Shortcuts App Tips & Lessons
Classes for Shortcuts1 Lesson
Lessons for Shortcuts on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone10 Lessons
Introduction to Shortcuts on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone
A Look at a Shortcut Up Close
Find and Edit Shortcuts from the Shortcuts Gallery
Organizing Shortcuts by Folder or Type
Add Shortcuts to the Mac’s Dock, Menu bar, or as a Quick Action
Share Shortcuts and Private Sharing Settings for Shortcuts on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone
Edit the Name, Color, and Icon or Glyph for a Shortcut
Automate Shortcuts with Personal Automations on the iPad and iPhone
Add Shortcuts to the iPad or iPhone Home Screen
Ask Siri to Run a Shortcut on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone
- Introduction to Shortcuts on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone
Shortcuts you can Create3 Lessons
A Look at a Shortcut Up Close
Learn how to view the actions within a shortcut and add, edit, and remove actions in a Shortcut.
In this video, I take a closer look at a simple shortcut on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. I show you how you can see what actions a shortcut has, how you can do basic editing such as add and remove actions, and how to rearrange actions within a shortcut. Take a closer look at a shortcut and how they are built in this video for the Shortcuts app.Video Transcription
In this video, we’re going to take a look at a shortcut up close, we’re going to see how we can view the actions, how we can edit those actions, or even add and remove actions from a shortcut. We’re going to look at this on the Mac, iPad and iPhone. Let’s first look at this on my Mac. Now, in order to edit a shortcut to view all of the actions or change them, what we need to do is open up the shortcuts app. This is located in my Applications folder.
So I go down to my Applications folder. And then we go over to shortcuts, I select it. And now I can view all of my different shortcuts. To recap, what a shortcut does is it runs a list of actions, we can see that this shortcut here runs six actions. To run it, I tap on the play button here. But let’s say I didn’t want to edit it. What I’d like to do is I’d like to change the shortcut. Let’s go over to stop distractions, who can see it has two actions. What are those two actions and what can I change on it?
Well, in order to edit a shortcut to view all of the actions, all I have to do is just double click on it here, we do not click on the play button, what the play button do was run it, what we need to do is just double click on this, it opens up in a new window. And now I can view all of the actions. So we can see that this shortcut here has two actions, it’s going to turn Do Not Disturb on. And then it’s also going to quit all of the apps except books. Now what I would like to do is I would like to change this, I have a reading focus. So instead of turning Do Not Disturb on what I would like it to do is set it to my reading focus. When I click on this, anything that is blue like this, I can click on to change, I click on it. And you’re going to see I have here, all of my focuses. So I’m going to go to reading. Now when I run this shortcut it’s going to turn reading on. The next thing I would like to do is add another app in here that I do not want it to quit right now it’s going to quit all of the apps except books, while when I click on books here, again, it is blue. So I can edit this, click on Books, I can go and select other apps to keep open. So we can see that books here is open.
But let’s say I also wanted to keep my calendar open, select that. And now it will quit all of the apps except with books and calendar. I’m going to put that back over there. We can also rearrange these actions, I just dragged them, so I just drag one on top of the other and rearranges. In some cases, it really won’t matter in this case, it really doesn’t matter. It’s going to quit all the apps first and now it’s going to turn reading on instead of vice versa. But in other cases, other shortcuts it could break. If you have a shortcut that pauses media from the music app, so the first thing it has to do is open up the music app, and then it has to pause it well. If you change the order, we won’t be able to do that, because it’s going to try to pause it and then it’s going to open it up. So you need to open the app first, and then pause it.
So in some cases, this order here is critical. In other cases, it’s not so critical. If I want to remove any one of these actions, maybe I don’t want to turn reading on or change the focus, I select it, we have a blue border around it, I hit delete. And now that action is no longer there. I want to add that back in. Well, if we go over to the right, we can see all of our different actions and they’re organized by categories or apps or what I can do is I can search. Now before I show you how we add an action or search for the app itself doesn’t need to have shortcuts built in it not all apps, not all developers are including shortcuts. So just because you have the app installed on your Mac, or your iPad or your iPhone, it works the same way on all the devices. I’ll show you that shortly. Just because you have that app installed on your device does not mean that it’s compatible with shortcuts, the developer itself has to include shortcuts. So what I want to do is I want to add reading back in here, so I need to add Do Not Disturb. So what I could do is I could search in here, this is probably the easiest way, do not disturb.
