Shortcuts for Mac Field Guide

Make your Mac Dance.

This is the Standard Edition of this course. If you would like an additional four-week webinar series and additional Shortcuts resources, you can alternatively purchase the Plus edition of this course.

You Shouldn't Need to be a Programmer to Automate. With Shortcuts for the Mac, You Don't Have To Be.

Apple continues to put the gas down on Shortcuts as the foundation of its automation strategy. With Shortcuts now on the Mac, and so many Mac developers adding Shortcuts support to their apps, Shortcuts is quickly becoming go-to solution for automation on your Mac. Best of all, anyone can do it. Shortcuts does not rely on scripting languages but instead a common-sense approach to Automation. Here are just a few possible things you can do with Shortcuts:

  • Automate your Mac's setup with loading and resizing apps for your current task.
  • Convert and edit images … automatically.
  • Get more focused with automation added to Focus mode.
  • Automatically send meeting confirmation emails.
  • Build lists as needed and automatically.
  • Get your Mac to read to you aloud.
  • Let your Mac do project planning for you.

These are just a few examples of what you can do with Shortcuts, and all of these examples (along with many others) are included among the many video lessons in this course.

With Shortcuts, you can automate just about anything. In addition to teaching you all of the mechanics of Shortcuts, this course includes many walkthroughs of automation workflows you can use, download, or alter to automate your own Mac.

There are 132+ lovingly crafted screencasts totaling over 8.5+ hours of content. Each tutorial includes a full transcript and closed captioning. Where appropriate, the tutorials also include downloadable Shortcuts that you can install and run alongside the video.



Want a free sample? Here you go.

"The Shortcuts Guide is an excellent way to learn to take more advantage of automation on your Apple devices. David Sparks packs a lot into short videos so there's no better way to learn."

Ernie Svenson, Ernie the Attorney

"I am only about halfway through and I can’t believe with how much detail and care MacSparky has laid out and delivered this guide. There are numerous examples for all kinds of apps and situations. The guide is easy to follow and without this guide I would have never been able to fully discover and enjoy the capabilities of shortcuts."

Christoph, from Germany

"I found the Shortcuts For Mac Field Guide informative and entertaining. David teaches the material in a way that a person with no experience can get started, but move to a place of not only understanding, but efficient. His style and examples make something that could be dry, interesting and applicable. While taking the course and nearly done, I found myself copy and pasting notes from one application to another. I said to myself this is dumb, use a shortcut! In a matter of 2-3 minutes I mostly had it working but one of the apps didn't fully support Shortcuts the way would be helpful. Adding on Keyboard Maestro, I was able to fully automate this in 10 minutes. While this exact scenario was not in the Field Guide, all the information is there. I simply piece it all together to meet my situation."

— Mike M.

Course Outline:

1. Introduction

Learn the basics of Shortcuts, including installation and interface. This section covers basic application concepts and how it organizes your Shortcuts on your Mac. Also, build your first Shortcut.

2. Shortcuts Key Concepts

Shortcuts is a simplified type of programming, and there are several basic, key concepts you’ll want to know to get the most out of it. This section covers those basics, including the Shortcuts programming model, variables, magic variables, and more.

3. Triggers

With Shortcuts, there are a lot of ways to kick off your automation. It can be something you physically trigger, such as a button on your Mac, an automated trigger, or even a button in your Menu Bar or on your Stream Deck This section includes multiple videos explaining every possible Shortcuts trigger.

4. Actions

Once you have figured out all of the triggers, you will want to start making your Mac dance. Just like triggers, Shortcuts is capable of so many actions including the ability to control applications; control settings; add notifications; type text; create and modify calendar events, bulk adjust photos; make a better share sheet; automate mail; and so much more. With the arrival of Shortcuts on the Mac, a lot of independent App developers have embraced it. This section includes a video walkthrough of available actions for many of the most popular Mac apps. There is so much that Shortcuts can do. This section includes 57 videos showing off all of Shortcuts’s tricks.

5. Advanced Concepts

Shortcuts is a lot more powerful than you may think. Once you work through the basic concepts, triggers, and actions, it’s time to dig in on advanced concepts like nesting, programming logic, URL schemes, Base64, regular expressions, and more. This section demystifies some of Shortcuts’s more powerful tools so anyone can use them.

6. Useful Shortcuts

Here you will find a laundry list of useful shortcuts. This section includes TKTK screencasts of helpful walkthroughs and downloadable scripts to get more out of Shortcuts on your Mac. You can download and start using these scripts immediately, or use all of the knowledge that you will have picked up to customize these scripts and make them your own.

7. Shortcuts Power Users

Learn more about Shortcuts from a series of interviews with people that use Shortcuts on their Macs in their day-to-day work.

8. Conclusion

Learn about more Shortcuts resources.

Here is the course, by the numbers:

  • Over 8.5 hours of streaming or downloadable video
  • 132+ separate videos, 8 separate sections
  • Many downloadable shortcuts
  • Heaps of dangerous knowledge, tricks, and hacks to automate your Mac.

Did you know you can now gift MacSparky Field Guides? Just send an email [email protected] for details.

"I am only about halfway through and I can’t believe with how much detail and care MacSparky has laid out and delivered this guide. There are numerous examples for all kinds of apps and situations. The guide is easy to follow and without this guide I would have never been able to fully discover and enjoy the capabilities of shortcuts."

- Christoph from Germany

"The Shortcuts Guide is an excellent way to learn to take more advantage of automation on your Apple devices. David Sparks packs a lot into short videos so there's no better way to learn."

- Ernie Svenson, Ernie the Attorney

Your Instructor


David Sparks
David Sparks


David Sparks was lucky enough to grow up alongside the computer revolution. He programmed his first computer in 1980, and since then, he’s been on a never-ending quest to be more productive with his Apple technology.


David is a past speaker at Macworld, the American Bar Association’s TechShow, and many other technology events. David publishes the popular MacSparky Blog and has been making The MacSparky Field Guides since 2012, and he authored several books about productivity and Apple technology before that. David is also a co-host of the popular Mac Power Users, Automators, and Focused podcasts. David also produces the MacSparky Labs, where he goes even deeper on workflows and the productive use of technology.


Since the beginning, getting your technology to work for you instead of against you has been David’s North Star. He’s honed those skills over his 28-year career as an attorney and 15-year career as MacSparky, where he has conducted countless experiments and interviews.


In a world where technology is increasingly conspiring to steal our focus and attention, David aims to teach you how to be more productive with Apple technology. David wants to help you achieve what is most important to you and simultaneously enjoy your life. Everything he makes points at that destination.



Course Materials


  Application Actions
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  Downloadable Links for All Course Shortcuts
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  Shortcuts and Focus Mode
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  Shortcuts Webinars
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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