Cocoa

At the end of September 2014, I wrote about upcoming changes in Transloader for iOS.

Transloader iOS 8 Action Extension Icon

Today Widget

In that blog post, I wrote about a Today Widget that you could use to easily paste URLs you had copied to your pasteboard on iOS.
It would look like this:

I was pretty sure this would be the way to go, but after using it for a while and iterating on it, I became more and more convinced that this was not an optimal solution.

It’s not optimal for a couple of reasons.

– Although it’s far better than before iOS 8, where you had to open the Transloader app itself to get things going, the Today Widget approach is still a little cumbersome: copy the link, open Notification Center and tap the + button
– You’d have to do this for every link you’d like to add from a website, for example
– Doing that would erase your pasteboard contents you had copied before
– It takes you out of the app’s context

Action Extensions to the Rescue

So I started looking into Action Extensions. And now, this is possible:

transloaderaction

Exactly. Instead of going back and forth to copy several links from a website to add to Transloader, it can all be done on the website itself.

If you’re on a file site itself (for example, you’re viewing a PDF in your browser), you can add it to Transloader more easily as well:

fileaction

Conclusion

I think the combination of these two, the Today Widget (where you’ll still be able to paste links into Transloader, because I think it might still be useful to a lot of users) and the Action Extension will make Transloader very accessible and easy to use on iOS 8.

It will be available soon on the App Store.

—-
My name is Matt, I’m the developer of Eternal Storms Software. If you’d like to comment, you can catch me on twitter here: [twitter-follow screen_name=’eternalstorms’ show_count=’yes’] or by eMail.

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Yoink for Mac Usage Tip #9

The following explains how send screenshots directly to Yoink.
For more Usage Tips like this, click here.

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a customer of Yoink, Bogdan V. He wanted to make Yoink detect screenshots he created so they would show up in Yoink’s window.

Automator to the Rescue

I had the idea of using Automatorto create the screenshot and send it to Yoink. After experimenting around a little bit, I sent Bogdan a very rudimentary workflow (that could, if saved as an OS X Service, also be launched with a keyboard shortcut) and he immediately turned it into something awesome.

The Automator Workflow

This is the script of the workflow Bogdan came up with:

Automator Workflow Screenshot

You can download the Automator Workflow here (~59KB) (tested on OS X Yosemite 10.10.1).

Setting up the Service

  1. Download the Automator Workflow
  2. Unzip it and double-click on the resulting screencapture.workflow file
  3. In the dialog, select Install (except if you’d like to edit the script, then click on Open with Automator)
  4. It will be installed in your ~/Library/Services/ folder: Automator Service Path
  5. To confirm installation, in Finder, click on Finder in your menu bar, select Services and find Capture Screenshot to Yoink in the list: Service in Menu
  6. In your ~/Documents/ folder, create a folder titled Yoink (where captured screenshots will reside)

You have now successfully installed the Service to capture screenshots to Yoink. What you can do now is create a keyboard shortcut for it so you can more easily access this

Create a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Launch System Preferences
  2. Click on Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Services
  3. Find Capture Screenshot to Yoink in the list, under General:Screenshot System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts
  4. Click on add shortcut and enter the shortcut you’d like to use to activate the service.

That’s It

That’s all there is to it. Now you can create screenshots that are then immediately available in Yoink for you to drag around.
If you find it useful, be sure to let me know on twitter (@eternalstorms) or by eMail – I’d appreciate the feedback!
Take care!

Update (October 14, 2015)

I got a bit of feedback on this – especially feedback from Pietro S. and Jeremy M. pushed me to update this post with a bit more information.
  • To make the Automator Script capture the entire display instead of just a selected portion, replace the line ‘ do shell script “screencapture -i ” & filePath ‘ with ‘do shell script “screencapture “ & filePath ‘ (removing the -i option to cause the selection)
  • Jeremy was so kind to provide an updated Automator Workflow that appended a date and timestamp to the screenshot’s filename; add two actions before the actual script (“Get Value of Variable”) with the variables Date and Timestamp and import them into the script – as in this screenshot:
    Screenshot of Automator, appending date and time to the filename
  • To use this Automator Workflow with the standard keyboard shortcut command-shift-4, you first have to deactivate the standard action in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Screen Shots, or assign it a different keyboard shortcut: Screenshot of System Preferences

A ‘thank you’ goes to Jeremy and Pietro for the updated workflows.

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Yoink for Mac Usage Tip #5

The following explains how to send files to Yoink from the Terminal, or a shell script.
For more Usage Tips like this, click here.

Here’s a quick tip for those of you who spend their days in OS X’s Terminal and want to use Yoink with it more easily. This is something that customers request quite a lot, so here it is for future reference 😉

terminal to yoinkTo send a file from Terminal.app to Yoink, you can use this command:

open -a Yoink /path/to/the/file

You can simplify this by creating what is called an alias command:

alias yoink=“open -a Yoink”

This way, all you have to type in Terminal.app is this:

yoink /path/to/the/file

This is a temporary alias and will work for the current Terminal session. If you’d like to make the alias permanent, please do the following (taken from this MacLife post)

To make the alias permanent, you will need to edit a file called “.bash_profile” by running the following command:

nano ~/.bash_profile

This will open nano (a command line text editor). Use the arrow keys to place the cursor at the bottom of the file, and type in the aliases that you wish to use, one per line, just as you did when creating temporary aliases. When you are done, press Control + O (Write Out) to save the file. Press Command + X to exit nano and go back to the command line.

When you quit and re-open the Terminal application, your aliases will work without having to re-create them each time.

I hope you find it useful – let me know if you have any questions or comments 🙂

Take care!
—-
My name is Matt, I’m the developer of Eternal Storms Software. If you’d like to comment, you can catch me on twitter here: [twitter-follow screen_name=’eternalstorms’ show_count=’yes’] or by eMail.

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