NOTE: This tutorial is just an introduction to Vortex main capabilities. We strongly encourage you to check our video tutorial set in Youtube, here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoVn2h6-YYgYcxTxfemmBKg/playlists
Vortex introduces a new dimension in productivity. With Vortex you can quickly and easily manage files, folders, and text. Use Vortex to compress/uncompress, convert, download, edit, and much more. Vortex knows what actions are available for your selection and gives you quick access to the process. With Vortex you have quick access to system commands to help you manage your system. Vortex also provides single source access to common text editing commands allowing on the fly formatting and editing, including an expanded Pasteboard that gives you quick access to up to 10 selections. And Vortex can search for and download music and episode video files.
Vortex integrates with our other TastyApps, making them even easier to use. The Vortex Setup and Preferences allows you to customize the way you want Vortex to work.
Installation is easy. After downloading Vortex just click on the vortex.dmg file in your downloads folder to launch the Vortex installer.
On the Vortex installation screen just drag the Vortex icon and drop it onto the Applications folder icon on the installation screen and you are done. On some systems the .dmg file might put a virtual disk on your desktop named Vortex on your Desktop. Click on the virtual disk to launch the Vortex installer. When done you can right click the virtual Vortex disk icon on your desktop and select “Eject” or just drag it to your Trash Bin to eject it.
To start Vortex the first time double click on the Vortex icon in your Applications folder. After that, by default, Vortex will Launch on Startup and place a Vortex icon on your Dock and in your System tray – you can change those in Preferences. In Preferences you can also enable or disable other Vortex features.
Vortex installs with a basic set of Actions in the Vortex Palette but you can customize the Palette anyway you like in Preferences. You can add Actions to the Palette easily and you can remove seldom used Actions for a streamlined, quick access, Palette. And all Vortex Actions are always available via their Shortcut keys, even those not placed on Palette.
When Vortex is running you can access the Preference Screen through the Vortex tray icon on your Mac top toolbar:
You can also get to the Preferences Screen by right-clicking the Vortex icon on your Dock.
Preferences allow you to setup how Vortex is launched and used.
- Launch on Startup: Instructs Vortex to automatically launch when you start or reboot your Mac (recommended and enabled by default).
- Enable Vortex Action Zone: Enables the Action Zone (enabled by default)
- Show in Dock: Option to place Vortex on your Dock when running (enabled by default). Restart Vortex when changing this Preference for it to take effect.
- Place the Action Zone at: Allows you to choose the location of the Action Zone (by default, Bottom Right of the screen)
- Set Vortex key: Choose the key(s) needed to activate the Action Zone when dragging files, or to use the Vortex Global Hotkeys. By default CMD+CTRL.
- Enable Vortex Global Hotkey: Allows Vortex to be invoked (when running) from keyboard. The Vortex Actions screen will display the available actions for the active application.
- Enable Vortex Pasteboard Hotkey: Allows Vortex to be invoked (when running) using the content of the system pasteboard as input.
- Enable Vortex Command Center Hotkey: Allows System commands to be called from Vortex Action screen.
- Download files to: Choose the default download location
- Mute all Vortex sounds: Vortex will not play any sounds when completing an action.
- When acn action is finished. reveal output files in finder: For actions that output one or more files, tell Vortex to open a finder window showing them after the action is completed.
Note that some Preference settings require Vortex to be Quit and restarted before taking effect.
The actions tab shows the full list of available actions. You can Hide an Action (it won’t show up in the available Actions screen for a selection) by setting the value of the Palette? column to No. Hidden Actions will still be available via the Shortcut Keys.
By using the Categories filter and the “Add All…” Remove All…” commands, along with the Yes/No options for individual options, you can customize which Actions will be available on the Actions screen for your selection. The “Add All…” “Remove All…” commands effect only the Actions in the selected Category and will add or delete Actions from the Palette. The All Category will effect all Actions in the Palette.
Both the Action Zone and the Vortex Dock icon, if enabled, can be used as access points to the Actions available for files and folders. You can enable either or both, or disable both and use “Hotkey” shortcuts only.
Once setup you can start to take advantage of all Vortex has to offer. Quick access to Actions for all your files; download videos from YouTube, Vimeo,& Dailymotion; capture text, open URLs, convert files to different formats, uninstall applications, and more.
Vortex is extremely easy to use and can be called upon in different ways:
- Select file(s), or folder(s) or text and invoke Vortex from the tray icon. the Dock icon or use the Vortex Global Hotkey combo Vortex key+X. You can also just right click on the selection, and the popup menu will include a Vortex entry..
- Drag and Drop a file or files, or a folder, onto the Vortex icon on your Dock.
- Drag, while pressing the Vortex Key, to the Action Zone on your Desktop (if enabled).
