20 Must Have Alfred Extensions

One of the first few apps I downloaded was the popular Alfred launcher. Being able to launch apps, open files, shutdown and restart my laptop with just a few taps on the keyboard intrigued me, so I decided to give it a shot. And hey, who can resist that adorable black bowler hat?

Months after, Alfred is now one of my favorite Mac apps and the most commonly used in a day. Moreover, there is this nifty upgrade called the Alfred Powerpack that contains features that enable me to do so much more with Alfred—features that will surely boost time efficiency and productivity better than ever before.

The Powerpack is definitely an upgrade many Alfred power users enjoy. In my case, my favorite Powerpack feature is the ability to extend Alfred, and it is in this post that I’ll explain briefly what extensions do as well as share a list of 20 really cool Alfred extensions you should download and try.

Alfred Extensions: A Brief Overview

An Alfred extension is what its label says it is. It extends Alfred’s effectiveness by allowing you to perform more actions, tasks, and commands using short and quick keywords. You can make Alfred open groups of files or folders, run Automator workflows (if you use any) and shell and Apple scripts with just a letter or two.

Alfred preferences

The Alfred extensions pane

Installing these extensions is a breeze. You can install either by double-clicking on the .alfredextension file or dropping the extension onto Alfred in the “Drop and Install” area at the bottom right of the Extensions pane. Check Alfred’s Extension tutorial for more info on how to install, how scripts work, search filters, etc.

20 Really Cool Alfred Extensions

Okay, so we’re now ready to download some really cool Alfred extensions! But before we go to that, make sure you have the following requirements:

  1. Alfred Powerpack upgrade (a must-have)
  2. Growl 1.3 or below (some extensions will need the latest version)

All right, let’s get right to it:

alfredtweet

Tweet via Alfred

AlfredTweet

AlfredTweet enables you to send tweets, mentions, and direct messages to Twitter using Alfred. You can also follow, unfollow, block, unblock, and view your timeline with the help of Growl notifications. You will have to authenticate to Twitter first before using this extension. Just follow the steps and you’re ready to tweet using Alfred.

Requires: Growl
Developer: David Ferguson

goo.gl alfred

Create shortened Goo.gl URLs

Create a Goo.gl Shortlink

In times when you need to shorten a link to share on Twitter, Facebook, or directly to friends and family, this extension comes in handy. It’s a simple, one-liner extension that shortens long URLs into goo.gl links and pastes them into your clipboard.

Requires: N/A
Developer: Don Southard

screencast alfred

Screencasting with Alfred

Start a Screencast

If I had known there was an extension for this, I could have saved myself from buying a separate screen recording app. This extension uses Quicktime’s screen recording ability to take a screencast of your desktop. It’s nifty for users who need basic screencasting for work or when troubleshooting. It automatically saves the video file in the Movies folder of your directory.

Requires: N/A
Developer: Don Southard

dropbox alfred

Share files on Dropbox and CloudApp

Share on Dropbox and CloudApp

Share to Dropbox is an extension that allows you to select a file and share it to your Dropbox Public folder. It then generates a CloudApp URL for it so that you can easily share it to others online. Make sure to enter your CloudApp account credentials before using this extension to make it work.

Requires: Growl
Developer: Don Southard

wunderlist alfred

Wunderlist for Alfred

Wunderlist for Alfred

Wunderlist for Alfred adds and views tasks with the help of Growl notifications. Just type the default keyword “wl” plus the task to automatically place it in your Inbox list. You can then use the keywords “wl tasks” or “wl all tasks” to view your Inbox task list or tasks from all of your lists.

Requires: Growl
Developer: David Ferguson

zip file alfred

Zip files and create archives with Alfred

Zip a File Using Alfred

Thanks to this extension, it’s now easy to zip a file or create archives using Alfred.

Begin by searching for a file or folder using the Find command on Alfred. Once you find it, press the right arrow key and scroll down till you see the Zip option. It will then place the newly zipped file on your desktop.

Requires: Growl
Developer: David Ferguson

spotify control alfred

Control Spotify with Alfred

Control Spotify with Alfred

Spotify users, here’s an extension that will enable you to control Spotify from Alfred. Once you’ve installed the extension, you can take a look at the list of commands found in the same page where the download link is located in.

