MFC Deck Grid Creator

The MFC Deck Grid Creator shortcut works with NFC tags to create a control deck that runs shortcuts and other actions with just a tap. By creating multiple decks, you can have a single NFC tag perform multiple actions.

Physical book with NFC tags and an NFC Deck

A deck created using MFC Deck Grid Creator


Creating a Grid Deck

Follow these steps to create a grid deck.

  1. Open Shortcuts.
  2. Run the MFC Deck Grid Creator shortcut.
  3. Tap OK.
  4. Enter a deck name (e.g. NFC).
  5. Enter 20 when prompted to input how many buttons to add.
  6. Enter 5 when prompted to input the number of buttons per row.
  7. Tap Open NFC to open MFC Deck to the newly created deck.

The screenshots below show a deck with a 5x4 grid of cards.

MFC Deck Grid Creator Instructions #1

MFC Deck Grid Creator Instructions #2

MFC Deck Grid Creator Instructions #3

The cards have been assigned a tag that follows the following format:

 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5
 B1 B2 B3 B4 B5
 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5

We will use these tags in the section when defining our automation in the Shortcuts app.


Editing Cards in MFC Deck

The cards created in the new deck will be blank cards, so now you can define what will happen when you tap on them.

  1. Long-press on a card you wish to assign an action to.
  2. Choose Edit Card.
  3. Set the Action that you want to run when the card is tapped (e.g. run a shortcut, open a deck, or open a URL).
  4. If the shortcut returns a MFC Deck Result object, make sure Save Result is toggled. Otherwise, disable it.
  5. Optionally set a name, icon, and color to your cards.
  6. Tap Done to save your card.

When you have assigned all actions to the cards, your deck should look like this:

All the cards filled out with actions


Create Personal Automations

In order to bind actions to NFC tags using MFC Deck, must first add the NFC tags to the Personal Automations section of the Shortcuts app. We will be adding 20 Personal Automations that correspond to the number of NFC tags in our NFC Deck.

  1. Open Shortcuts.
  2. Tap Automation.
  3. Tap Plus.
  4. Tap Create Personal Automation.
  5. Tap NFC.
  6. Tap Scan.
  7. Hold your device near the NFC tag.
  8. Name the tag. Use A1.
  9. Tap Next.
  10. Add a Text action.
  11. Type the text you entered in Step 8.
  12. Add a Run Shortcut action.
  13. Tap Shortcut and choose MFC Deck Helper.
  14. Tap Show More.
  15. Confirm that the Text action in Step 10 is set as the input to the Run Shortcut command.
  16. Tap Next.
  17. Make sure Ask Before Running is turned off. This will allow your shortcut to run automatically when you tap on the NFC tag.
  18. Tap Done.
  19. Repeat this step for A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5.

Using Your NFC Deck

Once you have configured all of the card actions in the deck, it’s time to test. With the deck set as the current deck in MFC Deck, hold your iOS device on top of one of the NFC tags. A system notification should appear.

Running an NFC tag automation using MFC Deck

The Lights Off card is the one associated with the C4 tag. It runs a shortcut that turns off all the lights in the house.


Creating Another Deck

To quickly create another deck, you can use the MFC Deck Grid Creator shortcut or you can follow these instructions within MFC Deck. You must have Show Extra Card Actions enabled in MFC Deck > Settings > Advanced.

  1. Go to the Decks list view. You can double-tap on the Decks tab icon to quickly jump to the Decks list view.
  2. Tap +.
  3. Enter a new deck name.
  4. Set any other options for your new deck.
  5. Tap Done.
  6. Long-press on the + button or tap Add Exiting Tags.
  7. In the sheet that appears select all tags from A1-D5.
  8. Tap Add.
  9. Start configuring your cards by double-tapping them to edit. Alternatively, you can long-press on a card and choose Edit Card.

Once you have created another deck using the same tags but with different actions, running the D5 tag will run a completely different card action. All you have to do is switch to the right deck, and your NFC tag will something different. You don’t have to go into the Personal Automations tab of the Shortcuts app to tweak things.


Default Deck and Passthrough

Within each deck’s setting is an option labeled Passthrough. Enabling this setting allows calls to cards that do not exist in the deck to pass through to either the current deck or a default deck (specified by you in the MFC Deck > Settings screen).

Managing Multiple NFC Decks

Similar to changing the Watch Face on your Apple Watch, you can programmatically change the default deck periodically throughout the day using the Personal Automation feature of Shortcuts. For instance, suppose your want your NFC tags to perform different tasks depending on the time of day. You can create three decks:

  1. NFC (Morning)
  2. NFC (Afternoon)
  3. NFC (Evening)

You can then create personal automations that sets the default deck in MFC Deck to these three decks at dawn, in the afternoon, and at sunset.

Setting the default deck in a personal automation #1

Setting the default deck in a personal automation #2

When you tap on your NFC tags, the action assigned to the default deck will run. This allows you to easily assign multiple actions to run from the same NFC tag.


MFC Deck Shortcuts Gallery