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front end dev.

Offline API docs at your fingertips with Dash and Alfred

24 NOVEMBER 2015

I recently came across Dash, a Mac app that let's you download over 150 API documentation sets.

As I've been learning WordPress, I've been hitting up the Codex pretty often. Dash allows you to download the documentation for offline viewing. It's much faster to access, and can be made even faster if you integrate it with Alfred.

Dash

Once you've downloaded Dash, you'll want to download some docsets. Go grab the docs for a couple of your favourite API's. Once they've downloaded, you can search through them using Dash.

But we can take this a step further using Alfred.

Dash, Meet Alfred

Alfred is a productivity app for Mac; it replaces Spotlight, and can be extended with integrations to other apps.

I use Alfred daily. I especially like using it for quickly doing maths, usually for working out percentages in responsive design. Once Alfred is installed, you can configure the shortcut keys on the main screen. I use cmd + space.

Alfred Powerpack is a paid extension that offers further integration and features. It costs about 20£, but it's well worth it.

Once you've added the Powerpack license, then you can go to the Dash preferences, and go to integration. Simply click on Alfred, and it will configure Alfred for you.

Now, you can hit cmd + space (or whichever keys you have Alfred set to), and type dash (search keyword).

For instance, with the WordPress docs installed, typing dash wp_query in Alfred will show you a list of search results. The list even has color codes to delineate different language components like Functions, Classes, etc.

Offline? No worries

Since the docs are made available offline, you can take advantage of those times when you're on the train, or out of wifi to brush up on your favourite programming languages.

Have you found any great little productivity tips that make your web development that little bit easier?