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Developers of the productivity application, Alfred, released on Thursday a significant update (version 2.3) for its Powerpack features, including context sensitive workflow hotkeys, external triggering of workflows using AppleScript, and a workflow action for opening a static file with a specified application.

Alfred and pro level Powerpack features are popular for users who like to launch applications, URLs, and execute custom and developer-generated workflows using either assigned hotkeys or keywords. The latest update allows users and developers to create a workflow and assign a hotkey that only works in one or more assigned applications. This contextual hotkey feature means that the same hotkey can be used for different functions in different applications, instead of being globally assigned.

Workflow hotkey pref

Another new feature allows AppleScript workflows to be triggered by an external source such as the Mac Calendar or a Mail rule. For example, a workflow could be developed to shut down your Mac, then triggered by a calendar date and time.

In addition to over a dozen other minor updates, another significant user update includes the ability to create a workflow that opens a specified file in an assigned application other than its default application.

Alfred open file


A workflow, for example, could be created, with an assigned hotkey or keyword trigger, to open a selected PDF file in Safari, instead of the default Preview application.

Alfred workflow

Alfred is a free download from either from the Mac App Store or the Alfred website, but the Powerpack features require a paid upgrade available from the website.

Source: Alfred Blog

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