How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave
How to use Finder Quick Actions in macOS Mojave

As busy professionals, we all strive to find the most efficient ways to work. Sometimes this means adopting large-scale changes in our workflow, while other times it means making minor adjustments. No matter how you fine-tune your tasks, every positive tweak means getting more done.

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One such minor adjustment (that can have major payoffs) is a lesser-known feature in macOS Mojave, called Quick Actions. At first, you might think that this feature is something to merely shrug off. But after using it for a while, you’ll find Quick Actions are a means to a very efficient end.

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What are Quick Actions?

Simply put, Quick Actions are buttons, found in Finder, that allow you to, with a click of a mouse or tap of a trackpad, take certain actions on a file. Quick Actions can do things like:

  • Rotate a video or image.
  • Trim a video or image.
  • Create a PDF from a document.
  • Open a file for markup.

What is available to the Quick Actions feature depends upon, which applications you have installed and/or any pre-existing Apple scripts you have. You can also create customized Quick Actions using the built-in Automator tool. Regardless of what actions you have created, you can make them available in Finder, which creates a very efficient workflow with your files. Let’s find out how to make this feature available and how to use it.

Enabling Quick Actions

In order to access Quick Actions, you must enable the Finder preview sidebar. To do that, open finder and type the key combination [Shift]+[Command]+[p] (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A: The Finder sidebar open for business.

Click on a file or folder in Finder. You should see, at the bottom of the sidebar, the available Quick Actions for whatever you’ve selected (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B: I’ve selected a folder, which reveals certain actions.

Here you can see two actions I’ve created using the Automator tool: One to create an archive and one to create a JPG. To customize what actions are available, click the More button and then click Customize, which will open the Extensions window on the Finder tab (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C: All available extensions for Finder.

In the Finder Extensions window, enable or disable all that you want to appear in the Quick Actions section of the sidebar. Once you’ve enabled all the Quick Actions you want, close the Extensions window, and you’re good to go.

Click on the Quick Action button you want to enact it on the file or folder, and the action will launch, without having to open a third-party application, running a command, or jumping through any other hoops. That’s how easy Quick Actions are.

That’s all

And that’s all there is to using macOS Quick Actions. It’s a very handy way to help make your macOS life a bit more efficient. Remember, however, what Quick Actions are available in the Finder sidebar all depends upon the actions and scripts that you have created or installed on your Mac.

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