While there are a lot of tools available within IDEs that make it easier to run a PICO-8 Cartridge directly from the development platform, there isn’t many instructions on the interwebs to make PICO-8 just be more friendly to MacOS in General:
Here is how you create a Quick Action, in MacOS Finder, to start PICO-8 Cartridges
- I use a Macbook 12”, the model without the fans. When running Visual Studio Code, i can reach average core temps of up to 197-205 degrees. When you are writing lua, that’s just silly overhead.
- Sublime Text is nice, but I prefer BBEdit with its instant formatting tools.
- I’m running Bitbucket, and Sourcetree to run a git repo, so i definitely want to host my dev files separately from the default folder.
- Changing the default config file to point to my dev folder is all good and well, but i still have to change the folder and then run the file.
- I want to run a PICO-8 cart directly from the Finder using a Quick Action
Add Automator and PICO-8 to Input Monitoring
You must add the ability for PICO-8 and Automator to monitor inputs in the Operating system
- Go to System Preferences from your MacOS
- Select the Security & Privacy Option
- Go to the Privacy tab at the top of the Menu
- Select the lock in the bottom left hand corner to allow for edits to be made. Please Note: You must have root access to this Mac
- After you Authenticate, select Input Monitoring from the Side Menu
- Drag the Icons for Automator and PICO-8 from your Finder->Applications Window into the Input Monitoring Window
- Make sure the the Check box is enabled next to the Dragged Application
- You have now activated Input Monitoring for PICO and Automator
Create Workflow in Automator
Now we will create the proper steps to make a Quick Action in the MacOS.
While creating a workflow in Automator usually adds the Quick Action automatically to Finder, I have found this to be not true in the latest version of the OS (Catalina 10.15). I have added the extra steps at the end to help those who do not automatically see this added in their OS.
- Open Automator from the Applications Menu in Finder (Or using Spotlight)
- Select New from the Menu
- Select Quick Action from the Choose a type for your Document menu. Confirm by selecting Choose
- Enter the Following Information in the Next Section:
- Workflow Receives Current = files and folders
- in = Finder
- Color = your preference
- Image = Choose..
- Use the Following File: PICO-8 Icon
- From the Actions side menu, type “script” in the Search Bar. Drag the option Run Shell Script to the workspace
- From within the Run Shell Script dialog, use the following values:
- Shell = Bash, zsh, and many others will suffice.
- Pass Input = as arguments
- Script = this command:
/Applications/PICO-8.app/Contents/MacOS/pico8 -run $*
- Verify that you see the same information in your screen
- From Automator, select File - Save
- Name your File What ever Nomenclature you like. I chose Open Cart in PICO-8
From Here, you should be able to see a new Quick Action Item Available from the Finder
Test Workflow in Automator (Optional)
If you want to run your workflow in Automator to make sure the process works, you simply need to pass a value to the Script Function
- From the Actions Sidebar Menu, Type “Get Specified Text” in Search
- Drag Get Specified Text into the Workspace above the Shell Script Function
- Enter the path of a known cart on your machine. An example would be:
- Select the Run button at the top of the window
- You should see PICO-8 the game you have referenced
Where is my Quick Action?!?
|I had the same issue...
Follow these next steps to ensure you can see the Quick Action in Finder. I found this was the way i need to follow for MacOS Catalina 10.15
Export from Automator
- From Automator, select File - Export
- Save File to Desktop. Name your File What ever Nomenclature you like. I chose Open Cart in PICO-8
Install Workflow to Quick Actions
- From Desktop, double click the file you just created. A dialog will appear
- Select Install
From here, you should be able to see a new Quick Action Item Available from the Finder
PICO-8 Icon - github Request - Created by really-need-an-api-key
“Use Quick Action workflows on Mac” - Automator User Guide - https://support.apple.com/guide/automator/use-quick-action-workflows-aut73234890a/mac
“Open anything in VS Code using a MacOS quick action” - Written by Jim Bennett - https://www.jimbobbennett.io/open-anything-in-vs-code-using-a-macos-quick-action/
The TL;DR edition.
Use this file to create your own Quick Action on your machine. Might need some tweaking. Just use the instructions above in case you need assistance.
Prerequisite: You must perform the steps outlined in the Add Automator and PICO-8 to Input Monitoring section in order to properly use this Quick Action.