I would like to define aliases (keywords) in Alfred so that by typing keyboard followed by RET, it opens a pre-specified folder in Finder.

For example: p1 could be an alias for "project_1" that lives under:


so when I open Alfred and type p1, Alfred opens the above path directly in Finder.

Is this possible with Alfred? How?


Yes, you can. There are many ways to achieve the result you want. The easiest method is to create a workflow that contains all the aliases (keywords) that open folders/files in Finder. You must use Alfred 2 for this to work.

  • Open Alfred Preferences and choose Workflows tab.
  • Create a new workflow by choosing the plus sign in sidebar. You can name the workflow as Custom Paths/Searces.
  • Select the active workflow and select the plus sign at top right. Choose Inputs > Keywords as your trigger. Fill in the keyword you want to use for as aliases. You’ll see one node is created in the workflow main panel.

Enter keyword

  • Create a new node from Actions > Launch Apps / Files. Drag the folders you wish to launch from Finder into the list.

Drag folder into list

You can create set of folders if you wish. But by far this is the one I prefer because it offers more flexibility than using scripts like Open ~/Desktop via Terminal.

  • Thanks. This is very helpful, although it's tedious to define them one by one using the GUI. It would be great if there was an easier way of entering them, e.g. directly with a text editor. Do you know if this is possible at all? Feb 23 '14 at 17:01
  • I don’t have experience building the workflow without using GUI. You can try to ask around at Alfred Forums, someone might guide you to build similar workflows, but with plain text to store paths.
    – sayzlim
    Feb 24 '14 at 9:24

While it doesn't create a custom Alfred alias/keyword for each item, I've been using the Recent Items workflow for this. It includes an Add to Favorites Finder Action that will add any Finder item (apps, files, folders) to its Favorites section for quick access later.

Here's the relevant section from the workflow's thread (link above):

Keyword fav: will list your Favorite items. To Add an item to Favorites use Alfred File Action or while browsing any Recent Items category hold fn key and press Return; to remove an item from Favorites, go to Favorites, select the item, hold control key and press Return

Adding Favorites: Finder Actions in Alfred

In case you aren't familiar with Alfred's Finder Actions, read about them here. You'll need to purchase PowerPack. The Recent Items workflow will install a new Finder Action called Add to Favorites. In Alfred, press the right arrow key → when any app, folder or file is selected and you'll see the Finder Actions available. Look for the heart icon near the bottom of the list; actioning that will add the current selection to your Favorites. (Click the up arrow ↑ to get to the bottom of the list faster.)

Saving URLs to Favorites

Since the workflow is limited to Finder items you'll need to save any web links you want to add to Favorites somewhere in Finder...and keep them there. (Even after adding the Favorite to the Recent Items workflow. If you move or delete the .webloc file it will disappear from Favorites).

Tips on .webloc:

  • Drag the icon to the left of the URL in the browser address bar to a Finder window to create the .webloc file.
  • Rename the .webloc file whatever you'd like (its the page title by default). The filename is what's displayed in Favorites, not the URL.

Accessing Your Favorites

Now that you've got some Favorites saved there are a couple of ways to quickly access them:

Out of the box

  1. Activate Alfred
  2. Type 'rec fa' (for some reason 'f' alone brings up Folders instead of Favorites)
  3. Press tab ⇥
  4. Arrow to your desired Favorite (or type some more to filter the list) and hit return ↩ to launch!

Assign a Global Hotkey (To eliminate steps 1-3 above!)

  1. Open Alfred's Preferences (activate Alfred and click the cog or type "Alfred")
  2. Head to the Workflows tab
  3. Find the Recent Items 3.0 workflow and select it
  4. The second box down from the upper-right should be a Hotkey step called "rec Favorites >" - double-click this box
  5. Type the hotkey combination you want (mine is ⌃⌥⌘F)

Hit your hotkey anywhere (Alfred doesn't need to be activated) and your Favorites will be instantly displayed!

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