Gear Menu

The Gear menu is available on the far right side of the Hook window Title bar. It is hidden until you hover over it. To access it, click on it or type ⌃G. Whereas the Title menu and the Link menu are context-sensitive, operating on the title item and selected link, respectively, the Gear menu contains global commands (that do not vary as a function of the Title item or link-selection). The gear menu can also be accessed from the menu bar icon.

The Gear menu contains the following commands.

Copy a New Unique ID, and Copy a Search Link from Clipboard (Pro features)

Hook Pro provides a couple of advanced user-friendly features that enable you to link to files of apps that do not adequately support automation (as described). More generally, they enable you to index and search for arbitrary content on locally mounted storage.

The commands are:

  • ⌘U to Copy a New Unique ID
  • ⇧⌘S to Copy a Search Link from Clipboard

Suppose you’re writing a document in a (hypothetical) Markdown editor called SansScript which has no automation. While editing a particular Markdown document, source.txt you want to be able to quickly access or refer to another document, target.txt, that you keep moving around. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Invoke Hook,
  2. ⌘U to "Copy a New Unique ID", which might look something like 6O4L7-GR8ZB
  3. Paste this anywhere in target.txt (e.g., in its Spotlight comments, or in a Markdown comment such as <!-- 6O4L7-GR8ZB -->),
  4. Invoke Hook again,
  5. ⇧⌘S to “Copy a Search Link from Clipboard”, which yields hook://search/?q=6O4L7-GR8ZB.
  6. Paste this in source.txt, or anywhere else from which you want to be able to access target.txt.

When you invoke a hook://search/?q=6O4L7-GR8ZB link, macOS invokes Hook, which “serves” (responds to) this link. Hook in turn executes a Spotlight search. It will find all instances of 6O4L7-GR8ZB (or whatever you put in the search query.)

Of course, you might have been able simply to selected target.txt in the Finder, and invoke Hook from there. But, unfortunately, many apps do not even provide a “Show in Finder” command. (Hook provides this command for all compatible File-based apps.) And even if they do, you might prefer to paste the “ID” in the document itself, because it’s faster.

Some other ways of using these links:

  • Some editors even have an “open URL” command that you can use with hook:// links, including hook://search links. For instance, in BBEdit users can control-click anywhere in a URL which evokes a popup window containing “Open URL”. Selecting that command opens the link, which executes the search.
  • You can also use these links in launchers and Spotlight. (Like any other hook:// URL, you can paste them in LaunchBar, for instance).
  • You can paste them in .hook files (“Hook files”).

Another benefit of planting ID’s in files is that this enables finer grained linking. (We intend to provide other syntactic sugar for other types of links to enable this.) You can then search for the ID (e.g., 6O4L7-GR8ZB) in the file itself (e.g., in target.txt).

Bottom line: any macOS file can become a hook://search link target. Let your imagination run wild, because the uses of this feature are innumerable.

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