How to Add New Items in macOS Context Menu

Do you have a command or a set of tasks you execute regularly or repeatedly on your Mac? Want to keep them handy and execute them on the fly? In this post we’ll show you know. It’s all done within your Mac without the use of third-party applications or hacks. As a bonus, we’ll show you how to add a shortcut key, and how to delete everything you created.

The Mac operating system is known commonly known for it’s effciency in getting things done. But you can always kick productivity up a notch. We figured it would be great if commands or repetitive tasks we regularly do can be compiled (or packaged up) and excecuted within a command, or in the right-click menu.

To give you an idea of the long repetitive tasks we’d like to avoid, imagine this scenario where you have to convert folders upon folders of image files from PNG to JPG. Rather than booting up Photoshop or using a third-party app to do the job, why not just set it up in the right-click menu and run it with just a click?

Here’s how you do it. First we design the commands and the execution process with Automator. Then, we’ll put this into the right click menu for easy access and for fast execution. Here are two walkthroughs to get you started and to give you an idea of how this works.

Customize Contextual Menus with Automator

To give a clearer look at how powerful this customization is, we’re going to illustrate this with on examples – replace spaces with hyphens.

  1. Start Automator from your Applications folder or Launchpad.
  2. menu automatormenu automator
  3. Choose Service for your document.
  4. menu servicesmenu services
  5. At the right-hand panel, select “files or folders” in “Service receives selected”.
  6. file or folderfile or folder
  7. Then, at the left-hand panel, select Files & Folders > Rename Finder Items.
  8. rename finder itemsrename finder items
  9. In the “Add Date or Time” panel, select Replace Text.
  10. replace textreplace text
  11. Replace all spaces with hyphens by putting in a space In “Find” and a hyphen In “Replace”.
  12. space hypenspace hypen
  13. Finally, go to File > Save. Insert a filename (e.g. Replace SPACE with -) and this will be the name used in the contextual menus too.
  14. save-as menusave-as menu

That’s it! This service document will be saved in your Home > Library > Services folder and be ready for use.

replace resultreplace result

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