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Simple Ideas: a launch break

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We have dined upon cheese sandwiches and expanded the known universe but now it's time for a proper launch break.

Alfred's Launch Apps & Files Action is extremely simple to use but there's a lot you can do with it.

A skeletal workflow

1. In the Hotkey: box we have chosen, as the Trigger behaviour, to Pass through modifier keys (Fastest). (For a detailed explanation of how to do that see this Simple Ideas post.)


The Related Apps tab is empty—because we are trying to launch an app.

2. We link the hotkey to the Launch Apps & Files Action which, when we double click it, looks like this:

We have added the Messages app by dragging and dropping it into the relevant box. (That is a complete lie: I hate drag and drop so I clicked the little + sign and "did it my way”.) Note that we've ticked the box to Toggle visibility for apps. That means that we can use the hotkey to toggle the display of the Messages app: click to display, click again to hide.

That's it: launch is all done and dusted…but is it? There is, in fact, another course (or two).

Riffing launch
You can add more than one app to the Launch Action: so it's very easy, for example, to launch all your chat apps at the start of the day with one hotkey.

I do some photography and use both Adobe DNG Converter to process RAW files and Photo Mechanic Plus to enter metadata. When I want to process photos I need both of those apps but the first app I'll use is the Adobe one. If I launch both at the same time Photo Mechanic Plus will remain on top because it takes longer to launch. However, I can still use one hotkey to launch both apps because I simply separate the two launch actions (the first for Photo Mechanic Plus, the second for the Adobe app) with Alfred's Delay Utility set for a five second delay.

Do you need regularly to open the same selection of files? Remember, the Launch Action is not merely for apps. Populate the Launch Action with the paths to the files you need to open (much easier to use that little + sign 😉), precede it with your hotkey, press the hotkey and your files are served.

Of course, you don't have to use a hotkey trigger with the Launch Action. If, like me, you find it hard to remember all the hotkeys used on your Mac there's nothing wrong with using a Keyword Input.

It may be worth pointing out that you can simply have a category called 'Launch Apps', or some such, in your workflows and put all your app launchers together on one page in Alfred's workflows.

In conclusion
Launch is ended, the table is cleared—and I trust no indigestion tablets are required.


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