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How to Share URL or Clipboard with QR Code on Mac

Written by John

When you need to share page URLs and content on your Clipboard without revealing the actual content to others, you can do it with QR codes. A QR code can be created which when scanned can give the recipient access to the desired information you wish to share with them. By making use of QR codes, you do not need to fully disclose the information you’re sharing with the receiver and give them the ability to access it when they scan a code.

While QR codes allow the convenience of sharing the same code with multiple individuals, you may argue that a URL shortener can achieve the same goal. We agree that a URL shortener shortens the page link you wish to share with others and masks any hints the receiver may get from looking at the original link. However, shortened links with a URL shortener do not look professional and can be considered spammy. The receiver can perceive that his/her device may be at risk when opening a shortened URL. With QR codes, this is not the case. Since you’ve personally created the code with the Shortcuts app, you can assure the recipient that they are scanning a valid code for access to information.

The Shortcuts app was launched in 2018 and together with Siri allowed Apple users to create shortcuts and automate their routine tasks. The app came pre-installed on iPhones with the public launch of iOS 13. While iPhone and iPad users enjoyed automating tasks with the Shortcuts app, Mac users did not such privileges. However, with macOS Monterey, Apple is finally bringing the Shortcuts app to the Mac. You can save the time spent constantly switching between apps by creating automation rules for tasks you perform on a regular basis. You can complete in one or two clicks, tasks that require switching between multiple apps. This is a highly useful application that will make your life and work easier.

What is a QR Code and Why You Should Use Them?

QR (Quick Response) code is a type of barcode that looks simple but can store a lot of data. A QR code can be shared with others to give them instant access to information when they scan the code.

The square-shaped grid in QR codes contains information stored as pixels. A smartphone or tablet can be used to scan the codes. QR codes can be read from top to bottom and right to left and are unlike barcodes that can be only read from top to bottom.

QR codes contain only alphanumeric characters and can hold up to 4000 characters. They have grown in popularity because they are very convenient to generate and use.

The built-in QR scanners in handheld devices can scan and parse the information stored in a QR code. The information can be website URLs, characters of text, etc. By using QR codes you don’t have to disclose important information directly to recipients. Instead, they can scan the QR code to get the information.

How to Create a QR Code to Share Page URL or Clipboard on Mac

You can create a QR code to share page URL or Clipboard content on macOS Monterey using the Shortcuts app. This is a useful feature when you don’t want to disclose the information directly to others.

Follow the below steps to create a QR code to share page URL or Clipboard content.

Step 1: On your Mac, open the Shortcuts app from the Dock or Spotlight.
Step 2: Click on the ‘+’ button on the top-right corner to create a new shortcut.
Step 3: Type ‘Get Clipboard’ and drag the shortcut option to the left window to start creating your shortcut.

Get Clipboard to Create QR Code

Step 4: Search ‘Expand URL’ and drag the shortcut option to the left window.

Expand URL on Mac

Step 5: Search ‘Generate QR Code’ and drag the shortcut option to the left window.

Generate QR code from Expanded URL

Step 6: Now, search ‘Choose from Menu’ and drag the shortcut option to the left window. Replace the text field in Item 1 from ‘One’ to ‘Quick Look’ and the text field in Item 2 from ‘Two’ to ‘Save File’.

Choose from Menu

Step 7: Search ‘Quick Look’ and drag the shortcut option to the left window below the ‘Quick Look’ menu.

Quick Look

Right click on the ‘Input’ field and choose ‘Select Magic Variable’. Now, the Shortcuts app will show the variables used in every step. Click on ‘QR Code’.

Select a Magic Variable

Step 8: Search ‘Save File’ and drag the shortcut option to the left window below the ‘Save File’ menu. Click on the ‘File’ field and choose ‘Select Magic Variable’. Now, the Shortcuts app will show the variables used in every step. Click on ‘QR Code’.

Save File

Step 9: Name your shortcut as ‘Share Page URL or Clipboard with QR Code’ and add an icon and color to identify it. Click on the ‘Shortcut Details’ option in the right sidebar and enable ‘Keep in Menu Bar’. This will add the shortcut to the menu bar for easier access.

Create QR Code to Share URL or Clipboard on Shortcuts App

Close the Shortcuts app. You can now access shortcuts conveniently from the menu bar. Open the browser and visit the website you want to share with a QR code. Right-click and copy the website URL. This will move the URL to the Clipboard. Now, click on the Shortcuts app on the menu bar. You will see a drop-down with the ‘Share Page or Clipboard with QR Code’ shortcut you saved earlier.

Click on the ‘Share Page or Clipboard with QR Code’ shortcut. You will see it display two options - ‘Quick Look’ and ‘Save File’. Select ‘Save File’ and click on ‘Done’. Now choose the location you want to save the QR code and click on ‘Open’. You will see a QR code with the title ‘image.png’ in the desired location. You can share this QR code with others to give them access to the website URL.

The power of automation with the Shortcuts app promises a lot of exciting possibilities for Mac users. You can have more time for creative work by automating routine and manual tasks with shortcuts. Your Mac will follow the rules you set for shortcuts to accomplish complicated tasks in lesser time. Everything becomes easier and a lot more convenient when you start creating shortcuts to handle your tasks.

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