This hidden menu has forever changed how I use my Mac


The extra you utilize Apple’s macOS working system, the extra you come throughout wonderful little instruments and options that you just’ve someway by no means heard of, but which might completely blow your thoughts. I’ve been utilizing Macs for over a decade, but I simply stumbled upon a killer function I by no means knew existed — and I completely find it irresistible.

That function is known as Fast Actions, and also you’ll want macOS Mojave or later to offer it a strive. The title is fairly self-explanatory — they’re a set of light-weight instruments and tweaks that may prevent oodles of time. The rationale I by no means knew about them, although, is that they’re hidden away within the right-click menu. I exploit keyboard shortcuts on a regular basis, so not often open this menu. Extra idiot me.

A comparison of two images in macOS Ventura. The image on the left is the original, while the image on the right has had its background removed using a Quick Action.
Alex Blake / Digital Traits

The Fast Actions you see rely on the kind of file you’re working with. Proper-click an image, for instance, and also you’ll see choices to transform it to a distinct picture kind, remove its background, rework it to a PDF, and extra. Proper-click a video and you’ll rotate it or trim it down.

The great thing about Fast Actions is they’re (because the title suggests), tremendous fast and simple and don’t even require you to open an app to hold them out. As an alternative of launching Adobe Photoshop and manually erasing a picture’s background, simply use a Fast Motion to get it carried out in seconds.

Superior controls

A user dragging a shortcut over to a Quick Actions menu in macOS Ventura.
Alex Blake / Digital Traits

On the face of it, Fast Actions are quick and easy. However they will also be rather more superior if you would like them to be. In actual fact, they will allow you to carry out extremely complicated operations with only a few clicks.

That’s due to their integration with Apple’s Shortcuts app. Certain, you can invoke a shortcut by barking out orders to Siri in your Mac, however what if you happen to’re working in a crowded espresso store or nestled in a silent library? As an alternative of inflicting a ruckus, you may add that useful shortcut to the Fast Actions menu.

All it’s essential do is open the Shortcuts app, then drag your chosen shortcut onto the Fast Actions merchandise within the left-hand sidebar. Now right-click any file and go to Fast Actions > Customise, then allow your shortcut. Any longer, that shortcut will seem in your right-click menu, prepared for use in a snap.

Equally, Apple’s long-forgotten Automator app — the precursor to Shortcuts — allows you to create and save Fast Actions, supplying you with an alternative choice if Shortcuts isn’t fairly your type.

An excellent timesaver

A right-click menu in macOS Ventura showing the Quick Actions menu, with the Remove Background option selected.
Alex Blake / Digital Traits

The Fast Actions menu is a type of little issues that may go fully unnoticed in on a regular basis use, but as soon as they’re there, you may’t get sufficient of them. Thus far, I’ve discovered the picture conversion and background removing actions to be the most convenient of the bunch — no want for costly software program or third-party web sites anymore.

I solely want you can add a keyboard shortcut to a Fast Motion, as I haven’t been capable of finding a manner but. And yeah, I do know it is a petty grievance — attending to my Fast Actions in three clicks is quite a bit simpler than opening an app and performing the duty manually. However it could be good to do it in only a keystroke.

Nonetheless, the Fast Actions menu is a superb built-in function that extra individuals actually ought to find out about. Go forward and provides it a strive. You received’t remorse it.

Editors’ Suggestions

Leave a reply