Hidden menu revolutionizes Mac usage | ENBLE

Hidden menu revolutionizes Mac usage | ENBLE

Unveiling the Hidden Power of macOS: Quick Actions

macOS Quick Actions Image by Alex Blake / ENBLE

If you’re a long-time user of Apple’s macOS operating system, chances are you’ve come across some incredible features and tools along the way. However, there’s a hidden gem that may have slipped through the cracks – a feature known as Quick Actions. Introduced in macOS Mojave and onwards, Quick Actions are a collection of lightweight tools and tweaks that can save you oodles of time. These nifty little shortcuts are discreetly tucked away in the right-click menu, which may explain why many users, like myself, have missed out on their brilliance. As an avid user of keyboard shortcuts, I rarely open this menu. More fool me.

The beauty of Quick Actions lies in their simplicity and convenience. Depending on the type of file you’re working with, whether it’s an image or video, Quick Actions will adapt to provide you with relevant options. For instance, if you right-click on a picture, you’ll see options like converting it to a different image format, removing its background, or even transforming it into a PDF. Similarly, when working with videos, Quick Actions will offer features such as rotation or trimming. The best part about Quick Actions is that they are quick, easy to use, and don’t require you to open an app to carry out these tasks. Instead of launching Adobe Photoshop to manually erase an image’s background, you can now effortlessly accomplish it in seconds using a Quick Action.

macOS Quick Actions shortcuts Image by Alex Blake / ENBLE

While Quick Actions are undoubtedly fast and simple, they also boast advanced capabilities for those seeking more complex operations. Thanks to their integration with Apple’s Shortcuts app, you can perform incredibly intricate tasks with just a few clicks. Sure, you could activate a shortcut using Siri on your Mac, but imagine being in a crowded coffee shop or a quiet library and needing to use that same shortcut. Instead of causing a ruckus, you can add the desired shortcut to the Quick Actions menu. Simply open the Shortcuts app, drag your preferred shortcut onto the Quick Actions item in the left-hand sidebar, and voila! The shortcut will now be available in your right-click menu, ready to be utilized with ease. Additionally, if Shortcuts isn’t your cup of tea, you can also create and save Quick Actions using Apple’s long-forgotten Automator app, which serves as the predecessor to Shortcuts.

macOS Quick Actions Image by Alex Blake / ENBLE

The Quick Actions menu is one of those hidden gems that often goes unnoticed in everyday use. But once you uncover its power, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. Personally, I find the image conversion and background removal actions to be the handiest features of the bunch. It’s a relief to no longer rely on expensive software or third-party websites for these tasks. However, if there’s one tiny complaint, it’s the inability to assign a keyboard shortcut to a Quick Action. As of yet, I haven’t discovered a way to do so. While I acknowledge this is a minor inconvenience, navigating to Quick Actions in just three clicks is still more efficient than opening an app and performing the task manually. That being said, the Quick Actions menu remains a brilliant built-in feature that deserves more recognition. If you haven’t already, give it a try. Trust me, you won’t regret it.