Working With Files in Workflow Just got Easier

Workflow has come out with another solid update. For me the tentpole feature is working with iCloud files has become both easier and more powerful.

I have a number of workflows that I use which ultimately append a line to a text file. If I stored those files in Dropbox I would be able to just pass the text into the append to Dropbox action, wait on the change to upload, and be done. But I store far more in iCloud since I have more storage there, and even more importantly saving is far faster as it's local (and pushed to the cloud in the background.)

To accomplish this previously I would retrieve the file I wanted and use a Get Text From Input action. Then I would add that text to whatever new line I wanted to add, use a Set Name to keep the file the same name and then Save File with overwriting if the file exists turned on. Once set up it worked well but it was undeniably clunky, and setting it up had a lot more options for error.

The new Append to File option lets me cut out a lot of that resulting in something that is both easier to read and set up. You can see a comparison below of the old (left) and the new (right) methods. Note how much shorter the new one is.

Another new ability is being able to delete files from iCloud. Like appending, this was something previously available to Dropbox but not iCloud. In my Master Output workflow I had toyed with the idea of using iCloud as a temporary holding spot, but ultimately rejected it because of the added steps necessary to delete those files manually at a later time. With the new Delete Files action this would no longer be the case (though in this specific case I'll be sticking with the Run Workflow action).

I think I would next ask for the ability to move iCloud files around but this update is still a huge step in the right direction, and it can be simulated by using Get File combined with Save File and then deleting the original. Like the previous appending, it is clunkier than I would like but it'll get the job done for now.

You can get the latest update to Workflow here.