642: Shortcuts for Mac


A quick programming note: There will not be an episode out on Sunday, June 5. Instead, episode 643 will be out sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, following Apple’s WWDC announcements.


I purchased the field guide. Looking forward to going through it.

So I wrote this post back in November on how Shortcuts had many bugs that made it unusable. Is it safe to assume these bugs are fixed and it is usable again?

as previous poster, what’s the current state of shortcuts can it replace keyboard maestro

The line, “the guy in charge took an early lunch”, had me laughing so hard. Please do not do this when I’m driving.

But, I completely agree. The organization of Actions is very much on the bizarre side. It reminds me of the wiring schematics for a 1972 Fiat 124 convertible, which was compounded by my Fiat being rewired to be “more sane”, yet not (the left front turn signal, rear brake light and signal, heater, and glove box light on one fuse).

From David’s other line of email offerings I picked up the Shortcuts Field Guide and was amazed at everything in it. I have quite a few (20 to 30) Shortcuts already on Mac, but I’m pretty sure I will find something I had no idea about that will change the way I approach using it from this Field Guide, just like I did DevonThink, which I’ve used since 2005 and didn’t know about 2 core things I use regularly now. I incorporated them so well, I don’t remember what they were, but I remember hitting them and thinking, “I can do what!? How did I not know this!?”

I still feel like a noob with Shortcuts and know I want to start stringing some of my short Shortcuts together, and hope this or the workshops will cover how to easily do this.


Kudos and a tip of the hat to David Sparks for this great guide to Shortcuts on the Mac.

This is the guide for those of us who aren’t dazzled by what shortcuts power users mistakenly think will expand the base of users.

David has created a guide that is informative and effective. Good Job!

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I’ve been nodding constantly to @MacSparky recent articles, and again here in this episode:

Apple should definitely decouple the productivity apps like Notes, Reminders, Mail, etc from the OS.
Not only these apps are relegated to annual (or longer) updates, It almost always breaks compatibility between platforms because Apple releases iOS first and macOS lingers behind.

The other one is iCloud’s 5GB default storage space, to be split between photos, 4K(!) videos, apps backup and mail.
The Beatles comparison was spot on.


This was a very disappointing episode. It sounded like a long ad for the field guide. Don’t get me wrong, I have bought multiple field guides going back to the first one and love them, but this podcast was a waste of my time. Instead of shortcuts for Mac and how they might be used to enhance the use of the Mac much of the discussion was about the field guide and its 8 hours of videos, iOS shortcuts and how they were different from the Mac short cuts, and how bad the Mac shortcuts were when they first came out, and integration/linkage to apple scripts. Frankly who gives a shit about the past. Instead it should have focused on how Mac shortcuts can be used today to enhance and expedite usage of the Mac. That would have been a much better use of the podcast [ and my ] time. I can get the field guide to learn the other stuff. This podcast, the Automators podcast, and the Focused podcast have really lost their way and been wandering in the woods for a year or more. I have listened to MPU since before David joined it and loved for years but it has lost its way. I will continue to listen because it does have gems in it but it is much more uneven in usefulness.

David and Katie Floyd were the originators of the Mac Power Users. David has been a host since episode one (and, actually, has never missed an episode).


Nope, still using Alfred and Keyboard Maestro.

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In my garage I have circular saw, a table top circular saw, a jigsaw, several handheld saws, and even a chainsaw.

I never think to myself, “wouldn’t it be nice to just have one saw for everything?”

So I don’t really understand the desire to remove tools from one’s toolkit. Of course with my saws, and other shop tools, I don’t have subscription nor upgrade fees, so there is that. I do need to replace blades form time to time. :slight_smile:

I’m very much in the right tool for the right job camp. And having multiple similar tools is not something that I’m concerned with.

I do understand this question in the context of someone who does not have any of these tools and wants to get the one that will do the most. But if you already have say Keyboard Maestro, and it is doing what you need it to do for you, what is the motivation to replace it with something else?

And as a specific example, I’ve been using Moom for window management. I recently started using Stay in addition to Moom, because Stay has a feature Moom does not. But converting my Moom setup to Stay is not something I considered, since that setup continues to work for me.


OMG no. Just the reverse - KM now works even easier in combination with Shortcuts.

Each one has its advantages and together they are greater than the sum of the parts. KM, Shortcuts, and Alfred are all here to stay and co-exist long-term.


Ummmm beer …

I don’t often listen to Led Zeppelin, but when I do, so do the neighbors …



Katie had a podcast which was a precursor to mpu. David was not pn that one. Sorry for the confusion.

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I did not know that. :person_shrugging:

Are you referring to the Mac Roundtable podcast (active 2006 through 2016) of which Katie Floyd was part of the Crew and a member of the rotating group of hosts?

Great episode!

In the more power users segment, Stephen Hackett talks about how he mounted his Mac Studio under his desk, and that one of the big benefits was not hearing the Mac Studio sound anymore. I found that quite surprising. I also have a Mac Studio, Max chip, but it makes virtually no sound at all! Even if I put my ear right next to the computer, even the back airflow, at most all I can barely hear is a whisper. Sitting at my desk with the mac Studio under the display I hear nothing at all. I had my wife check it as well and she hears nothing.

Either Steven has really great hearing, or my Mac Studio is much quieter than his.

Yup mine is as quiet as can be. Or, maybe I my hearing isn’t as acute as those who hear noise from their Mac Studios?