It has been a few months since Alfred launched Universal Action, and I have become accustomed to using it to solve demands of some scenarios. Here is a summary of the role that action plays in my efficient use.

Position of Universal Action

Here, let’s talk about the difference between this interaction method and the keywords and hotkey scenarios provided by Alfred before.

Main Difference

The fundamental difference between Universal Action and the previous scene is the difference in trigger conditions. The trigger condition of Universal Action is that you select any element [file/link/text], and execute an action based on such an input value. For example, you can select a piece of text, automatically send Twitter, send emails, select a URL to automatically open browser links, etc., and the previous scene is your direct keyword or hotkey. So the difference is mainly here.

Therefore, when there is a certain requirement, you only need to consider what the interaction scenario is, and then choose an appropriate way to solve it.


Universal Action can be used to perform an operation based on an element [file/link/text]

Common Points

The essence is workflow. For example, if you develop it yourself, you will create a workflow. The main difference is that the interaction/triggering method is different.

Common Action Sharing

If you can’t fully understand, please check the below example:

  1. String Manipulation by yourself
  • Sometimes if you want to change the format of the selected text, such as Pascal, kebab, upper snake, etc. At this time, I only need to select the target text, ⌘\ to evoke, select the corresponding action, and press Enter to modify successfully
  • If it is a commonly used editor, it generally has this feat, but considering the scenarios without IDE, such as browsers, this is still in demand
  • Download address
  1. Open with built-in
  • Sometimes I want to personalize the open app in a certain format, such as PDF, I don’t want to use preview, so I can wake up, select Open with, and then select the target app and press Enter
  • Note that Open with only changes the open app this time, it is not permanent. If you need to change the open app of a certain file type, you need to modify the default open app in the file details

Hotkey Setting

My hotkeys are set as follows

  • Alfred’s hotkey is ⌘ double tap i.e. double tap ⌘
  • The hotkey for Universal Action is ⌘\

Consideration points: Both types of triggers belong to Alfred, so the hotkey settings are close and ⌘ is the modifier key used in high frequency

Write at the End

  • I haven’t written an Alfred user guide for a long time, because the efficient workflow that conforms to my habits has been polished through continuous use, and there are not many new things.
  • I didn’t think Universal Action is useful to me from the beginning, but after trying it a few times, I gradually realized that it still has certain usage scenarios, so you still need to try to use it for new things, otherwise, you may lose the opportunity to improve


Develop with pleasure!

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Alan He

Alan He

Develop with pleasure!

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