Creating File Launchers with GizmoPack

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Creating File Launchers with GizmoPack

Back in November, I shared a shortcut on MacStories called FS Bookmarks that made it possible to retrieve filesystem paths for files and folders in the Files app via Scriptable. By using a combination of JavaScript and Apple’s file bookmarks technology, the shortcut relied on Scriptable to retrieve file paths, which could be combined with the shareddocuments:/// URL scheme to assemble direct launchers for the Files app. I’ve been using this shortcut for the past few months to create shortcuts that open specific files or folders in the Files app, which I’ve added to my Home screens using our own MacStories Shortcuts Icons. Despite the usefulness of this system, however, I’ve always recognized that the FS Bookmarks shortcut comes with considerable overhead: you have to download Scriptable, create bookmarks in the app, install two separate scripts, and run the shortcut from the Shortcuts app. The system works well once everything has been set up, but I understand why dealing with JavaScript (even though you don’t actually have to touch the code yourself) may scare a lot of people off.

While FS Bookmarks is, at least for now, still the only system that supports both files and folders, I’ve come up with an alternative shortcut to create launchers for individual files in the Files app. The shortcut requires GizmoPack, a new Shortcuts utility I highlighted in last week’s App Debuts section; like Toolbox Pro, GizmoPack adds a series of power-user actions to the Shortcuts app, going beyond what’s offered by default from Apple. In an update released a couple days ago, GizmoPack added a new ‘File Info’ action that can return the complete file path for any file chosen with the native Files picker inside Shortcuts; as soon as I saw that action, I knew I could put together a much simpler shortcut for creating file launchers that didn’t involve JavaScript at all.

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