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Alfred 2 Workflows and Tips

Alfred is one of our favorite OS X apps here at RocketTheme. Our team uses it extensively throughout the day to access important information, perform simple (yet critical) tasks, and generally work more efficiently.

Alfred does a lot of different things. It launches applications, does various types of Web searches, connects with a number of installed applications, and much more.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the tips and tricks we use to make the most of Alfred. Several of these tips require the purchase of the Powerpack which adds an abundance of additional features such as workflows, clipboard and snippet tools, theming, and file interactions.

Paste as Plain Text from Hotkey

Paste as Plain Text

If you frequently copy and paste text between applications, you have likely had to go back and strip formatting from text after doing so. By pasting this data as plain text, you can avoid carrying over formatting and save yourself an additional step.

You can set this option up very easily. All you need to do is navigate to the Workflows tab within Alfred and do the following:

Paste as Plain Text

  • Click the plus (+) sign to add a new workflow.
  • Select Templates > Clipboard > Paste as Plain Text from Hotkey.
  • Assign your new workflow a name, description (optional), and category.
  • Double-click on the Clipboard Contents - Hotkey area of the workflow.
  • Select Pass Through to Workflow as the Action.
  • Choose OS X Clipboard Contents as the Argument.
  • Select Save.

Once you have done this, you can test your new workflow using formatted text and a word processor like Word, Google Docs, or Pages.



Having good music playing can make your workday go by a lot easier. Being able to search for an artist, album, or song without having to switch windows or even touch your mouse is even better.

This is where the Spotify workflow by Jeff Johns comes in handy. This workflow comes with a generous library of commands to let you do anything from search, command playback, and even check the popularity rank for the current track playing on Spotify. All from Alfred’s UI.

Want to share the URL of the current song with someone? You can do this without even leaving the current window you’re in. Just type a command in Alfred and continue about your work.



Gist makes it easy to share a snippet of code. Github’s Gist service is reliable, quick, and easy to use. By pairing this service with Alfred, you can create gists on the fly, and share them in seconds.

The AlfredGist workflow by Philip Hallstrom is an excellent solution. It’s easy to set up and use. Just copy a block of code to your clipboard, and execute the gist command through Alfred. Your default browser will load the new Gist page, giving you an easy URL to share with the people you’re working with.

You can even configure private and public gists with this workflow.



Dash gives you instant offline access to over 130 API docsets. You can use it to search through documentation for just about any programming standard out there. If you are searching for a command in jQuery or a solution to a pressing issue in Joomla, this is an excellent resource to have.

The Alfred Dash Workflow by Will Farrell gives you the ability to search and navigate through your documentary library from within Alfred. This is just another way that Alfred can be used to make finding the information you need a consistent experience, regardless of which application you’re using to find it.

Snippets and Dynamic Placeholders

Snippets are a built-in feature of Alfred 2 once you purchase the Powerpack. They give you the ability to quickly paste frequently used blocks of code and/or text. It’s a lot like TextExpander, but from the Alfred interface.

You can access the Snippet page by navigating to Features > Clipboard > Snippets from within Alfred.

Additionally, you can add areas to be filled in by content on your clipboard, such as someone’s name or product number, to make sending email responses and form letters easier. These are called dynamic placeholders, and they can be used throughout your snippet text to cut down on time spent customizing the content after placing it where it needs to go.

Here is a list of dynamic placeholders supported by Alfred 2’s Snippet feature:

Command Result
{date} May 13, 2014
{date:short} 5/13/14
{date:medium} May 13, 2014
{date:long} May 13, 2014
{date:full} Tuesday, May 13, 2014
{time} 12:22 PM
{time:short} 12:22 PM
{time:medium} 12:22:55 PM
{time:long} 12:22:55 PM CDT
{time:full} 12:22:55 PM Central Daylight Time
{clipboard} This is the content of the clipboard.
{clipboard:lowercase} this is the content of the clipboard.
{clipboard:capitals} This Is The Content Of The Clipboard.

1Password Integration


1Password is a secure password storage solution. It works by remembering your passwords for you, allowing you to set stronger, unique passwords for various sites without worrying about forgetting them. It also has built-in support through Alfred that enables you to log in to a site using a command or hotkey instead of having to navigate there via your browser.

Alfred works seamlessly with 1Password. You can assign keywords and hotkeys to various sites, making navigation and logging in a matter of typing a few keys on the keyboard.

Workflows and tools like these turn Alfred into a platform of discovery, rather than simply a shortcut that cuts down on window clutter. It gives you a consistent user experience across multiple applications, and gives you the ability to better control your Mac.

Do you have a preferred workflow, tip, or trick to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

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