During session breaks at BFlex yesterday I put together an OS X Automator workflow that works with the URL shortener. I use all the time and I wanted an easier way to create shortened URLs in any application on OS X. Sure there are tools available but none of them span the entirety of applications on my computer.

After whipping up my Automator workflow I can now shorten URLs by copying them to my clipboard, activating the workflow from the menu bar, and then pasting the contents of my clipboard into e-mail, Tweetie or any other app. The Automator workflow simply uses the contents of my clipboard to send a curl-based HTTP call to the REST API, and replaces my clipboard contents with the returned API result.

Click the image below for a quick demo. It's pretty basic so far and some long URLs with unencoded URL parameters fail to create shortened results. I'd love your feedback and suggestions on the workflow, so feel free to download it and submit a comment on this post. You can be using it in less than a minute. NOTE: This requires a free account.

In case you missed the download link above, click here to grab the script.

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This entry was posted by Aaron West on September 12, 2010 at 2:21 PM. It was filed in the following categories: Productivity, ColdFusion, Mac Programming, Mac. It has been viewed 61694 times and has 4 comments.

4 Responses to A Shortener That Works Everywhere

  1. I have been using the Google shortener released earlier this week and am pretty impressed with it along with the stability. The other thing that I like is the easy way in which anyone, not just developers can create easy to build QR codes for mobile devices. - Google URL Shortener!/mattcutts/status/26017904465... - Adding QR Codes


  2. Does Google's shortener allow you to use your own domain? That's a big benefit of

  3. Aaron,

    I'm not sure if I follow what your question means, but there is discussion of an future API being developed for the application and the Google engineer whom threw it out into the wild has a blog and it's pointed out from a user comment:

    There is one thing that Google URL Shortener service is not smart than, if I shorten the same URL destination it gives me different URLs while use the previously shortened URLs instead.

    Matt Cutt's blog on the new application:

  4. Jerry, I'm not downing Google's new URL shortener. I'm just stating I like's URL shortener better because it allows me to use my own domain. If you use Pro you can set up your own short domain with the service so all shortened links are using your custom domain and not ""

    I registered and set it up to be my domain for my Pro account. Links I shorten and send to others are