Dash + Alfred - instantly search offline documentation sets for 200+ APIs, 100+ cheat sheets, and more!

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I am a big fan of productivity tools, which make my life easier. Anything that gets me where I want to go with just a few clicks or shortcuts is at least worth a test phase. So it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of Alfred - the Spotlight alternative for macOS. In this article, I don't want to go into the advantages and why the Alfred Powerpack is worth every penny, but rather jump straight into today's topic.

Who hasn't experienced that feeling of forgetting the syntax for a certain task in a programming language? Now you are faced with the problem of finding the answer. What do you do, like many others? Sure, you google it. A few clicks in the results later, you are hopefully at your destination and have found the famous green tick on StackOverflow. But what if I told you that there is an alternative that works even offline?

Let me introduce you: Dash - the "Indispensable masterpiece for developers." (Stefan FΓΌrst, Media Atelier Maker of GrandTotal).

Dash gives you 200+ API documentations instantly with offline access! Together with the matching Alfred workflow, any search in the Dash library is just a few keystrokes away! I'll show you how in just a few steps.

Setup

First of all, you need to install Alfred (macOS only) and Dash. And for the whole thing to work, you also need the Alfred Powerpack. If you're not convinced right away, install the free version of Alfred and get warmed up with the program first. You'll see that you'll want the Powerpack in the end.

Once you've installed the two apps, all you need is the workflow to go with them. It's very simple. Open Dash and go to Preferences > Integration > Alfred and follow the instructions.

Usage

Open Alfred and type in "javascript array" for example.

Now that you have everything installed, it's time to see the combination in action. Open Alfred and type in javascript array for example. The Dash Workflow will immediately suggest the appropriate API documentation for the app. Select one and Dash will open the page in a separate window.

Now you can read the documentation at your leisure and clarify your open questions.

Dash Window with Javascript array method open

You got questions?

Do you have any questions about this productivity tip? Then write me a comment or contact me on Twitter. I look forward to your feedback.

Catalin Pit's photo

Damn, I didn't know about them! Will try them out! 🀩

Stefan Natter's photo

Do it, and let me know what you think of both of them. I'd love to know if it works for you.

Faisal Albasu's photo

I've been using Alfred for a while now. Even though I'm not a power user but I think this will turn me into one. Especially when it comes to offline reference.

Stefan Natter's photo

I am glad I was of help to you. Dash helped me in the past oftentimes when I was working abroad, on the train or plane.

Bhargav Ponnapalli's photo

Good one Stefan Natter!

Stefan Natter's photo

Thank you very much!

Jordan Taylor's photo

I've been using Alfred for over a year now, and I honestly can't live without it!

I started using Dash a while back as well. I will need to go back and look more into this one.

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^^^ This has been my favorite on Alfred ;)

Show +1 replies
Jordan Taylor's photo

Stefan Natter This is true; dash will come in handy when you're trying to code on a camping trip... πŸ˜…

Stefan Natter's photo

For instance, yeah.