Do you find yourself driving down to the launcher to switch applications far too often? Or find yourself repeatedly opening the same applications over and over again? macOS has tools built in that allow opening of applications using "shortcut keys" sometimes otherwise known as "hot keys."
Enabling this feature involves only a few easy steps.
1. Create an Automator Workflow
In our first of two steps, we will build an Automater workflow which we will set to open a single application, although multiple applications may be added to a single hotkey as described in step 6.
- Open the Applications folder followed by double-clicking Automator.
- Create a New Document, select Quick Action, and click Choose.
- Under the Workflow receives dropdown, select no input.
- Select the Actions tab, browse down the Library list in the left pane, and select Utilities
- In the right pane, click and drag Launch Application to the workflow pane to the right.
- Click the Launch Application dropdown menu in the workflow builder and select the desired app. For this example, we will use the Contacts app. If the desired application is not in the list, select Other, browse to the application, select it and click Choose.
Note: Multiple applications may be added to the workflow which will soon turn into a shortcut key by repeating steps 5 and 6.
- Once the application(s) have been added, click File > Save to complete the creation of the workflow. Name the file something easy to identify later and click Save. In our case, we named it Open Notes.
2. Configure a Shortcut Key
In this step, we will assign a shortcut key to the Automator workflow built in the first section of this article.
- Open System Preferences > Keyboard and click on the Shortcuts tab. In the left pane, select Services. In the right pane, scroll down and under the General header, highlight the name of the workflow created in step 1.7, and click Add Shortcut. For our example, we named it Open Contacts.
- A text box with a cursor will appear. Press the key combination you wish to assign to the shortcut. For our example, we have selected [Control] + [Command] + [C]. Once the key combination has been released, the text box will close and the key combination will be shown in its place.
From now until it's manually changed, [Control] + [Command] + [C] will open the Contacts app.