Alfred Using your desktop remotely can get a lot easier with a good application launcher. Although it is possible to capture mouse clicks to program things, most things operate a lot more reliably when we learn to execute them by typing. And it’s just plain faster. We like faster a lot, because when work gets done faster we have more time to stand around at the coffee machine.

Stop clicking, start typing.

One easy way to get started withdrawing from clicking is by using Spotlight on OS X. You can usually just hit ⌘ + space and start typing what you want, but I’ve found remapping spotlight to option + space to work better in Luna, so ⌘ + space still works for iOS. For instance, option + space followed by typing safa will usually bring up Safari, which you can action (open) by pressing return. option + space follwed by typing ter will usually bring up Apple’s Terminal installation. Spotlight can really expedite your life, but you will eventually wish it could do more. When that day comes, use this link to get the installer for Alfred. It’s truly indespensible.1

Getting to know Alfred can involve some memorization, but there’s a lot of mnemonic cues to help you along your way. I’ve included my cheatsheet below to help get your imagination churning. Not all the functionality below is included with Alfred, but you can easy install Alfred packages using Packal, the Alfred package manager.

Alfred Cheat Sheet


  • Calendar

    • cal Live displays the month’s calendar days
    • cal [event] [at [time][am|pm]] [on [date]] [every [date]] in [location] @[calendar name] alarm [X min|hour|day|month|year]
  • Maps

    • route contactA contactB or map location1 to location2
    • maps {search term}
  • Google Hangouts2

    • call {contact} dials contact in google hangouts
    • dial {number} dials number in google hangouts
    • sms {contact} sets up SMS hangout with contact
  • co searches contacts for string
  • resize image file action, can also invoke by (presently unset) hotkey
  • screen screen recording
  • AlfredTwitter ( use ⌘+⮐ )

    • tweet tweet {mytweet}
    • tweets Live displays timeline in AlfredTwitter
    • search live displays tweets matching search string

Web Tools

  • amazon a {query} Live displays results matching {query}
  • conv conv $quantity $unit1 $unit2 convert quantity from unit1 to unit2. includes currencies (and cryptocurrencies)
  • Google

    • d search googledrive
    • Google Similar Images show similar images in file search
    • g (Google Suggest) searchterm + ⮐ for “I’m feeling lucky” results, searchterm ⌘ + ⮐ for all results
    • gt translate {from>to OR to<from OR to} {searchword}
  • gr golden ratio calculator
  • hn hacker news headlines
  • .so search stack overflow
  • url copies current url and places in current text document as title, h ref, or Markdown
  • w search Wolfram alpha


  • fan search fandango
  • ib search ibooks store
  • mr IMDb movie ratings


  • 8ball magic 8 ball
  • about Live display of About this Mac info
  • cfp3 Copies Finder path
  • dc lists and controls docker containers
  • eth ethernet network info
  • faker makes fake user data
  • pt python interpreter
  • router opens gateway config page in browser
  • speedtest runs speedtest
  • top process control list
  • vi shows vi cheat Sheet
  • wifi wifi network info

Package Managers

  • brew/cask brew/brew cask functions. executes in background, opens terminal on error
  • mas search mac app store
  • masu update mac app store
  • Packal

    • fixum repairs python workflows
    • packal workflows search for workflows on packal
    • packal update workflows

Hope these help expedite your computing experience!

  1. Windows sports Cortana, which works very similarly. Simply type window key + s and you can then type application names to open them, or use the arrows to scroll to other options depending on the context of your search. Many windows users prefer to install wox. It is similar to Cortana, but a little more fully featured. The wox installer can be downloaded here. Wox is the truly indespensible counterpart to Alfred for the Windows OS. 

  2. Google Hangouts functions available via my Hangouts plugin

  3. Availble via my Copy Finder Path plugin


About Will Puckett

A 20 year veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area, Will Puckett is an author, artist, and guide. He enjoys styling CSS, and helping friends move furniture. When not parked in front of his iPad, he rescues, restores and rides bikes. Will has been lucky enough to take long rides on both coasts of the United States, and encourages people to explore the world by bike. He tries to lay in his hammock as much as possible reading and planning his future container home, but does enjoy periodically escaping to skate. And of course ice cream.