Mac Shortcuts have arrived with macOS Monterey. The tool, which takes the leap from iOS and iPadOS, makes it possible to streamline long strides in workflows and everyday tasks.
The Mac Shortcuts app lets you automate the things you do most often. By doing so, you can save a lot of time by converting multiple steps into one. For example, with the Shortcut editor, you can connect your favorite applications and services. From there, you can run them from the Dock, the menu bar, the Finder, Spotlight, or with Siri.
Here’s a first look at how to use Mac shortcuts on macOS and why they will be useful to you.
Using the Mac Shortcuts application
You can find the Mac Shortcuts app in the folder Applications for macOS Monterey. The app has two sections: Gallery and My shortcuts.
The Gallery offers a growing list of shortcuts waiting to be explored. In My Shortcuts, you will find the shortcuts you have created. Those in the latter group are automatically added to the first after configuration.
Think of Gallery as an app store for shortcuts. In this case, the shortcuts are all free. On this screen, you will find a wide selection of recommended shortcuts. Some of them are based entirely on your digital history, while others come from installed applications. Plus, in the Gallery, you’ll find new and featured shortcuts recommended by other Mac users.
For example, let’s take a look at the Gallery section called Get Stuff Done. In this section, you will find shortcuts like Convert text to audio, How many days left, Email last image and many more.
With the first shortcut, you can have your Mac create an audio file using text-to-speech. In this way, you will be able to listen to your class notes while taking a walk, when folding clothes or when doing practically any other task.
To activate a shortcut:
- Click on the recommended shortcut in Gallery.
- Press Add shortcut.
- Follow the instructions to create the shortcut.
Once you’ve created a shortcut, you can run it using a Siri command or from the section My shortcuts.
There is no limit to the number of Siri Shortcuts you can use, so you can experiment with any number of different actions.
My Siri shortcuts
As we have already said, in the My Shortcuts tab of the Siri Shortcuts application, you will find the recommended and created shortcuts. From here, you can also create new shortcuts from scratch.
- For start a current shortcut, click on it and follow the instructions.
- Press Edit in the upper left to remove current shortcuts.
- For edit an individual shortcut, click on the icon … (three points) located next to him.
- Press Create shortcut for develop something new.
What is a shortcut action?
The shortcuts include a series of building blocks called Actions, which are individual steps in a task. You can mix and match actions to create shortcuts that interact with the apps and other content stored on your iOS or iPadOS device. Actions can also interact with content and services on the web.
To do this, you will have to create a new shortcut in My shortcut, add actions using the shortcut editor, and then run the shortcut to test it.
To create a new custom shortcut using the Mac Shortcuts application:
- Please select All shortcuts on the left side of the application.
- Tap the icon add (+) at the top right of the My Shortcuts tab to create a new shortcut.
- Choose an action on the right side of the application. You can search for apps and actions on this page or use any of the suggestions on the list.
- Press one action from the list to add it to your shortcut.
- To add another action, press again Add Action and make your choice.
- Enter a Name for your custom shortcut. This name is the one you will use to ask Siri to run the shortcut.
- I touched Done.
- To test your new shortcut, press the play button next to the name of the shortcut.
Your new shortcut will automatically appear in the My Shortcuts section.
Automation is a type of shortcut that is triggered by an event rather than being started manually. It is an essential part of the Shortcuts application on the iPhone and iPad. However, it is not part of the Mac Shortcuts. This is probably because Macs are usually not as mobile as iPhones or iPads.
As a refresher on creating automations on your mobile device, you can use the Shortcuts app to configure a personal or home automation, and then have the automated shortcut activate according to your arrival, departure, your iPhone settings, the time of the day, etc. You can find automations in the Gallery or create new ones in the Automation tab.
To create a new automation:
- Press the tab Automation in the Siri Shortcuts app on your Apple device.
- Then choose Create Personal Automation or Create Home Automation.
- Personal automation includes tasks performed based on events, trips, or settings. For example, you can have a song play through the Music app every time an alarm goes off. You can also configure it so that when CarPlay connects, a message is sent to your partner.
- Think of Home Automation it’s yet another layer of Apple HomeKit. For example, you can have the lights in your house turn on whenever someone walks out or arrive, or have your smart camera turn on at a certain time of day.
Using Mac Shortcuts / Shortcuts / Quick Functions
Mac Shortcuts offers many features, and we expect more features to be added with each new version of macOS. It is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to save time completing daily tasks.