And you’re going to see set focus. That’s the action that I want. So now I just drag this out, I’m going to put it back on top. And we have Do Not Disturb is turned off I need to turn Do Not Disturb on. So I select it. Now it’s on and I want to change it to my reading focus. Click on this and we go to reading. And now we have my actions back. If I want to change the name, I can go up to the top here and change the name. So that’s the basics of how shortcuts work. We have our actions in here. We can rearrange them we can remove them. Anytime that you have blue in there, we can change those actions. Let’s Look at this on the iPad and iPhone, you’re gonna see it’s very similar. So I’m going to go to my iPad and iPhone. And now let’s first look at it on the iPad. Again, just like with the Mac, what I need to do to edit any shortcuts is go to the shortcuts app, open it up. And there’s my shortcuts.
Let’s go to my stop distractions. Now, this will not necessarily work on the iPad, because we can’t quit out of an app. But all we’re doing here is just showing how you can edit it. So I’m going to edit this. Well, unlike the Mac, if I were to click on this here, what it will do is it’ll play or run that shortcut, that’s not what we want to do, we want to edit it on the iPad and the iPhone, what we do is we click on these three dots, it’s a little backwards from the Mac. On the Mac, this was the play button, this is how we ran the shortcut on the iPad and iPhone, this is how we added it. So now I just click on these three dots, it opens up a new window here, and you’re gonna see it looks very similar. I have my reading, it turns it on, I want to change this back to do not disturb, I click on it, there’s my Do Not Disturb. And now it’s back to do not disturb. If I were to go to my Mac, we would see that change being reflected because it does sync across all my devices. When I go to my quit app here, you’re gonna see that it tells me that this action only runs on the Mac. If I wanted to remove this, I just click on the X and removes it. I’m going to undo. And then if I want to rearrange them, I can also do that and just drag them just like the Mac.
And if I want to add an action, I go over to the right we have my actions by category by apps, or I can search for them. So if you want to see all the actions for a specific app, you can click on Add. And then you can go to that particular app, I’m going to go to calendar here. And there are all the actions for the Calendar app. And all I have to do is just drag them out to add it to my action or to add it to my shortcut. And when I go back, if I go over to books here, we do not have a lot of actions here. Basically, I have one action that I can add. So depending on what app you have, you’re going to see different actions in there.
The iPhone works very similar, as you can imagine, let’s go over to my iPhone, I open up the shortcuts app, I have all of my shortcuts. And I’m just gonna go back to the same shortcut. Here we have stopped distractions. Again, I could just tap on this, but that’ll run it, I don’t want to run it, I need to edit it. So I go over to the three dots. And when I tap on this, I can see all of my actions, I can drag them around. To rearrange them, we can see that this action only runs on the Mac, just like the iPad. If I wanted to remove it, I tap on the x. And then if I want to add an action, what I do is I go down to the bottom here, I can search or I can drag this up to view all of the actions for specific apps. When I’m done, I just drag this back down. And I can see my shortcut, I tap on the X to close it. And any changes that I made, will show there. And again, just like with the iPad, when I’m looking at an action, you can see that it has a blue highlight here, that means that I can tap on it and make changes to it. So if I wanted to put this back over to do not disturb, I could put it back over to do not disturb. And now it’s turned Do Not Disturb on. When I’m done, I just click on the X again. And we’re back. And now it’ll run. When I tap on this it’ll run that shortcut.
So that’s a look at shortcuts up close. As you can see, it works very similar on all three devices, although some of the actions are not available on all three devices. But when you open up that action or open up that particular shortcut to view the action, you will be able to see if it’ll run on that device. You can rearrange your list of actions, you can edit them by tapping on anything that is blue. You select it to remove it or tap on the x. And then you can also search for different actions that you want to add to your shortcut. You can also show all of the apps and then see all of the actions for a specific app, drag it out to your shortcut and make any changes and then that action will be added to your shortcut. So that’s the look of a basic shortcut. Up close on the Mac, iPad and iPhone