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Powerpack, advanced features for Alfred 2

Alfred 2 is a great application as we are seeing. Only the free version already offers numerous advantages that allow us to perform actions quickly. But activating the Powerpack is when Alfred 2 will offer us the maximum potential.

PowerPack allows us to add new features to interact with contacts, the clipboard, iTunes, 1Password, Terminal and even add Workflows, a section that deserves a single post. Let’s see the new features in a little more detail.

Activating the Powerpack

Powerpack, advanced features for Alfred 2
Powerpack, advanced features for Alfred 2

The first thing is to activate the Powerpack , which is just a license. It can be purchased via the Alfred website and has different options: individual license, family pack for five computers and a lifetime license. This lifetime license allows us to upgrade to any future version of Alfred and is, of course, for a single user.

Each of the licenses is priced at 15, 25 or 30 pounds respectively. Approximately 18, 30 and 35 euros at the exchange rate. They are really not expensive, especially if we take into account all that it offers and how we can save by not needing to buy other mini utilities or applications to perform the same actions.

Alfred 2 and Powerpack, more control, more options

Powerpack activates new functions . And the first one we’re going to see is the extras in the File Search section, within preferences. In this menu we are going to see the tabs navigation, buffer, actions and advanced.

In navigation we’ll see a checkbox that enables us to use the left or right arrows to navigate between folders. So, when in Alfred 2 we use for example the keyword open documents by pressing the right direction key we’ll start to navigate between the files as if we were in the Finder itself.

We will access the content of the Documents folder, we will be able to continue accessing subfolders or level up. And those files it shows can be opened or perform various actions. Actions that we’ll see in the next section and that according to interests we can mark only those that are most useful to us.

It is interesting to note that we will be able to perform multiple file selection in order to execute actions on all of them. An example, we searched three files with Alfred, each of them in different folders and then send them by e-mail.

How do I select files from Alfred 2? By using the ALT key and the direction arrows.

  • ALT + up arrow, add the files to the selection. We’ll see them at the top of Alfred’s window.
  • ALT + left direction arrow, deletes the last selected file. If we press again we keep on deleting files.
  • ALT + right arrow, shows us all the actions that Alfred allows us and we have activated to use.

A feature that may be difficult to master at first but then becomes very comfortable. But it doesn’t stop there. We still have more advanced options for squeezing and being more productive with our Mac thanks to Alfred and the exclusive use of the keyboard. Let’s dig deeper.

Contacts

Using the data in the Address Book is normal. Many applications make use of them to auto-complete email addresses, phone numbers, etc. But there are also occasions where what we simply need is to consult a postal address, telephone or similar. With Alfred 2 we can do this.

In addition, once you have searched for the contact and pressed nitro you will see all the data you have entered in the OS X Address Book. If we press command + C we will copy that data to the clipboard but if we press command + L we will see the data occupying the screen completely.

By the way, if we use the send mail option Alfred will use the default client set in OS X: Mail, Sparrow, Air Mail, etc. Luckily we’ll be able to use Gmail’s web interface just by checking the appropriate box in the preferences.

Clipboard

Within this option we will find a tool that allows us to copy data from Alfred and introduce it in the application where we are working quickly . For example, copy the email address of a contact and insert it directly into the recipient field of the Mail.

Any data selected in Alfred and that we have copied using the combination command + c will then be accessible by accessing the Alfred clipboard with the assigned combination. In my case control + alt + C.

But the most interesting thing here is the possibility of creating our own Snippets , commands that will perform the action we have specified. For example, using {time} we’ll insert the time of that moment quickly.

Of course, inserting only the time does not seem so interesting but if we put it together with the day of the week, our signature or any other fragment, things change. Something, so to speak, that Textpander only allows in some cases to be more powerful while in others not so comfortable.

iTunes

Alfred, when activating Powrpack, offers us a mini player for iTunes . From it we will be able to access and navigate through the content by filtering by genres, artists, albums or even playlists. Advance songs, pause or play. The same as from iTunes through its buttons but using the keyboard.

Using the keywords defined for this purpose. An interesting option for the theme of searching for a track, artist or album. Then, to vary the volume, move to another song, etc. better use the multimedia keys that the keyboards include.

Terminal and 1Password

The last options are options that allow to execute terminal commands in Alfred 2 and the possibility to search and open 1Password’s favourites . Both features are not for many users: firstly because most don’t make intensive use of the terminal and secondly because although 1Password is one of the quintessential password managers not everyone uses it.

If on the contrary we are users where the Terminal application is part of our day to day life I 1Password the password manager that we use we will be happy of such possibilities of interaction.

I personally enjoy the integration of 1Password. It’s type for example 1P getprismatic and I open Safari with the web and already logged in.

Guía Alfred 2Sitio oficial
Workflows, what remains to be seen

The next article will look at workflows ( Workflows ). There are some extra options that we can add to make Alfred a more personal tool that suits our needs. We can create these flows ourselves or install the ones that other users create and share.

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