Alfred is an unbelievably powerful keyboard-based action system for OS X. It’s the type of functionality that should be built in, but isn’t.

The idea is that instead of hunting for this option or that one, you’re supposed to just invoke Alfred and start typing what you’re thinking, and it’s pretty close to being that good.

It can do thousands of things, but Here are the main pieces of functionality that I use daily.


First off, you want to use this instead of Spotlight, so change Alfred to start with the command (⌘) key, and move Spotlight to use option (⌥).


These are the types of things having to do with opening files, searching the web, etc.

[ NOTE: Each of the items below are started by invoking Alfred, usually with the command (⌘) key. ]

  • application name

  • open (some file)

  • in (file)

  • find (something)

  • google (anything)

  • maps (anything) (I use Apple Maps for this)

  • translate (anything)

  • twitter (opens Twitter)

  • twitter (something)

  • linkedin (person)

  • wolfram (thing)

  • imdb (thing)

  • wiki (thing)

  • amazon (thing)

  • youtube (thing)

  • duck (thing)

  • define (word)

  • spell (word)

  • email (person)

Control iTunes

  • play

  • pause

  • previous

  • random

  • mute

System commands

These are helpful to do from Alfred instead of having to hunt for them in the OS.

  • screensaver

  • sleep

  • lock

  • restart

  • forcequit

Terminal commands

You can just type the > key and follow it with any terminal command, and it’ll open a terminal and run that command for you. This is especially helpful when combined with aliases in your shell.

  • > (terminal command)


  1. You can download Alfred here.

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