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Open specific folders with Actions

Last Updated: Jul 23, 2013 10:55PM UTC

You probably need in your everyday workflow to get to the same locations over and over, maybe tens of times per day. Both Mac OS X and Windows offer for this operation some handful elements.
Let’s see how to connect Actions to these elements, creating keyboard shortcuts to call each location.​


Open locations with Actions in Mac OS X

We will use an Automator Service to make Actions opens a folder.

Creating the service
1 - Open Automator
2 - Select New Service
3 - At the top of the right-side pane, change 'Service receives selected TEXT' to 'Service receives NO INPUT'. Then choose the
4 - In the Library list, select 'Files & Folders.'
5 - Drag the 'Get Specified Finder Items' action to the workflow panel on the right.
6 - Click the Add button to add an application or a folder to the list of Finder Items.
If you want Click the Add button again to add other items to the list, until all the items you need for your Service are present.
7 - From the Library pane, drag the 'Open Finder Items' to the workflow pane, below the previous action.

Finally configure the parameters on the top right area of the panel. Set “no input” in “​

Your service to open specific folders is done. Save it and give it a name, we will use 'Actions - Open Work Folder'.


Assigning a shortcut to the Service

Now go to OS X System Preferences > Keyboard, then to the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
In the left column select Services, then scroll in the right column until you find the General section, you will find the previously saved "Actions - Open Work Folder" listed here. Select, then click on the button "add shortcut".

Now an empty field will appear, perform the shortcut you like on your keyboard.
It this example we will choose crtl + command + shift + alt + W. 
NOTE - remember to choose a unusual keyboard shortcut to avoid overriding other shortcuts already in use in Finder or global shortcuts.


Now on your iPad create an action in your Set to fire that shortcut, and we are done!


Open locations with Actions in Windows

Windows user? Let’s see how to achieve the same result on your system...

​Creating a Shortcut
To open specific folders with windows we will use the very popular “Shortcuts”, pointing to many hard drive folders in each Win computer of the world.
Something not so know about Win Shortcuts is that you also can assign them a “Shortcut Key” so you can launch them using the keyboard.

To do this:
1 - Right click one of them and choose “Properties”. 
2 - In the properties panel choose the “Shortcut” Tab
3 - In the shortcut tab go to the “Shortcut Key” field and click inside it
4 - Perform with the computer keyboard the 'shortcut key' you want to be the trigger for that shortcut. You will see the combination written down in the field.
NOTE - remember to choose a unusual keyboard shortcut to avoid overriding other shortcuts already in use.


That’s it! Now, on your iPad, just create an action in your Set to fire that shortcut key, and we are done: Locations a t a tap. You’ll love it.
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