Intro to Shortcuts on Mac
What’s a shortcut?
A shortcut provides a quick way to get things done with your apps, with just a click or by asking Siri.
Shortcuts can automate a wide variety of things—for example, getting directions to the next event on your Calendar, moving text from one app to another, generating expense reports, and more.
Based on how you use your Apple devices—your app usage and your browser, email, and messaging history—Siri suggests simple, useful shortcuts that you can quickly click to run. Once you create a shortcut, you can activate Siri, then say the shortcut’s name to run it.
The Shortcuts app
In addition to running the simple shortcuts suggested by Siri, you can use the Shortcuts app to add ready-made or custom shortcuts to your devices. The app lets you combine multiple steps across multiple apps to create powerful task automations.
You can also run the shortcuts you create on a Mac on an iOS or iPadOS device. See Run a shortcut on other Apple devices.
What’s an action?
An action is the building block of a shortcut. Each shortcut comprises a series of actions, and each action is a single step that performs a particular function. For example, a shortcut that shares an animated GIF might contain three consecutive actions: Get Latest Photos grabs the latest photos that you took on your device, Make GIF uses those photos to build an animated GIF, and Send Message automatically sends the GIF to your recipients.
Actions represent the best features of the apps on your Apple devices, broken out into smaller parts. With hundreds of actions, there are a variety of individual steps you can chain together to build shortcuts.
Where are shortcuts stored?
In the Shortcuts app, shortcuts are organized in collections in the app sidebar:
All Shortcuts: Contains all of your shortcuts and shortcuts available in apps.
Share Sheet: Contains shortcuts that are available in the share sheet of another app.
Quick Actions: Contains shortcuts that appear in the Quick Actions menu in the macOS Finder.
Menu Bar: Contains shortcuts that appear in the Shortcuts menu in the macOS menu bar.
When you tap a collection name in the sidebar, all shortcuts in that collection are shown in a grid array. Each shortcut is represented by a rounded rectangle that has a title, an icon, and a color. Click to run the shortcut, or double-click the shortcut to see the actions contained inside.