This Week's Sponsor:


An Extensible Spotlight Replacement Built to Boost Productivity

Hazel 5 Makes the Leap from System Preferences

Hazel is a classic Mac automation tool which we last covered several years ago for version 4. This week Hazel is back with version 5, a major update which brings the tool out of System Preferences for the first time.

Previous iterations of Hazel existed as a preference pane within the macOS System Preferences app. While the interface remains pretty familiar in Hazel 5, it has finally been pulled out into its own full application.

Hazel 5’s interface combines the folders and rules views into a single multi-column layout. This change makes the app much more fluid to navigate, and the new ability to group folders makes organization far nicer as well. While editing rules you can now detach the editor view from the main window, making side-by-side editing of multiple rules possible for the first time.

Detached rule editor in Hazel 5

Detached rule editor in Hazel 5

Lists and tables can now be used in Hazel’s matching rules. This enables even more automations as you can parse through spreadsheets, CSV files, and more in search of these complicated pattern matches. Hazel supports matching against a particular column, but then making changes to values in another based on your rule’s logic. There’s some highly advanced automation potential in this feature, and it’s all easily available through Hazel’s approachable interface.

Editing a table rule in Hazel 5

Editing a table rule in Hazel 5

Hazel 5 is fully compatible with Big Sur, and runs natively on Apple silicon Macs. It’s available for download from Noodlesoft’s website with a 14-day free trial, and licenses can be purchased from the Noodlesoft store. A single-user license costs $42, or $20 to upgrade if you owned a previous version of Hazel. A family plan (up to 5 users) is also available for $65.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.