Requires: Growl
Developer: Jeff Johns

alfredtasks

Create task lists with Alfred

AlfredTasks

As crazy as it sounds, you can create tasks with just Alfred and Growl. This extension is a simple to-do manager that creates tasks, organizes task groups, removes tasks, and many other functions with just a few keystrokes. It’s productivity, Alfred style!

Requires: Growl
Developer: David Ferguson

fantastical alfred

Fantastical with Alfred

Fantastical with Alfred

Throwing events into Fantastical is now easier and quicker thanks to this extension. Type the default command “f” and the basic details about your event. In an instant, it’s on your Fantastical calendar.

Requires: N/A
Developer: David Ferguson

Things alfred

Things with Alfred

Create a Task in Things

Made by Alfred developer Andrew Pepperrell himself, this extension creates tasks and sends them over to Things, another great to-do app for the Mac. If you actively use Things for to-do management, this extension should make task creation fast and easy.

Requires: N/A
Developer: Andrew Pepperrell

password generator alfred

Generate passwords with Alfred

Password Generator

Here’s another useful extension, one that comes in handy if you’re too lazy to open up your password manager. This extension simply generates a random 8-16 digit character password and places it in your clipboard. It also places the password in a sticky Growl notification.

Requires: Growl
Developer: Don Southard

IP address alfred

Alfred now knows what IP address you're using.

Get External IP Address

Whenever I use wifi connections outside of my home (e.g. cafés), this extension lets me know what IP address I’m using. Simply put, it retrieves your external IP address, places it in your clipboard, and displays it on Growl.

Requires: Growl
Developer: David Ferguson

firefox alfred

Open URLs with Firefox

Open URLs in Firefox

Want to open a URL using a different browser? Say, Firefox for instance? This extension does the trick.

Unfortunately, the developer didn’t create this as an .alfredextension file, so you have to create a new shell script extension, copy and paste the code into it, tick the Silent checkbox, and save the script. I believe you can create separate scripts for other browsers like Safari as well.

Requires: N/A
Developer: Brooks Seymore

lorem lipsum alfred

Insert Lorem Lipsum text using Alfred.

Create Lipsum Text

Building a website and need to quickly fill it with temporary content? This extension generates Lorem Lipsum text by retrieving it from Lipsum.com and pasting it onto your clipboard.

Requires: N/A
Developer: David Ferguson

dmg image alfred

Create DMG images using Alfred.

Create a DMG Image

This extension creates a DMG image from a selected folder. This should prove useful to app developers and other users who create DMGs regularly.

Requires: N/A
Developer: David Ferguson

currency converter alfred

Convert currencies with Alfred

Currency Converter

Sometimes when I’m shopping online or managing finances, I’d convert currencies to see how much I’ll receive or spend. This extension’s a godsend for it converts simply by typing the amount, the currency to be converted, and the resulting amount. (e.g. On Alfred, type “100 USD to AUD” or “100 USD PHP”)

Requires: Growl
Developer: theFeverDog

world clock alfred

World time, now at the tip of your fingertips.

Time Somewhere

Time Somewhere is another cool Alfred extension you should definitely install, especially if you’re bringing your laptop with you during international travel.

Time Somewhere works by telling you what time and date it is in different countries around the world. If you’ve got an online conference with a client, a webinar to attend, or any other virtual meeting, this extension comes in handy.

Requires: Growl
Developer: Adam Dangoor

thesaurus for alfred

Thesaurus for Alfred

Thesaurus for Alfred

A must-have for writers, this extension uses your Mac’s thesaurus app to retrieve synonyms and antonyms of words typed into Alfred. The results are then displayed on a sticky Growl notification. So far, I’ve been using it for both web content and literary writing and it works like a charm. It’s one of my favorite Alfred script extensions to date.

Requires: Growl
Developer: David Ferguson

window resizer alfred

Resize active windows with Alfred

Window Resizer

For busy desktops and clutter-filled workspaces, this extension comes to the rescue by resizing active windows using Alfred. It helps when you need to resize and move windows to the left, right, top or bottom of the screen to access files or apps in the background. Of course, if you need to bring it back to full screen, you can easily do so with Window Resizer.

Requires: N/A
Developer: Amrita Mazumdar

quickcal alfred

QuickCal and Alfred: The perfect pair.

QuickCal with Alfred

We’re down to our last extension, which is a QuickCal to Alfred script that enables users to send QuickCal events and todos using Alfred. It functions the same way as the Fantastical extension, only this time it’s using the QuickCal app by Smelly Puppy and it can send to-do items to your calendar.

