Hi, my name is Matthew

This is my website about Shortcuts and apps and technology. Please enjoy.

I am incredibly excited to announce the relaunch of my Shortcuts Library in its expanded form, including over 600 custom shortcuts!

What’s new

The Shortcuts Library is updated from last year’s release, in which I consolidated my original larger library into 50+ shortcuts that each covered large areas of what’s possible with Shortcuts.

With the new release, I’m distributing 600 single shortcuts in the main library across 100 folder groups, plus I’ve developed a method to compile each folder into 150 bundle shortcuts made out of all the single shortcuts in that folder.

The single shortcuts are grouped into free and members-only folders, which are further separated into Productivity and Lifestyle groups.

Plus members have exclusive access to all the bundle shortcuts, available at the top of each folder page.

I’ll be adding new free and members-only folders regularly (sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date), and updating the bundle shortcuts for every new folder added as I go.

Explore more

Beyond the shortcuts themselves, I’ve made a few changes to the Shortcuts Library to make it easier to explore.

I’m slowly releasing new Custom Views, starting with the Difficulty Level groups – you can view all my Simple, Average, and Complex shortcuts included in the full library (note: members-only shortcuts are mixed in with free shortcuts in these views).

I’ve also updated the design of the entire larger Shortcuts Catalog, moving from paginated views to infinite scrolls and simplifying the navigation so you can find everything a little bit better – let me know if you have any further suggestions!

Changes to the Catalog

With this release, I’ve made a few overall changes to the Shortcuts Catalog:

  1. I moved the membership program to quarterly payments instead of monthly – I think this better represents the larger batches of shortcuts I can develop alongside Apple’s OS updates. You can still get an annual membership too, which at this point gets you all of iOS 15 and most of iOS 16 coming this fall.
  2. My “What’s New in Shortcuts” newsletter has moved off the weekly schedule and will be released on-demand – I’ll send issues for new shortcuts drops, big app updates, and any other times there’s news to share. I’m also moving some of the former newsletter sections to regular blog posts, so all the same material will get covered over time – follow my RSS feed here.
  3. I’ve moved the Shortcuts User Group to Discord last year in an attempt to create a free gathering space where people can discuss Shortcuts together, plus I’m also testing a Shortcuts community on Twitter – sign up for the Discord here and join the Twitter community here.

All of these changes should allow me to publish even more, as well as create deeper guides and videos on how to use Shortcuts – I’m incredibly excited for this third phase of my Shortcuts Catalog.

I still feel like I’m just getting started and I’m excited to share the other 1000 shortcuts I’ve already created so far too – I can’t wait to expand the Catalog in the coming months.

Membership

I want to give a very special thanks to my existing members – your membership is the core of my Shortcuts Catalog and I will be forever grateful for your support these last two years.

Making Shortcuts accessible to everyone is my mission and having a wonderful group of people contributing directly truly makes all of this possible – if you’d like to join us, sign up for a membership here.

Check out the updated Shortcuts Library.

Today, Apple released updates to their iWork suite of apps that adds actions in Shortcuts for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on macOS, bringing powerful first-party actions that Mac users can take advantage to automate their work:

New First-Party Actions

Across all three iWork apps, there are now actions for “Open” and “Create” – plus Numbers has added “Add Row to Top or Bottom of Table” and Keynote has added “Open in Rehearsal Mode” and “Open in Show Mode.”

The Create actions all also include the templates/themes available in the iWork apps, which makes it quick to generate 40+ samples from Pages, Numbers, and Keynote each for a total of over 120+ templates.

Here’s the full list of actions:

  • Pages
  • “Open Document”
  • “Create Document”
  • Numbers
  • “Open Spreadsheet”
  • “Create Spreadsheet”
  • “Add Row to Top or Bottom of Table”
  • Keynote
  • “Open Presentation”
  • “Create Presentation”
  • “Open Presentation in Rehearsal Mode”
  • “Open Presentation in Show Mode”

One Weird Things

One oddity worth mentioning is that the “Add Row” action requires Numbers to physically open the spreadsheet and insert the data, just like it does on iOS – Apple should make this action work in the background without opening the app, otherwise it creates an inconsistent experience with every other action in Shortcuts that doesn’t require opening the app to insert data.

Shortcuts was specifically designed to create a smooth user experience and avoid opening apps to insert data in the foreground (as it did in the previous iteration as Workflow) – this seems like a step back for Shortcuts and users should be able to append data to the spreadsheet via the filesystem.

What This Means for Shortcuts

These new actions are incredibly important to Shortcuts for Mac and the automation ecosystem on Apple’s desktop computing platform – these actions were sorely missing from the release of macOS Monterey and are representative of how Apple thinks about first-party actions for Shortcuts.

Without them, one of the core tools Apple offered simply didn’t integrate with its new automation platform – now, Apple users (and third-party developers) have an excellent set of actions to use as an example for how to integrate with Shortcuts; I want to see more of this from Apple.

More Please

I hope we see more actions like this set from all of Apple’s first-party apps, plus an extension of these actions to go even deeper – I’d love actions for pro apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic, plus Apple should add actions for more utility apps like System Preferences.

We’ve also seen existing iOS actions come to the Mac, but many for apps like Safari don’t work the same or actions aren’t taking much advantage of Mac-specific features. Making all these actions work in the background, adding in support for things like appending/prepending to your documents/inserting pages into your presentation would be great, and adding truly powerful functions like pulling data out of spreadsheets are the ultimate goal – I should be able to automate every aspect of these apps, not only be able to perform these simple (but welcome) actions.


I’ll be releasing a full set of shortcuts to take advantage of these actions soon, so look out for those on my Shortcuts Catalog or sign up for my newsletter to get updates when I release any new shortcuts.

