42 Astoundingly Useful Scripts and Automations for the Macintosh

Another Safari 14 Services workaround

Another workaround to Safari 14’s Services bug is to copy the results to the clipboard.

Jerry Stratton, January 2, 2021

Automator Copy to Clipboard example

At least in Catalina, using Copy to Clipboard as the final action does not block the output from replacing selected text. Which makes it a useful workaround for Safari 14, which does block selected text replacement.

As of December 15, 2020, Safari—currently 14.0.2 on my computer, running Catalina 10.15.7—still doesn’t work with Services where the “Output replaces selected text” option is checked. The Quick Action gets the selected text, but the selected text is erased. It’s replaced with nothing.

However, one workaround, at least for commonly-used Services, is to make the last action in the workflow “Copy to Clipboard”. This will allow you to immediately paste the results into the Safari text field.

This won’t harm the Quick Action’s behavior in other apps—the script’s output will still replace the selected text. It will, of course, replace whatever’s currently in the clipboard with the script’s output, so I wouldn’t recommend using this workaround except where necessary.

I’ve used this workaround on my moronify and markdown to blog HTML Quick Actions, which I use pretty much only in browser text fields.

I’d be interested to hear if Automator Quick Actions work on Big Sur. I’m still waiting on a few app updates before I switch, but I don’t have any major projects blocking a system upgrade. Once I have Big Sur on board, of course, I’ll let you know what changes need to be made to any of the 42 Astoundingly Useful Scripts and Automations.

In response to Safari 14 disables Automator Quick Actions in text fields: As of the September 17 release of Safari 14 for macOS Catalina, Automator can no longer replace text in text fields, such as in forums and blog comments. Here are some workarounds.