Requires: N/A
Developer: QuickCal by Smelly Puppy

Conclusion

These Alfred extensions have become essential to my productivity. What used to take me a couple of minutes to do can now be done in just 30 seconds or less. Extensions are just the cream of the crop, of course. There are many other features that can enhance your productivity and Mac user experience, such as file system navigation, global hotkeys, and Alfred themes. If you haven’t upgraded your copy of Alfred yet, give it a shot. You might just be surprised at how fast you can work now that you’ve got a super butler to help you out.

I know I’ve missed a few other cool Alfred extensions, so why not share some of your own favorites that weren’t featured on the list? And looking at Alfred as a whole, what is your favorite feature so far?


  • http://digitalformula.net Chris

    Now that’s a useful article – I can’t survive without Alfred. Great stuff, thanks Stef.

  • Fernando

    I love Alfred, but I can’t spent 15£ (18€ – 23$) for an extensions…

    • Liam

      Don’t think of it as paying just for the powerpack. Think that you are helping fund Alfred’s development to help it continue to grow and improve.

    • sadhuram

      All this Alfred functions ara just applecripts. Quicksilver is free and you can do those functions and more (not just applecripts). If you understand how alfred works you won’t have any problem with Quicksilver

      • http://www.anyconsole.com manchicken

        Alfred’s Powerpack works with AppleScript, Shell, Workflows, and several other things as well. It is incorrect to say that this is only AppleScript.

    • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

      I was a Quick Silver user and a Launchbar user. I spend twice on LB alone. Alfred is great free and is THE BEST when you upgrade the power pack. I don’t see myself using my Mac or any other computer without Alfred. Don’t see it as a waste of money see it as an improvement for your Mac.

  • http://drdkl.isgreat.org Dreadedkilla

    The one I use the most is the Fantastical extension – I use it all the time to send stuff in. Coincidentally, I was poking around Alfred and created an extension that creates a new text file and then opens it up. Great for when I want to start writing stuff.

    • http://scottlee.me Scott Lee

      Oooo do share!

  • http://www.pmicomputersupplies.com Greg Bussmann

    As a new Alfred (and already addicted) user, I found this really helpful. Thanks!

    Greg

  • Nathan

    I surprised that the OmniFocus task entry wasn’t added to this list.

  • K

    The QuickCal with Alfred link isn’t up. I’ve been trying to download this extension for a while to no avail. Can you post a link directly to that extension?

  • Sarah

    Currency converter works well… unless you try to convert to/from ISK. It seems that the extension gets its 3 letter currency codes from Google’s currency converter, which itself appears to be missing ISK (Icelandic krona).

    Not the extension’s fault, of course, but frustrating since it’s a currency I use!

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  • Nick

    Great article!

  • bpo

    Must-have, huh? Twenty of them. Gee.

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  • http://www.galimathies.dk Mathies

    My friend, Niels, has made two very useful extensions that combines Alfred and Growl. One that looks for domain name availability (http://nielsstampe.tumblr.com/post/14402922960/domain-checker-for-alfred) and one that provides you with IMDB info (http://nielsstampe.tumblr.com/post/14258993116/imdb-info-for-alfred). Very handy and useful combinations :)

  • Ulf

    Hey, this is another useful extension that shows the current week number:
    http://www.uwh.se/download-week-extension.html

  • Jay

    Love the Share on Dropbox and Cloudapp extension – but I can’t get it to work with the global hotkey. Don’t know why, but when I use the hotkey it won’t copy over to Dropbox. Works otherwise…

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  • http://www.stanstedvletparking.co.uk valet parking

    Its really awesome work on your site i love it.

  • http://alfredplus.ca AlfredPlus

    Check out AlfredPlus, for loads of alfred extensions and themes.

  • http://Dev.rainydaymedia.net/alfred Ed

    This screen capture extension is pretty simple to make annotations to screen shots with no additional apps or accounts. http://rnydm.us/LE7D

  • http://geekzone.philosophicalzombie.net/ Carl

    Great list. I’ve tried most of them before, but still nice to discover a couple of new gems.

    Here’s one of mine that I’ve just built – it’s a fairly comprehensive timer utility:
    EggTimer for Alfred: http://bit.ly/egg-timer-for-alfred

    Cheers.

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