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Tips to use Shortcuts on the newly released macOS Monterey


Shortcuts are the quickest way to get things done on macOS Monterey. Let us discuss how to run them and the ways to launch a Shortcut. Shortcuts on iOS are rarely used but they are used popularly on the Mac. It’s not only hard to find some Shortcuts to try out, but it is hard to find where to start. If you are familiar with these commands, you can even figure out several other ways to run Shortcuts.
Shortcuts application
Here you can create, save and edit Shortcuts. This is where you can get several of them since this app has one-button access to an online list of them. It starts up with an option called ‘All Shortcuts’ and there might be at least some inside a folder called ‘Starter Shortcuts’. With these shortcuts or if you create one, you can use them by floating the mouse over the icon and hitting the play button when it surfaces.
This is almost the opposite of what you do with iOS Shortcuts. Hover and click on ‘Play’ to start it, or if you want to edit, double click in the middle of the icon. But, if you tap a Shortcut on iOS it runs. You have to look for the ellipses icon that displays at the top right of the icon if you want to edit it. You will get familiar with that difference if you’re coming in and out of the Shortcuts app often, but it isn’t necessary. There are seven other ways for you to run a Shortcut.
Menu bar
Now you can make a Shortcut appear on the menu bar of your Mac. You can’t place just one over here, you must make the Shortcuts app appear on the menu bar. After that, it goes down to a list where you have the Shortcuts you’ve asked for.
You will have two options to add a single Shortcut to the menu bar. You can find the shortcut you are looking for by opening the Shortcuts app. Now, drag it from the cluster of icons and place it over the Menu Bar in the group of folders and the shortcuts appearing on the left. You can also double-click on it to edit a Shortcut, then click its own ‘Settings’ icon appearing in the top right of the window. There is a tick box that allows you to choose ‘Keep in Menu Bar’ within that
Presently, you can only put a Shortcut into one folder, or section, so if you put it in the Menu Bar, you can’t have it anywhere else. This is a problem because Shortcuts on iOS don’t have a menu bar. Perhaps widgets are the closest equivalent to how they can give you quick access to any Shortcut. You can add a Widgets folder on your Mac, but if you use a Shortcut there, you can’t also place it in your Menu Bar. If you put it in the Menu Bar, then, it’s unsurprising that you also can’t have it in widgets.
But this is meant to sync across devices so you can find that you’ve got an empty Widget folder on iOS or if you want the Shortcut more like a widget, you’ve suddenly got an empty Menu Bar on the Mac. It would be good if we could have some kind of Shortcuts alias. Until then, you have to make duplicates of Shortcuts you want to keep in both the menu bar and widgets.
You can’t drop a Shortcut anywhere on your Mac, or place it on the Desktop, or add it in the Dock. You can dedicate a home screen icon and use it as an app, but you can’t directly use it on the Mac. However, you can convert a shortcut into a ‘Quick Action’ in the Finder. ‘Quick Actions’ are options that are displayed when you right-click on a file in the Finder window and now you can have a Shortcut represent one of them.
You can also use a particular Shortcut to be a Service. You can choose Services and find your Shortcut by using whatever tool or app that you were using from your application’s menu. Open the required Shortcut and hit the Settings icon to use either one of these. Tick ‘Use as Quick Action’ and then either or both — Services Menu and Finder.
There is an option named ‘Add Keyboard Shortcut’ in the Shortcut settings panel of the keyboard. If you select that, the button disappears, the ‘Use as Quick Action’ and ‘Services Menu’ option gets automatically ticked and so does ‘Services Menu’. Now, A tiny dialog box appears asking you to select the keystroke you want to run the Shortcut, in place of the button.
If you want to go back, you have to deselect both the options, click on the Privacy or Setup tab and then click back. Only by doing this, you will get back the ‘Add Keyboard Shortcut’ button. Keyboard shortcuts are transformative on a Mac. There are multiple combinations of keys and when you get into Shortcuts, you will be able to create several of them which can get confusing at times.
There is currently no way to add one Shortcut to your Dock — but you can add the Shortcuts app to it. Drop the Shortcuts app that is present in the Applications folder over the Dock and it will work. On the other hand, when the Shortcuts app is already launched, right-click on it and select ‘Options’ and then ‘Keep in Dock’. Again, if you want to run a Shortcut, right-click on the Shortcut app in the Dock and choose either ‘Open Recent’, or ‘Run Shortcut’
The latter one gives you a pop-out menu of all the Shortcuts you’ve got. It’s also got a list of folders at ‘the top so even when you have hundreds of these Shortcuts. You can’t run any shortcuts, but you can only open recent ones. If you have Shortcuts that are being used a lot, they will appear in the ‘Open Recents’ menu but you won’t be able to run them from there. Firstly, you need to open them, then select the Play button to use them.
Using Siri to run Shortcuts
Using Siri can be an easy way to get a Shortcut running. You can tap and hold the Command key and spacebar to make Siri appear and to ensure that your Mac’s version of Siri answers. On the other hand, you can tap on the Siri icon that is there in your Dock, or you can use the Siri icon available on your Menu Bar.
Using Apple Watch
Open a specific Shortcut, click on its Settings icon, then tick the ‘Show on Apple Watch’ option. Then, you might be able to use a Shortcut from your Apple Watch as well. Even though Shortcuts are synced across all devices, they don’t work across all devices. Ticking the box will make it possible for the Apple Watch to run your Shortcut.
If the watch is unable to do that, try ticking on ‘Show on Apple Watch’, or you will get an explanatory description about why it can’t run the shortcuts. It will say “This shortcut uses an action that is not supported on Apple Watch,” and will list the actions that won’t work. For instance, if your Shortcut does anything with copy and paste, you’ll be told that Apple Watch doesn’t support Get Clipboard.
Shortcuts on iOS can be triggered automatically at certain times and that isn’t the case with macOS yet. Based on how rapidly Shortcuts has evolved on iOS, it’s likely that there will be updates long before next year’s macOS release.

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