Input Tags

Input Tags


When constructing a URL in Launch Center Pro, you can insert special input tags in place of static text. When the action is executed, Launch Center Pro will prompt you for the content you wish to use (if needed), and insert it into the URL automatically.

Available Tags

Choose a tag to jump to documentation:

  • [prompt] - Displays a text input prompt
  • [list…] - Displays a list of preset options to choose from
  • [contact] - Displays a contact picker for your address book
  • [dropbox] - Displays a Dropbox file browser and outputs a link or text content
  • [clipboard] - Outputs the text contents of your clipboard
  • [gif] - Displays an animated GIF picker and outputs a direct link to the image
  • [scan] - Displays a QR/barcode scanner and outputs the code data
  • [action…] - Outputs the url of any other action in Launch Center
  • [textexpander…] - Expands a TextExpander snippet (if installed)

Input Tag Encoding

In 2.3.1, we introduced automatic input tag encoding. You should not need to worry about how a tag will be encoded in the vast majority of cases. If you run into problems, take a look at our 2.3.1 Release Notes for more information.

Prompt [prompt]

Perhaps the most common input tag is [prompt]. At its most basic, a prompt can be inserted via the keyboard toolbar when editing an action.

Hidden behind the simplicity of [prompt] are a few powerful attributes which can change the behavior of the prompt itself.

Custom Titles

By default, a prompt’s title will be set to the name of the action or app from which it was launched. In some cases, it may be useful to specify your own title – especially if you use multiple prompts in a single url.

# Add a ":" folowed by the title  
[prompt:Search Terms]  

… and you get …

Adjusting the Keyboard Behavior

Prompts can be set to use one of the various alternate keyboards in iOS, or perform in special ways. To use these types and options, simply specify the keyword after a dash:


System Keyboards

  • num
    • Shorthand for decimalpad
    • decimal available
  • numberpad
    • no decimal available
  • url
    • Direct .com and “/” access
  • phonepad
    • Optimized with special phone characters.
  • namephonepad
    • Normal text layer, but the number layer is like numberpad instead of a usual keyboard.
  • email
    • Limited to the valid email characters, with quick @ access, etc.
  • twitter
    • Fast @ and # access

For screenshots and more details about the various keyboard layouts, here’s a great post.

Special Options

  • return
    • By default the bottom-right button is “Launch”. With this option, you will instead of a Return option which allows for line breaks.
  • list
    • Enables the Return key. Each line will be considered an item in a list. The resulting value will be a comma concatenated list. (Great for certain todo/list apps)

Disable Autocorrection and Autocapitalization

By default, prompts have autocorrection and capitalization enabled. To disable, simply use two “:” like so:

[prompt::]              // Without Title  
[prompt::My Title]      // With Title

Lists [list]

Think of it like a [prompt], but for multiple choice. This can be very useful in a workflow where you commonly choose between a handful of options. They can also be accessed via the toolbar input button:

# With a title  
[list:Choose a person|David|Justin|Brock]
      ^Title         ^Pipe starts the options  

# Without a title  
      ^ You still need an opening |  

# You can specify a value different than the tile by using a "=".  

Contact Picker [contact]

The contact picker allows you to choose an email or phone number from any contact in your address book, and the value is inserted into your URL.


Some apps (like WhatsApp) work off of an “abid”. This is the Apple-specific ID of a contact in your address book. To get this ID, use [contact-abid] like so:

whatsapp://send?text={{Howdy Partner!}}&abid=[contact-abid]

Dropbox [dropbox]

The [dropbox] tag allows you to get a link to any file on Dropbox, or direct content from any (reasonably sized) text file. (Launch Center Pro does even more with Dropbox: Learn about Dropbox Actions)


Get the contents of a text file


With either of these options, a Dropbox browser will allow you to select the file you’d like to use as soon as you execute the action. By default, this starts at the root of your Dropbox folder. If you would like to have the browser start at a specific folder, you may do so by specifying the path like so:

[dropbox:Photos/My Funny Pictures/]  
[dropbox-text:Text Snippets/Responses/]  

To take that a step further, you can directly link to a file as well. This will bypass the Dropbox browser entirely, downloading the file link (or contents) automatically. Here is an example:

[dropbox:Photos/My Funny Pictures/Cats.gif]  
[dropbox-text:Text Snippets/Responses/thanks.txt]   

While the basic example is very straightforward, you are able to do some very complex tasks with a bit of work. Take this example:

Clipboard [clipboard]

With the [clipboard] tag, any text on your clipboard will simply be inserted into the URL.

GIF [gif]

Thanks to our friends at Giphy, Launch Center Pro can help you find that perfect animated GIF. When a [gif] tag is run, a GIF browser will be displayed. Simply pick a GIF, and a direct link will be inserted into your URL.

[gif]               # Opens the browser with "Trending" GIFs  
[gif:search term]   # Opens the browser with a predefined search  
[gif-id:giphyid]    # Allows for direct access to a GIF. You can find the ID on a GIF detail page.

QR and Barcode [scan]

You can scan any QR or barcode directly within Launch Center Pro. Simply place a [scan] tag wherever you want the outputted data placed. Examples:

# searches Amazon by barcode[scan]    

# copy a code to your clipboard  

Action URL [action]

Place the ID of any action after a colon. The tag will expand at runtime and the corresponding url will be inserted into your URL.


You will find an Action ID label at the bottom of every action’s Edit screen. You can tap the label to copy it to your clipboard.

launch://x-callback-url/speak?text={{Hello master!}}&x-success=[action:15]  

This is especially useful if you have a common follow-up action that you use for x-callback-url. There is no longer a need to go through each action to edit the x-success values… simply edit the source action and you’re done!

TextExpander [textexpander]

To use TextExpander snippets, you must have the TextExpander iOS app installed.

Simply put your snippet in the tag like this:


When run, it the expanded content will be inserted into the URL.

Updating your Snippets

Visit Settings > TextExpander and tap the Update button to update snippets within Launch Center Pro. You’ll need to do this anytime your snippets are updated in TextExpander. (Due to Apple restrictions, they are unable to update automatically.)

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