by Jason Snell
Shortcuts as Apps
While I’m linking to articles from this spring that I only read today, Matt Birchler wrote a piece for The Sweet Setup about using Shortcuts with the Stream Deck that provided a great workaround for the limited and buggy third-party Shortcuts plug-in for Stream Deck:
Did you know that you can create shortcuts that launch like normal apps? You can! On your Mac, just right-click any shortcut and select Add to Dock. This will (unsurprisingly) add an icon to your dock for this shortcut, and clicking it will execute the shortcut.
OK, but how does this help us with the Stream Deck? Well, the Stream Deck also has this basic but super-useful ability to launch any app on your computer, and not only did Shortcuts add that shortcut to your dock, it also turned it into an “app” on your computer as well! Just drag in the Open option from the right-hand list (under System) and choose your new shortcut app from the Choose menu. The app will be under the Applications folder in your home directory, so it should be easy to find.
This is a trick that I first learned from John Voorhees: If you share a shortcut and select Add to Dock, it won’t just add it to your Dock. It will also save a double-clickable shortcut to it in the generally unused and unloved Applications folder within your user folder. You can drag the shortcut right out of the Dock, but the shortcut’s item in the Applications folder remains.
Once it’s in there, you can use the Stream Deck app’s stock Open command to add it as a button. That approach works far more reliably than any other alternative I’ve found.