On this comeback installment of the Shortcuts Nook (I took a break final spring to deal with my Modular Pc story, then WWDC occurred, then…you get the thought), I’ve ready an assortment of image-related shortcuts accessible without spending a dime on the MacStories Shortcuts Archive. Ever since I put in the primary betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 on my iPhone and iPad months in the past, I’ve been reorganizing my shortcut library with folders. Because of this characteristic, I’ve assembled a set of easy “utility” shortcuts that I exploit every day, however which I by no means shared on MacStories. This week, I’m sharing three of those shortcuts: one to shortly get the decision of any picture; one to transform any picture to JPEG whereas stripping metadata from it; and the final one to encode any picture beforehand copied to the clipboard in Base64. Following the requests of a number of readers over the previous week, I’ve additionally up to date our well-liked Apple Frames shortcut with assist for the iPhone SE, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Professional.
Within the Membership MacStories version of the Shortcuts Nook this week, I’ve additionally created a sophisticated Reeder shortcut that allows you to browse articles in your Learn Later account by tag, title, and extra. Let’s dig in.
Apple Frames for iPhone SE, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Professional
Apple Frames, the shortcut that allows you to put bodily system frames round screenshots taken on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and different Apple gadgets, has persistently been probably the most downloaded shortcut from the Archive, in addition to considered one of my most used shortcuts every day. All of the “framed” screenshots you see on MacStories are generated with Apple Frames, which has additionally helped designers and builders put together handsome product photographs for his or her apps’ web sites and App Retailer pages. Apple Frames is made doable by Shortcuts’ assist for Base64 picture encoding and the ‘Overlay Picture’ motion, in addition to Silvia’s wonderful work in adapting Apple’s official frames to work with screenshots taken on iOS and iPadOS.
As is custom yearly, I’ve up to date Apple Frames to assist the newest iPhone fashions launched by Apple in 2020. With the newest model of Apple Frames, which you’ll be able to obtain under, you’ll be capable of body screenshots for the iPhone SE (in portrait), iPhone 12 (portrait and panorama), and iPhone 12 Professional (portrait and panorama); as all the time, you possibly can choose a number of photographs directly to create a composite picture of a number of gadgets; on the finish of the shortcut, you’ll be introduced with varied actions to preview the framed picture, copy it, or reserve it.
There are some technical concerns value sharing concerning the new iPhone fashions supported by Apple Frames. After I created Apple Frames years in the past, I made the choice of by no means exhibiting any menus or interruptions after the person has chosen screenshots they wish to body. My objective was to make Apple Frames straightforward to make use of for everybody with as little friction as doable. Because of this, Apple Frames doesn’t allow you to select which model of an iPhone you wish to use if extra gadgets share the identical decision; I’ve to determine which iPhone body to make use of if the shortcut detects a screenshot that might belong to a number of iPhone fashions. On this case, the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional share the identical decision (as a result of they’ve the identical show), however Apple Frames defaults to utilizing the iPhone 12 Professional mannequin, which made extra sense to me given the everyday MacStories viewers. For the same purpose, in including assist for the 2020 iPhone SE, I selected to drop assist for the iPhone 8 (which shared the identical decision) since I’m assuming extra Apple Frames customers at the moment are utilizing the iPhone SE.
Sadly, in the intervening time of penning this, Apple hasn’t launched official product photographs for the 10.9” iPad Air, so I couldn’t add assist for that system to the shortcut. As quickly as the corporate releases photographs for the iPad Air, iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 12 Professional Max, I’ll replace Apple Frames once more and write about it right here. Within the meantime, you possibly can obtain the newest model of Apple Frames under.
Convert Picture to JPEG and Copy
A number of months in the past, I observed one thing I didn’t like: when copying a picture from a MacStories article and pasting it in a brand new tweet within the official Twitter shopper, the app would initially show it with alpha transparency (and not using a background); when seen within the timeline, nonetheless, the picture gained a garish maroon background shade, which I wasn’t a fan of. The simplest resolution to the issue was to transform any PNG to JPEG earlier than pasting it in Twitter’s composer; to make the method simpler, I constructed a shortcut for it.
