Quick Tip - CFML Documentation on Mac

I’m frequently digging up documentation for various CFML functions. The key, for me, is the convenience and ease with which I can integrate these lookups into my workflow. There are a few ways to do this, depending on your preferences, but I’m happy with the process I’ve settled on, as it provides fast access to both Adobe’s ColdFusion documentation and cfdocs.org.

Adobe Documentation

Adobe’s ColdFusion documentation has improved, of late; however, I find navigating the website difficult. Rather than accessing it directly, I find using the offline docset viewer Dash for Mac far more convenient and direct.1. Check a few boxes in Dash, and you’re good to go:

Select docsets in Dash

Accessing the docs can be streamlined even further by incorporating Alfred. In Dash, add the Alfred integration:

Alfred Dash integration

And now you can quickly search the docs for functions by prefixing your Alfred search with ‘cf’:

Searching ColdFusion documentation in Dash with Alfred

CFFunction Dash documentation

CFDocs.org

I’ve found myself shifting from Adobe’s documentation to using the community driven cfdocs.org. There are a few reasons for this: 1) The script documentation is more extensive, 2) there are more examples, 3) and the examples helpfully link to trycf.com, so I can run them right in the browser, if necessary. The easy-to-use URL format (cfdocs.org/ function-or-tag-name) makes it simple to hit the tag or function I’m looking for.

I was just hoping for a slight more streamlined workflow, more akin to the Dash process that I use for the official Adobe documentation. As Pete Freitag explained, you can add a custom search in Chrome for cfdocs.org. This was good, but it’s actually possible to add the search directly to Alfred, basically replicating the Dash workflow.

In the Alfred preferences, under the “Web Search” tab, you can “Add a Custom Search”. So, I added the new search URL: http://cfdocs.org/{query}, titled it CFDocs, and set the keyword to cfd.

Add a custom cfdocs.org search to Alfred

Once I saved that, I basically had a duplicate workflow for accessing the cfdocs.org docset; Alfred keyword -> documentation, from wherever I’m working.

CFDocs.org search in Alfred for cffunction

CFDocs.org for cffunction

I’ve been happy with the result; using the combination of Alfred and Dash / cfdocs.org, I’ve got fast access directly to the documentation I need, whenever I need it.


  1. Unsurprisingly, it provides far more than just ColdFusion documentation; there were over 150 docsets the last time I checked; and they’re kept up to date. I believe it’s also possible to manually add the Lucee documentation. The app is paid, and whether you think it’s worth it probably comes down to your general attitude towards paying for software.