The Vortex Action Window will open with the Actions available for your selection:
The above Action window offers available options for an image file. You can use the scroll bar to see all the options or the search box to find an option. Then just click in the option or use the Hotkeys to process the item. You can use the Red quit button at the upper left of the Action screen, the ESC key, or just click anywhere outside the Action window to abort the process. While Vortex is processing an item the Vortex Dock icon will show a red badge telling you Vortex is in action. If you click the Dock icon you can see the status of the operation and you can Cancel the operation in process from there.
The Details button on the right side of the window will show you the full list of the files/folders/urls being processed and give you additional information about them.
Vortex can be used to convert video or audio files to other formats, and it can also strip audio from video files. Word and Open Office processing documents or text files can be converted to other formats including PDF files, with a single click. You can also use Vortex to uninstall apps completely, removing all the supporting files that they have installed in your computer.
Vortex can also download video files from YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion by dragging the complete URL (needs the ‘http://’) from the browser address window to Vortex or pressing the Global Hotkey, without leaving the browser. If you press CTRL+CMD+X in Safari or Chrome, Vortex will do it for you. In the same fashion, you can download songs from GrooveShark.
You can select text from documents or websites and drop it onto Vortex to search in Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Google Maps, or to speak the text.
Downloading songs and series episodes
Vortex will allow you to search and download a TV episode using a simple text query in the standard episode identifier form – series name s00e00. Note the lower case s and e and the 2 digit format for the season and episode. For example The Simpsons s04e02 would be The Simpsons season 4 episode 2. Just type out your query in a text editor or word processor and then invoke Vortex then select Download Episode from the Vortex Actions screen. You can also highlight the query in a text string and then copy and drag and drop it onto the Vortex icon in your Dock to access the Actions screen.
You can also use Vortex to search and download songs using a simple text query. Just type in the artist or group and the song title – or highlight a text string – even on a web page, The Beach Boys Help me Rhonda for example. Then invoke Vortex or drag and drop the text to Vortex and Select Song from the Vortex Actions screen.
Managing your Pasteboard
Vortex keeps track of your Pasteboard history. It remembers the last 10 items copied to the Pasteboard (text, url, files…). You can manage your Pasteboard and choose an item from the history and you will never lose data by cutting or copying by accident! See the full video tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkovaAOeidQ
The pasteboard history can be reached from the Vortex tray icon. You can also invoke Vortex using the contents of the current system pasteboard using the Vortex Key + P global hotkey.
Vortex Command Center
Some Vortex actions do not take any input and apply to your system as a whole. For example, Vortex can quickly turn off your system, put it to sleep, change your GUI, etc. These actions are only available if you run Vortex in Command Center Mode. You can reach the Command Center Mode through the Vortex tray icon or by using the Vortex Key + M global hotkey.
LIST OF AVAILABLE ACTIONS
Vortex can do much more. Here is a complete list of the available actions. Note that Vortex can run an action for several files/urls at the same time. For example, you can use Vortex to convert several video files to the same format (“batch” processing).
Here are all the actions of Vortex 1.3.0, sorted alphabetically:
- 7z: Compress file/s, folder/s as a .7z
- 7z with password: Compress file/s, folder/s as a .7z with password.
- ACC: Convert video/audio file/s to the audio only .aac format.
- AIFF: Convert video/audio file/s to the audio only .aiff format.
- Attach to Mail: Attach file/s to a new outgoing message in Mail app.
- AVI: Convert video file/s to .avi.
- BMP: Convert image file/s to .bmp.
- Bing: Search text in Bing.
- Bless: Make .dmg file/s open automatically (bless them).
- Caffeinate: Force the system to stay awake (not go to sleep) for at least 30 min. Available only in command center mode.
- Cancel: Do nothing.
- Caps for Sentences: Correctly capitalizes a text with one or more paragraphs (capitalizes the first letter of each paragraph, and the first letter after a terminating punctiation mark. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- DailyMotion: Download video from DailyMotion URL.
- Doc: Convert text file/s to .doc.
- Docx: Convert text file/s to .docx.
- Download Audio: Download all audio files from a given web page. Does not work with Flash audio (see other actions for that).
- Download Episode: Download a series episode by series name and season/episode number. For example, game of thrones s04e10. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KRFY6_BDbA.
- Duplicate Spaces: Remove all duplicate spaces from a given text. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- Extract: uncompresses (unarchives) .zip, .rar or .7z files. If a file is password protected, Vortex will prompt for the password.
- Extract URLS: extracts all URLs withing a given URL (extracts all URLs of the HTML source code of a web page)
- FLV: Convert video file/s to .flv.
- Format HTML: Corrects HTML errors (close tags, etc), adds missing mandatory tags and reindents HTML code. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- GIF: Convert image file/s to .gif.
- Google: Searches text in Google.
- Google Maps: Searches text in Google Maps.
