On-Screen Buttons

The easiest way to kick off a Shortcut automation: Push a button on your screen.

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Simple Triggers Shortcut


One of the nice things about iOS 13 Shortcuts is all of the ways we can trigger shortcuts now. There's just an abundance of riches. But to begin with, I want to talk about the simplest. And that's just the pressing of the button on your device. So let's see how that works.

I'm going to create a new shortcut by tapping the Create Shortcut box at the bottom left corner. And we're going to give it a name, we're going to call this Simple Triggers. And just for giggles, I'm going to tap on the icon and give it a new glyph. How about the magic wand? There we go. And we'll click that, this is a simple trigger. We're just going to make it do one thing, display an alert. So I'm going to go over to the Search bar, and type Alert and drag over Show Alert. And we're going to change the name of that to Success with an exclamation point. There we go. That's the shortcut.

The first way to trigger a shortcut is the little play button at the lower right corner of the Edit menu. This used to be at the top of the screen in prior versions of Workflow and Siri Shortcuts, so it has moved. But I use this all the time, when I'm working on a shortcut, and I want to make sure it works properly. So I just hit the little, the play button in the lower right corner, I’m gonna do it right now. And you can see it worked, it gave me the alert dialog box that said Success! So that's the first way you can trigger a shortcut. Beyond that, you can also trigger it in the Shortcuts application.

Scrolling down, you'll see the Simple Triggers box here in the lower left corner. If I just tap on that, it triggers the shortcut. So I can do that by just tapping on it and then clicking okay, and you can see I triggered it as well. You can also trigger it.

I'm going to go back into the shortcut now, you can also trigger it from the desktop. To do that hit the ellipses next to the Simple Triggers button. And then you see there's an Add to Home Screen button. I'm going to go ahead and tap that and then click Add. And now it's added to my home screen. So I click Done. And if I exit the application, you can see there is an icon there for Simple Triggers, I'm going to go ahead and tap that. And then once again, it ran the Shortcut and gave me the success dialog box. You can also run it on your home screen from the widget set. You can see here I've got my Shortcuts displayed,in my today view widgets that show on the left side of the screen.

This is one of the nice things that we got with iOS 13. This is particularly useful by the way on the iPad, so you can have your shortcuts always available to you. And I've got a whole bunch of them here that I've put together over the years.

I'm going to go back now into Shortcuts. I'm going to go down to the bottom and select that Simple Triggers shortcut. And I'm going to hit the ellipses again, and I'm going to say Show In Widget. So that's already selected. So I click that and it’s selected. Now the trick is getting it to appear because I have so many that it doesn't show up. It runs out of room.

And this is something I am always fighting with Shortcuts, I have so many that I can't put them all on that widget, so I have to be a little more careful. So, I'm just going to grab the shortcut and move it up to the top of the list, all the way to the top. And I have a lot of shortcuts, as you may see. You probably don't have as many? That's okay. You will when you're done. All right, so we've got that at the very top, now I'm going to click Done. Let me go back out and you can see now Simple Trigger shows up at the very top of the list. I'll go ahead and tap it. And there we go. We got Success! And I got it right in the today view widget.

While traditionally pressing these onscreen buttons was one of the only ways to trigger shortcuts,there's a lot more ways to do it now. I'm going to cover those in the section. Nevertheless, don't discount these. These buttons are great, and it's one of the most common ways that I trigger shortcuts.