tips and tricks

Yoink for Mac Usage Tip #14

The following explains how to make Yoink automatically pick up any new file added to a specified folder.
For more Usage Tips like this, click here.


Yoink 256

If you’d like Yoink for Mac to automatically pick up any new files you download or save into a specific folder, here’s how it’s done.

Automator Folder Action

Automator, an app that comes with every Mac, allows you to create Folder Actions, which are small programs that run every time files and folders are added to a folder you specify.

I’ve prepared such a Folder Action for you: Download (direct download, ~42 KB)

  • Download the action above, then unzip and double-click it. It will prompt you with this:
Screenshot of Automator Installer  13 10 2020 14 39 16

Choose the folder you’d like to attach this action to and click on Install. The action will then be moved to /Users/yourname/Library/Workflows/Applications/Folder Actions/Yoink Save Folder.workflow
If you ever wish to uninstall it, just delete that file.

  • With the Folder Action installed, whenever you download or save a file into that folder, it will be added to Yoink, like you can see in this video:
  • To create multiple of these, all you need to do is unzip again, change the filename of the Automator action, double-click it and follow the instructions above

If you’re curious about what the Folder Action actually does, it’s this:

Screenshot of Automator  13 10 2020 14 35 23

The action runs this shell script

open -a Yoink “$@" 

any time new files or folders are added to the specified folder, which instructs macOS to open the specified file with Yoink (which ultimately results in the file being added to Yoink’s list).


You can edit the shell script anytime (by right-clicking onto the Automator file and selecting Automator):

Screenshot of Finder  13 10 2020 14 54 50

which would enable you, for example, to tell the action only to add files of a certain file type, or with a certain file extension.
The following script sample shows how to make the Folder Action only add PDF files:

for str in "$@"

if [ $pathExt == 'pdf' ]
open -a Yoink "$str"

Enjoy 🙂

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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 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 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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