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Learn how to use and customize Quick Actions in macOS Mojave

Among the news of macOS Mojave, launched at the end of last month, we comment that the Finder received a very interesting new feature called ?Fast Aes?. Basically, this option lets you edit a file from a series of preconfigured actions directly from the explorer; These actions can also be customized and you can add them according to your need.

Quick Actions are workflows that can be added to the Finder, Touch Bar, and Services menu. You can manage Quick Actions in System Preferences.

Before understanding how to customize the feature, I imagine you might be wondering where these Quick Actions are and why you haven't seen them even though you have already upgraded to macOS Mojave 10.14. To view them, you must first check how files are displayed in Finder:

  • If items are displayed as cones or List, just right-click (or with two fingers on the trackpad) on top of a file and access the "Quick Aes" menu.
  • If the view is as Columns or Gallery (which replaced the Cover flow), the quick actions will be located in the bottom right corner of the Finder, below the selected file data.

By default, Mojave has four pre-configured quick actions. Just them: to spin, Mark, cut out and create PDF. So if you needed to access an application to perform some of these actions, you can now quickly perform them from Finder, without opening any more windows.

Let's say you work with photos and constantly need to convert the image format to JPEG. In some situations, simply modifying the end of the file to .jpeg in Finder will convert the image. However, if you create a Quick Action for this task, you never have to manually edit the file format or use an app for it.

To create and add new Quick Actions to Finder, we will use the utility. Automator macOS, where new workflows are created to increase productivity on Mac. To create new Quick Actions in Automator, follow the instructions below:

  1. When you open the utility, a Finder document selection window will probably appear. Click on "New Document" in the lower left corner of the window.
  2. Automator will then ask you to choose the type of document you want to create. Select "Quickly" and click "Choose."

    Creating Quick Actions on macOS Mojave

  3. In the Automator sidebar, you will see a number of stock options available for files and folders, calendar, contacts, movies, photos, and so on. In our case, we want to add one to the image conversion related one; therefore, in the side menu select ?Photos?.
  4. Note all actions related to macOS photos; Some are system-own and some are provided from application services you have installed. To convert images, the Preview app has a feature called ?Change Image Type?; select it in the sidebar and drag to the blank area to create a workflow.
  5. Automator will display an alert message confirming the purpose of that action; Click "Add" and a workflow will be displayed on the screen.
  6. Then you can edit the way you want the action to be done. Since we want to create a fast action, we must include one that is a click away. You can delete the step ?Copy Finder Items? by selecting it with the mouse and pressing the ?Delete? key; thus only the option ?Change Image Type? will be available.

    Creating Quick Actions on macOS Mojave

  7. Under "Change Image Type," select the format to which you want to convert the images. In our case, we select the JPEG format. If you want, customize the command with the icon and / or color you want. In the ?Workflow receives current? option, select ?Automatic (files or folders)?.

    Creating Quick Actions on macOS Mojave

  8. That done, just go to the File menu in the top bar and click "Save." Enter a name for the action, such as "Convert to JPEG" and select "Save."

    Creating Quick Actions on macOS Mojave

  9. In System Preferences, click Extenses, and then select "Finder." The action you just created will probably be unchecked; Select the check box and be ready to be quickly accessed by Finder.

    Creating Quick Actions on macOS Mojave

As we said, the system already has some preconfigured actions based on the services offered by native macOS or third party apps. If you want to add them to Finder actions, just select the ones you use in System Preferences.

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What did you think about macOS Mojave's Aes Rpidas feature? We hope this tutorial has helped you use and customize your favorite actions. If you have any other questions about macOS, iOS, watchOS or tvOS features or services, just visit our tutorial section. ?

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