There’s nothing groundbreaking concerning the ‘Convert Picture to JPEG and Copy’ shortcut: it reads any picture beforehand copied to the clipboard, converts it to JPEG, and copies it again to the clipboard, so you possibly can paste it some other place. As you possibly can see, the shortcut incorporates a ‘Proceed in Shortcuts App’ motion initially; I did this as a result of in my checks with this shortcut as a widget, studying photographs from the clipboard would usually fail when run from the House Display.
On the finish of the shortcut, you’ll even be requested if you wish to save the transformed JPEG to the Photographs app. The transformed JPEG is copied to the clipboard by default, so if you happen to simply want to stick it in one other app, you possibly can ignore this step.
Get Picture Decision
That is one other easy, however efficient shortcut: if you happen to’ve ever discovered your self eager to shortly test the decision (in pixels) of a picture in your iPhone and iPad, this shortcut permits you to do it with just some faucets.
You should use this shortcut both from the share sheet or from the Shortcuts app and widget. When operating within the share sheet, the shortcut accepts photographs as enter, which suggests you possibly can share photographs from Photographs, Recordsdata, or another app and test the decision of the handed merchandise. Alternatively, you possibly can run the shortcut manually and both choose a picture from the Photographs app or use a picture you’ve already copied to the clipboard.
In any case, on the finish of the shortcut, you’ll be introduced with an alert displaying the width and peak of the chosen picture. In a pleasant contact, studying these bits of metadata from a picture doesn’t require utilizing a standalone motion in Shortcuts: the magic variable that’s routinely created for picture objects in Shortcuts could be inspected to entry varied properties, together with picture dimension. Preserve this in thoughts to keep away from utilizing pointless ‘Get Particulars of Pictures’ actions in your shortcuts when you possibly can simply learn properties from magic variables.
Encode Picture to Base64
That is one other shortcut I’ve been utilizing for over a yr now, and which I someway by no means shared on MacStories. Each every now and then, I discover myself having to encode a picture copied to the clipboard in Base64 – a textual content illustration of a picture file that enables me to “embed” photographs in shortcuts through common ‘Textual content’ actions. This method – which is commonly derided by my co-hosts on Linked – is how the Apple Frames shortcut can put system frames round screenshots with out accessing any exterior sources on the Web, as an example.
Each time I would like to show a picture right into a Base64 string of textual content, I exploit the Encode Picture shortcut, which takes a picture from the clipboard, previews it in Fast Look, and converts it to Base64 utilizing Shortcuts’ native ‘Base64 Encode’ motion. To make the ultimate textual content string as compact as doable (photographs encoded in Base64 can span lots of of 1000’s of characters relying on the scale of the unique file), I disabled the ‘Line Breaks’ toggle within the ‘Encode Picture’ motion; moreover, to forestall any potential sync lockups with Common Clipboard throughout Apple gadgets, I turned on the ‘Native Solely’ setting within the ‘Copy to Clipboard’ motion on the finish. This fashion, your system won’t try and sync a super-long string of textual content over native WiFi throughout iPhone, iPad, and Mac, which prompted me points a number of instances prior to now.
Membership MacStories Unique: Search Learn Later
Solely for Membership MacStories members this week, I’ve constructed a shortcut that allows you to search articles saved in Reeder’s Learn Later account – considered one of my favourite options of the app – with a wide range of choices. The shortcut, accessible in as we speak’s problem of the MacStories Weekly publication for Membership members, known as Reeder Search, and it permits you to search saved articles by tag, title, or area identify; it additionally permits you to open a random article beforehand saved in Reeder’s Learn Later account, which could be a enjoyable method to compensate for your read-later queue.
Right here’s a video of the shortcut in motion:
The shortcut takes benefit of Reeder 5’s assist for tagging (which we lined right here) and its deep integration with Shortcuts: due to native (parameter-based) actions, we will retrieve an inventory of tags from Reeder’s Learn Later account, search the contents of the app, and even reopen particular articles immediately in Reeder. I want extra RSS and read-later apps provided this type of assist for Shortcuts, which is a part of the rationale I’m utilizing Reeder once more as my go-to app for RSS feeds and saved articles.