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Work Beyond Mac: Ten 'flows that put Workflow to work

Jason Cipriani | Jan. 9, 2015
As noted in a previous Work Beyond Mac column, DeskConnect's Workflow is a relatively new app that's a bit like Automator for iOS. I like it, but I'm still figuring out how to put it to best use as a productivity tool. While it's had a spot on my home screen since it was first released, I've used it largely to create animated GIFs and for other "fun" features.

With this workflow, you can view your iCloud Drive in its entirety from your home screen. And, if you find what you're looking for, you can then download and open an item in the appropriate app.

Get Images from Page

You never know when inspiration is going to strike, but when it does you want to be able to quickly take note of it and move on. For me, I often find myself saving images embedded in stories and creating notes so I'll remember something at a later time.

Prior to this workflow, the process for saving multiple images from a web page was simple, but it wasn't quick. After adding this 'flow to your library, you can use the share button to run the workflow and then save any and all images displayed within the extension.

Resize Image

There are quite a few quality photo editing apps on iOS. Yet the process of opening an app, importing a photo, resizing it, and then exporting it back to your Camera Roll is so 2014. This year, when using an iOS device, I plan to exclusively resize photos with Workflow.

Once you open the workflow, you can select the photo(s) you'd like to resize and then enter new dimensions. Or, if you always resize photos to the same dimensions, you can edit the actions with a hard-coded size (instead of being prompted every time it runs).

After the image is resized, it will be saved to your photo library and displayed for your viewing pleasure.

Make PDF

Creating a PDF is a hassle, no matter the platform. This quick workflow can turn any web page or text document with a share button into a PDF in just a few seconds. Once the PDF is created, you can then upload it to a storage service, email it, iMessage it, or send it to another app for further processing.

Speak Text of Page

When I was little I loved being read to, and now that I'm a grown up why should it stop? Well, finding someone willing to read me tech articles is a futile effort. But thanks to this workflow, found in the official gallery, I can have my iOS device read any web page to me.

Site Specific Search

While researching a topic, it can be downright frustrating to come up empty-handed when you know a post or report was published on a specific site. Adding to the frustration, most sites' search engines do a horrible job of finding relevant content.

As you may know, Google offers a method for restricting your query to a specific website. For the unfamilair, you can enter "site:Macworld.com search query" (replacing search query with your respective, well, query).

 

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