Getting Started

Hook operates on files and other types of items in many of your favorite apps. It works on files in the Finder, files that are open (for example, in Pages, Word or Preview), web pages in a browser, emails in mail apps, and tasks in OmniFocus and Things, and other types of content.

Using Hook is dirt simple. The main things you need know to get started using Hook are

  1. How to invoke Hook on an item,
  2. How to copy a link to an item,
  3. How to link items together, and
  4. How to access linked items.

Each of these steps is a breeze.

1. Accessing the Hook window?

There are five different ways to invoke Hook:

  1. Typing a configurable keyboard shortcut (⌘⇧SPACE by default),
  2. Clicking on the Hook menu bar icon
  3. Clicking on the app in the Dock
  4. Touching the Hook icon on the Touch Bar (assuming your Mac has a Touch Bar and is configured to display the Hook icon)
  5. Launching Hook from a launcher (such as LaunchBar or Alfred) or other utility.

If you have used a launcher, then you are very familiar with the first option.

2. Copying a link to an item

Hook enables you to generate a link to the current file, web page or other linkable item (such as emails, tasks and other objects in apps). It puts that link in the clipboard (hence the command name: Copy Link).

  1. In an item to which you want to get a link, invoke Hook (⌘⇧SPACE) ,
  2. Select Copy Link.

And you’re done! You can now paste this link anywhere you like. You can even it “paste” it in the Hook window of another item, meaning to hook the two items together.

3. Hook-linking items together

Hook enables you to “hook” two items together. This bidirectionally link the items. After hooking two items (call them “A” and “B”) together, when you invoke Hook on “A” you will see “B” in the HOOKED LINKS section, and when you invoke the Hook on “B” you will see “A” there. That means you can then use Hook to navigate between the two items.

To hook two items together, simply

  1. open or select the first item (in the Finder or your favorite app)
  2. invoke the Hook window (⌘⇧SPACE) and select the “Copy Link” command with the ⌘C hotkey or in the title bar menu (⌃T)
  3. open a different item, and
  4. invoke the Hook window again and select “Hook to Copied Link”(⌘V) in the title bar menu (⌃T).

That’s it. The two items are now linked! The next time you invoke the Hook window on one of the items, you will see a link to the other in the window.

You can repeat this little Hook dance whenever you want to hook two items together (or drag and drop on Hook’s menu bar icon.

For instance, you can link a mail message and a PDF together by

  1. opening the email in (or AirMail, or MailMate),
  2. invoking Hook and selecting the “Copy Link” command (or copy a link from a web browser or other app that has a “Copy Link” command),
  3. opening the PDF (in Preview, Skim, or PDF Pen), or just selecting the PDF in the Finder, and
  4. invoking Hook and applying the “Hook to Copied Link” command.

Presto! The two items are now hooked (linked) together!

You can also hook-link items together by dragging & dropping one item or many items at a time on the Hook menu bar icon.

4. Accessing linked items

It couldn’t be simpler to navigate between linked items. Simply:

  1. select or open one of the items (in the app of your choice),
  2. invoke Hook (⌘⇧SPACE, or another method), and
  3. double-click on the desired link in the Hook window (or select it and press ENTER).

Check out the list of Hook’s commands.

A quick way to understand what Hook can do is to read the List of Hook’s commands (including keyboard shortcuts for them).


If you prefer, check out the screencasts demonstrating Hook.


Once you’ve used Hook this way a few times, you will better understand the benefits of Hook.

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