Available on iPads and iPhones since iOS 13, the addition of Shortcuts in macOS Monterey is sure to make a big difference in terms of efficiency for Mac users. While iPhone and iPad users may already be familiar with Shortcuts, it is a new, and very welcome, addition to macOS.
We’re going to give you a rundown of what Shortcuts are and how they work, followed by how to create a shortcut of your own.
If you aren’t familiar with Shortcuts, it’s all about streamlining processes to make your workflows easier. You can choose from a list of pre-made shortcuts, or create your own. These can have multiple steps in them, and can be selected to work when you want them, or scheduled to happen automatically.
You can even mix and match the pre-made shortcuts to create new ones. In summary, Shortcuts are intended to be as customisable as you need them to be, to make it work for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the main features in Shortcuts.
When you open Shortcuts, the first place you’ll arrive in is the gallery. This offers a wide selection of pre-made shortcuts for you to select from. These are organised to help you find what you need. Whether that’s something for sorting out your photos, creating GIFs, or getting some help with focus and productivity, there’s a category that will help with that. Opening your sidebar will then present you with some additional options – All Shortcuts, Quick Actions, and Menu Bar.
Shortcuts will sync up all the shortcuts you have created, both on your Mac, and your iOS device. But there’s two other actions that are exclusive to the Mac.
Quick Actions have been around since macOS Mojave and will list any shortcuts that can be used as a Quick Action. This are available in the Finder, and Services menu, alongside as an option on a TouchBar MacBook Pro. These are effective for workflows you use frequently, essentially automating the entire process, to save you time and effort.
The final option is the Menu Bar, which is where you place certain shortcuts that you’d like to run from the menu bar on your Mac. So if, for example, you regularly tile 2 windows, you can just click the shortcut on your menu bar, and Monterey will do the rest for you. That’s the basics of the Shortcuts app covered, so now here’s how you go about creating a shortcut.
Creating a shortcut can be a matter of dragging certain actions to a window, much like a tree. In no time you may find yourself creating shortcuts to resize an image, open two apps in split-screen, and so much more.