in a simple workflow there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.


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