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Improve your website development productivity with Alfred

Posted in Web Development on the 6th of July 2015 by @aaronrutley

I was chatting to a few developer friends last week & I realised just how handy the app ‘Alfred’ is for my front-end web development productivity.

Alfred is a lightweight app that runs in the background on your mac. You trigger it with a keyboard shortcut, which brings up a text input box. From here you can do all kinds of things really fast – like launch apps, search google, find files etc.

It’s is similar to spotlight that was improved in OS X Yosemite however I’m sticking with Alfred as it has many more features and it can easily be extended with custom workflows. There are hundreds of workflow’s online which you can find on GitHub, on the workflows forum, or on a third party theme & plugin directory Packal.

I upgraded to the paid version called Alfred Powerpack a couple of years ago for some premium features (which you’ll need for the workflows listed in this post).

Alfred Workflows I recommend for web developers:

  • Can I Use
    Lets you quickly check caniuse.com, selecting a result will take you directly to the page for that feature / css property.
  • Colors
    Simply convert HEX and RGB color codes.
  • Dash
    Easily search and navigate your downloaded Dash docs (incase you haven’t heard of Dash it’s an awesome app that gives you offline docs for heaps of coding languages).
  • Font Awesome
    Easily search over the font awesome icon set and easily insert that icon in the app you’re currently using.
  • Dig
    Quickly perform DNS lookups to check A / MX records via dig.
  • GitHub
    Quickly navigate to GitHub users, repos, issues & more.
  • GitHub (Alternative)
    Another GitHub workflow, I use this one to easily search and create gists.
  • IP Address
    Quickly show (and copy) your Local or External IP address.
  • Ish
    Open a URL using ‘ish’ a great tool from Brad Frost for testing a responsive design.
  • Package Managers
    Easily search the popular package mangers for plugins / components.
  • Terminal Finder
    Super useful – open current Finder window in Terminal/iTerm and vice versa.
  • Time Zones
    Quickly check time zones for clients in different cities around the world.

Other Alfred Features that are handy for web developers

  • Clipboard History – great if you need to copy / paste multiple items like login details & it has a search feature so you can find that thing you copied earlier.
  • Snippets – your most useful / repetitive snippets of text can be a keyboard shortcut away.
  • Calculator – see the results of your equation as you edit!
  • 1Password integration – quickly open any of your 1Password bookmarks.

 

If you have found or created any workflows you’d like me to add to this list let me know via twitter.

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