writing fish functions
Use fish (shell for mac) to create your own functions, for example, this shortcut to hide all your desktop icons.
This tutorial walks through how to do create your own command line function for fish shell, by creating a function to quickly hide all the icons on your desktop.
I create functions when I find myself looking up how to do something I've researched/learned before. This function came about as a way to "turn off" the desktop, hiding everything but the background image. 99% of the time it is fine to have the desktop off, but there are occasional reasons where I want to see it (seeing mounted CDs, for example).
creating the "toggle desktop" function in fish
1. create your function file
Create a new file for your function in the fish functions folder. Name this file what you want the function to be called. In this case, the function will be called
Nano is a basic text editor to edit files inside the command line. If you'd prefer, you can use any text editor to edit the file, just make sure you save it into that folder.
2. write your function
In this case we look for an argument on the function and switch based on the argument. We also give helpful hints if they don't get the syntax right.
function toggle_desktop if set -q argv switch $argv case off echo 'turning desktop off' defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false killall Finder echo "your desktop is now off" case on echo 'turning desktop on' defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true killall Finder echo "your desktop is now on" case '*' echo 'hmm, did you mean "on" or "off"?' end else echo 'did you mean "toggle_desktop on"?' end end
3. save your function
ctrl-x (quit), y (save)
4. open a new terminal window
Fish won't pick up your changes until you open a new terminal window. This can be very confusing when you are debugging!
Your desktop should turn off. Great!
Curious about other functions fish has? Enter
functions to see a list.
functions + <function-name> will show you how it works and where it is defined, useful for copying!
This function works fine as it is, but an enhancement would be to toggle automatically based on the current state, so that the user doesn't need pass an argument, i.e. if it's on, guess that you want to turn it off.
published jan 13, 2019
by amanda mcglothlin, cofounder of hq.network