- Google Translate: Translates text by opening Google Translate. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YyJKIvFn20.
- Gorillavid: Downloads the video from a Gorillavid URL.
- Grooveshark: Downloads a song from Grooveshark. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI9uJq6nzZE.
- HTML: Converts text file/s to .html.
- Halt: Turns off your system. Available only in command center mode.
- Indent: Indents a text (prepends a column of tabs). Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- JP2: Convert image file/s to .jp2.
- JPG: Convert image file/s to .jpg.
- Launch At Login: Makes one or more apps launch at login. If they would already launch at login, they are made to not launch at logging. That is, toggles launch at login for one or more apps.
- Log out: Log out the current user. Available only in command center mode.
- Loop: Given a Youtube URL, infinitely loops the linked Youtube video in InfiniteLooper.com.
- MP3: Convert video/audio file/s to the audio only .mp3 format.
- Mail with Text: Creates a new outgoing message in mail with the given text.
- Merge PDFs: Merges several PDF files into a single PDF file with several pages.
- MOV: Convert video file/s to .mov.
- MP4: Convert video file/s to .mp4.
- Multi-app mode: Makes you system enter “multi-app” mode. This is the default GUI mode for OS X: you are able to see the windows of all applications at the same time. See “Single-app mode” below
- Musicbox: Given one or more URL/s, call Musicbox with all those URLs. You need to have Musicbox installed for this action to show up.
- New Mail: Given an email address, Create new blank outgoing mail addressed to that mail.
- ODT: Convert text file/s to .odt.
- Outdent: Outdents a text (removes a prepended column of tabs). Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- PDF: Converts file/s to PDF (both text and images)
- PSD: Converts image file/s to PSD
- Plain text: Removes all text formatting, leaving only plain text. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- Quick Halt: Quickly turns off your system, avoiding all those annoying questions OS X asks before letting you turn the computer off. Available only in command center mode.
- Rar: Compress file/s, folder/s as a .rar
- Rar with password: Compress file/s, folder/s as a .rar with password.
- Read-only: Make .dmg file/s read only (UDRO format).
- Read-write: Make .dmg file/s writable (UDRW format).
- Reboot: Restarts the computer. Available only in command center mode.
- Remove Signature: Removes the developer signature from an App.
- RTF: Convert text file/s to .rft.
- Say: Speak, read out loud some text.
- Sign App: Sign an application. Vortex will prompt you to choose one of the Developer IDs present in your system.
- Sign Installer: Sign an installer .pkg. Vortex will prompt you to choose one of the Developer IDs present in your system.
- Single-app mode: Makes your system enter “Single-app mode”. In this mode, only the windows of the currently active application will show (the others will dissapear from the screen). Use the “Multi-app mode” action to restore the regular behavior. Available only in command center mode.
- Sleep: Put the computer to sleep. Available only in command center mode.
- Song: Downloads a song by artist and song name. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf8-zTDuicM.
- Sort lines: Sort lines alphabetically
- Split pages: Given PDF file/ss with more than one page, creates single page PDF files from them (splits the pages into separate PDF files)
- TGA: Convert image file/s to .tga.
- TIFF: Convert image file/s to .tiff.
- TinyURL: Given a text or one or more URLs, converts all URLs into a TinyURL (smaller, but equivalent URL) using tinyurl.com. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- To Lowercase: Converts all letters in a given text to lowercase. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- To Uppercase: Converts all letters in a given text to lowercase. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- Trash: Moves file/s and/or folder/s to the Trash.
- Trim: Removes trailing and leading white spaces (spaces, tabs) from a given text. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- Txt: Convert text file/s to .txt.
- Uninstall: Moves one or more apps to the trash and removes supporting files (caches, preference files) to keep your system clean.
- Unwrap text: Removes extra newlines from a text, keeping only paragraphs. Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- URL from .webloc: Extracts the URL from one or more Safari .webloc files (http://file.org/extension/webloc) . Works both in regular vortex mode and in the in-app editor mode. See the video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHihCkL6Pk
- Videobox: Given one or more URL/s, calls Videobox with all those URLs. You need to have Videobox installed for this action to show up.
- Vimeo: Download video from Vimeo URL.
- WAV: Convert video/audio file/s to the audio only .wav format.
- Web Snapper: Given one or more URL/s, calls Web Snapper with all those URLs. You need to have Web Snapper installed for this action to show up.
- Web Optimized: Given one or more image files, converts them to .jpg and compresses them to half the original size.
- Webloc: Given one or more URLs, creates one Safari .webloc file (http://file.org/extension/webloc) per URL.
- Wikipedia: Search text in Wikipedia.
- Youtube: Download video from Youtube URL.
- Zip: Compress file/s, folder/s as a .zip
- Zip with password: Compress file/s, folder/s as a .zip with password.