Paste Image Into Finder

We can use pngpaste to paste images from the clipboard into a directory:

$ pngpaste "$(date +'%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S'-my-image.png)"

The Bash Script

Let’s come up with a shell script and integrate it with macOS Quick Actions service.

cur_date_time=`date +'%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S'`
dst="$dir/`date +'%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S'`-my-image.png"

echo -e "\n\n$cur_date_time: Paste Image" >> "$logfile"
echo $BASH_VERSION >> "$logfile"
echo "$dst" >> "$logfile"

/usr/local/bin/pngpaste "$dst"

Using Quick Actions

Open “Automator” → “Quick Action” then search for “Run Shell Script” and select it. Then, check:

  • “Workflow receives current” folders

  • “in”

Below that, for the script, check:

  • “Shell” /bin/bash (or something like /usr/local/bin/bash if you have a more recent version, perhaps installed with brew)

  • “Pass input” as arguments.

macos quick action paste image with pngpaste

Add Keyboard Shortcut

Open Keyboard settings → Shortcuts → Services → Paste Image and set the desired shortcut.

NOTE: I tried Cmd+p and Shift+Cmd+p and it simply would not work. It turns out if some keyboard shortcut already exists with that combination it simply won’t warn you, but it will just not work. I tried Ctrl+Option+p and then it worked.

add keyboard shortcut for the service


For some reason, a folder has to be selected, not just “entered into”. See this screenshot:

A folder has to be selected in finder to paste an image into

Then, with a folder selected, press Ctrl+Opt+p to paste the image into the selected directory.