Create Inline Links in One Step

I’m a bit of a neat freak when it comes to proper formatting and I abhor naked URLs—the sometimes 100 character-long strings of text you get by copying your address bar—and always, always create actual inline links in my notes. I was doing this like crazy back when I was a research associate.

Each day I needed to put together summary sheets for my professor which included tons of links to articles and listings on research databases. Rather than write a label and paste the URL next to it, I opted to keep things clean.

Inline links are prettier than naked urls

Inline links are prettier than naked urls

In today’s post you’ll learn to pare down your inline link workflow and automate the process as much as possible using Keyboard Maestro.

The Tedium

To make text into a link in Evernote (and most apps for that matter), you need to do the following:

  1. Select the text
  2. Hit ⌘ + K or from the menu select Format > Link > Add…
  3. Paste in the URL on your clipboard
  4. Hit Return or press OK

If you think that’s no big deal, then you’re missing the point. I do this set of actions all the time. Why do four things when I can just do two?

I don’t want harp on this too much because that’s what my upcoming Power User Series is for, so I’ll just leave you with an image of my estimated time savings for this one macro during my time as a research associate.

KBM output showing 79 minutes time inline link macro saved

I spent A LOT of time making inline links as a researcher

The Macro: Make Text an Inline Link

After highlighting the text I want to linkify, I hit ⌘ + K to trigger the macro, which does the following:

  1. Activates the menu item Format > Link > Add…
  2. Pastes current clipboard
  3. Hits Return
  4. Right Arrow to deselect the highlighted text so you can keep typing
Finished macro for inline links

The complete macro. Make Inline Links without wasting ANY steps.

Conclusion

That was easy.

Automations don’t need to take 20 minutes of fiddling or span multiple apps, variable calculations, and pause periods. Sometimes they’re just about shaving a couple steps on something you do all the time that take only a one to three seconds but add up to a lot over time.

This example used Evernote, but ⌘K is used in most applications for creating inline links. Why not improve all your apps with this?

As always, you can download this and any other Keyboard Maestro macros I write about from this repo.

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