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15 commands to automate your Mac with the Shortcuts app

With the arrival of the Shortcuts app in macOS 12 Monterey, a multitude of possibilities have emerged for Mac users to automate tasks and functions on their machine, each in its own way, in order to bring more agility and practicality to everyday life.

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Many of the shortcuts in this list can be found in the search field of the Shortcuts app's gallery, while others have a quick and direct access link, but that only works if accessed through your Mac's Safari browser. This way, the link will open directly in Shortcuts.

Check out our super list of 15 commands below for you to create and automate your Mac through the macOS Shortcuts app:


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1. Split screen between apps

With this automation, you must set two applications on your Mac to open together, side by side, in a split screen. You can, for example, choose your browser and a note-taking app, such as Notes, Text Editor, Pages, or another one of your choice.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "split-screen apps" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Split your Mac screen between selected apps (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

2. Create meeting notes

During the configuration of this shortcut, you will be asked to define which of your calendars you want to use. If you have a meeting scheduled for today on your defined calendar, you can activate this shortcut to automatically create a new note in the Notes app integrated with your calendar.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "meeting note" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Create automatic notes for your meetings (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

3. Turn text into audio

If you don't have time to read an article, you can simply copy and paste the text into this automation. The feature will turn text into audio, allowing you to share it via iMessage or AirDrop, or save it to a note in Notes. In addition, you can adjust the audio speed.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "text in audio" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Transform text into audio simply and quickly (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

4. Enable or disable Low Power Mode

With this shortcut in the menu bar, you can turn Power Mode on or off on your Mac without having to go into your native macOS battery settings.

  • To add the Low Power Mode activation shortcut, go to this link ;
  • To add the Low Power Mode disable shortcut, go to this link ;
Turn Low Power Mode on or off on your Mac in a much more convenient way (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

5. Monitor the usage time of an activity

How about a simple and effective shortcut to monitor the usage time that was spent on your activities? You must define, during the automation configuration, certain activities of your daily life that you want to monitor.

  • To add this shortcut, go to this link ;
Monitor usage time of your selected day-to-day activities (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

6. Create GIFs with your Live photos or videos

With this fun automation, you can quickly and easily turn your Live photos or videos stored in the iCloud Photos app into GIFs. The final file will be saved in the same location as the original media.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "create GIF" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Quickly create GIFs from your Live photos or videos stored in the Photos app (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

7. Share your current location

This shortcut creates an Apple Maps quick link based on your current location. The URL is generated and put into a ready-made iMessage message, but of course if you don't want to send a message through this app, just copy the link to your location and send it through any other app you want.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "location" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Create a share link from your current location (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

8. Access the connected Wi-Fi network information

With this automation, you can verify important information regarding your connected Wi-Fi network, such as the internal and external IP address, in addition to being able to perform a connection speed test.

  • To add this shortcut, go to this link ;
Access a range of information related to your connected Wi-Fi network (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

9. Show or hide Table items from the menu bar

If your Desk is covered with files and accumulated documents, this automation can help you a lot. To quickly and automatically hide all the items on your Table, just click on this shortcut. A second click will immediately redisplay them on your Table.

  • To add this shortcut, go to this link ;
Show or hide Desk items immediately through your Mac's menu bar (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

10. Calculate how many days are left

This simple shortcut makes a quick calculation of how many days, hours and minutes are left for a given date. You can set a name for the date event, such as your birthday or a trip that is already planned.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "how many days" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Instantly calculate how many days, hours and minutes are left for a given date (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

11. Empty your downloads folder

If you have an accumulation of download files, which are often no longer necessary to be kept, this shortcut allows a quick cleaning of the folder. But calm down, don't worry, there is a confirmation of the action before resetting your Mac's Finder downloads folder.

  • To add this shortcut, go to this link ;
Automatically empty your Mac's entire Finder downloads folder (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

12. Quickly access your passwords

Need to urgently locate a saved iOS, iPadOS or macOS password? With this shortcut, the Access to Passwords app now opens directly to the saved passwords section, bringing you more quickly to what you need.

  • To add this shortcut, go to this link ;
Quickly access all your stored passwords in the Password Access app (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

13. Close all open apps

This automation makes it more convenient in case you need to close all applications, software and programs open on your Mac. But beware, a single click and they will all be closed instantly.

  • To add this shortcut, go to this link ;
Immediately close all applications, software and programs open on your Mac (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

14. Close all open apps except one

Need to focus on a single task The "Stop Distractions" shortcut shuts down all applications, software, and programs open on your Mac, with the exception of just one, which you set in advance. The idea is precisely to stop any possible distractions you may have while focusing on your task.

So, alongside that, Do Not Disturb Mode is also automatically enabled via the shortcut, so incoming alerts and notifications are instantly hidden in the macOS Notification Center.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "stop distractions" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Immediately close all but one open applications on your Mac (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

15. Reflect on your day

An interesting automation to activate at the end of your day is reflection. With it, you have a daily self-assessment record of how you felt about the day that passed and everything you did, as well as considerations for the next day. All of this is properly documented in a note in the Notes app.

  • To add this shortcut, search for "reflect" in the Shortcuts app gallery;
Do a self-assessment of your entire day with the reflection proposed by this shortcut (Screenshot: Lucas Wetten)

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