I am super happy to announce that I’m a judge for the new Shortcuts contest hosted by MacStories as part of their new “Automation April” campaign – the contest is live now!

As part of the Shortcuts contest, anyone can submit two shortcuts to be judged by a panel of Shortcuts users, including myself, for Best Shortcut in five categories:

  • Best Overall Shortcut
  • Best HomeKit Shortcut
  • Best Productivity Shortcut
  • Best Media Shortcut
  • Best Mac-specific Shortcut

MacStories has all the details for what goes to winners, but you have a chance to win a Stream Deck XL, an Analogue Pocket handheld gaming system, and 3 years of ClubMacStories.

I’ll be one of the judges for the contest alongside my pals Alex Cox, Chris Lawley, Rosemary Orchard, David Sparks, Jason Snell, and Simon Støvring (in addition to Federico, John, and Alex from MacStories) – we’ll be looking through your shortcuts and picking winners together after submissions close on April 20.

Enter your shortcuts by signing up for a free Club MacStories account and adding the name, link, and up to 500 words describing your submission – plus, you can edit your submission later, so no worries if you change your idea later.

Read the whole announcement from MacStories here, and then get started – I’m looking forward to seeing your shortcuts! 🤓

On Wednesday, Apple published an update in the Apple Support knowledge base detailing new features and issues fixed in Shortcuts in the latest iOS and macOS releases.

Changes to know about

In the post, Apple lists all of the new features added to the Shortcuts app, from Automation changes, new actions, and lots of smaller details:

The second half also lists the fixes that were made for existing issues – general improvements to the editor, tweaks for broken actions or performance problems, and fixes for scripting both in the app & using Shortcuts’ command-line utility:

Apple is listening

The post itself has significance as well, as it marks Apple providing direct communication for the Shortcuts app about new features and problems.

Previously, the Shortcuts community relied on checking the app after each release and attempted to detail all the changes, which meant only the most obvious features became common knowledge. Plus, the status of bug fixes & ongoing issues was hard to know in each new update without re-testing each time.

Now, this post provides a reference point, both to confirm when these features were released, but also when issues are fixed (or not yet fixed as well) – the increased communication from Apple is very welcome and a huge win for the Shortcuts community.

More like this

Overall, I am extremely pleased to see Apple communicate about Shortcuts this way, and it shows that the company is taking concerns raised by users in the community seriously.

I hope Apple continues to report new changes and fixed alongside each OS release, plus I hope this also applies to mid-release beta cycles – understanding what’s new, what’s fixed, and what might still need further reporting is necessary for beta testers in particular to participate in the Feedback process in a productive manner and help Shortcuts issues get resolved quicker.

I didn’t even know about some of these features & fixes after testing this release for months, and I love to see suggestions that folks in the community submitted now become part of the shipping app – there’s more to do, but Apple has shown that they’re actively listening to the existing problems, as well as shaping the future of Shortcuts with the community’s feedback in mind.

Check out the full changelog on Apple.com.

P.S. Minor detail, but this Apple Support page is not optimized for mobile and should be.

Join me this Sunday, March 20 at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern/4pm UTC for a stream as we talk about iOS 15.4 and the new Shortcuts features included in the update.

We'll cover the new sets of actions that are available, how Automations can run without notifying you every time, and lots of little details that are new in Shortcuts & iOS – I want to get you up-to-speed and moving with everything new!

I'll be covering shortcuts available publicly in my Shortcuts Catalog and some members-only shortcuts as well.

Click here to get notified when I’m live.

New issue of my Shortcuts newsletter is out:

Welcome to Issue 32 of "What's New in Shortcuts" – what a week for Shortcuts tweets!

Florian Bürger shared his Fjorden automation (say that five times fast), an important SOS shortcut is making the rounds on TikTok, there's a handful of new apps with great Shortcuts support, and an impressive list of ideas straight from the community.

Plus, stay for the end as I guide you through my super-intelligent choice to delete my entire Shortcuts database on the Mac – and learn how I barely made it through the other side with my library (partially) intact:

Read the full newsletter on Revue (~2800 words).

Check out my stream with special guest Matthew Bischoff, cofounder of development studio Lickability, from Friday, February 11th where we talked about their experience getting into Shortcuts for Mac:

We discussed Matt’s recent deep dive into Shortcuts, Stream Deck, Bunch, and more to build the automations they’ve always wanted for their personal and work life but never had the time to create…until now.

Feel free to leave comments in the chat replay and I'll make sure to answer them. 🤓

New issue of my Shortcuts newsletter is out:

Welcome to Issue 31 of "What's New in Shortcuts" – this week is full of feedback reports, beta testing, and, as always, great ideas from the Shortcuts community.

I was up to no good with Jason & Dan on the stream, Federico followed up an impressive week with another impressive shortcut, the Albums app & Ochi caught my eye, and and Stephen Robles & Chris Lawley shared their expertise on YouTube.

Plus, I've got a stream with Lickability cofounder Matthew Bischoff coming this Friday, as well as some new posts dropping throughout the week – enjoy:

Read the full newsletter on Revue (~2400 words).

Check out my stream with special guests Jason Snell and Dan Moren of SixColors.com recorded, February 1st, about their “Podcast Notes” shortcut.

Jason and Dan, who are both professional writers and podcasters, published a series of stories on Six Colors covering a shortcut designed to take note of any issues while recording a podcast and make it easy to identify those moments to edit out in post-production – you can find the articles here:

Plus, few issues ago in my Shortcuts newsletter, I also wrote about a similar shortcut I’d created on a stream last year.

On this stream, I talked to Jason and Dan about the differences between our shortcuts, how they’ve changed their shortcut over time, and came up with a few ways to push the idea even further.

Catch the full stream here – make sure to leave comments/questions in the chat replay and I will follow up too!