AUTOMATOR RULES!! (Use "Jock" voice here!)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by James Philp, May 14, 2005.

  1. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #1
    This is just my personal all-singing, all dancing Automator praising thread.

    There is so much negativity out there sometimes!

    Feel free to add POSITIVE comments and describe the cool things you have done with this great App.

    For Example (very simple):
    I can now select a bunch of files, ctrl-click on them, go to automator and add spotlight comments to all of them (either replacing the comments or adding to them)
    - Great for adding stuff to files you want spotlight to find (like the location of pictures, a date eg 12/5/5 that can be later referenced by spotlight rather than the limited date: already there.)

    Please share your (positive) experiences!
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    The only thing I've used Automator for so far is repairing permissions. For that, it works pretty well. I like what little I've seen of Automator - I need to play with it some more.
     
  3. James Philp thread starter macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #3
    It can do that!? AWESOME! (Jock voice again)
     
  4. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #4
    Like I said in some other thread, Automater has become the suprise hit with me in Tiger. I always new Spotlight was gonna really rock and change the way I use my computer but I never thought I would use Automater to the extent that I have used it now. For example just renaming some of my thousands of photos has become a breeze and saves SOOOO much time. Drag em over, come up with a common name, say something like sequencial to tell which file is which and BAM! All done. Just awesome stuff! :eek: :cool:
     
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #5
    can you use automator to like, when you open like word or something, it audomatically open safari and search google for "banana" and show the search results? i would love to be able to do that
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #6
    My only 'saved' Automation is the one that was highlighted here about saving iTMS music videos as Movies. But it's pretty cool watching it running.

    I watched a demo at the Apple Store where they did the 'go to Safari URL' and download all the images which looked really easy to set up but I don't often do that so I haven't done it for myself.

    They also showed an example at the Apple Store where they went to the Safari URL, saved the text on the page, used Voiceover to read out the page and then imported it into iTunes. No idea why you'd ever want to do that but it was pretty cool seeing some of the stuff that you might want to do.

    I think once people understand the basic syntax of it, it will be come much more popular. On first glance where it's saying things about 'getting specific Finder files' there's an assumption that you need to specify them there, not just highlight them in Finder and control click them. I'm looking forward to playing around in it a little more.
     
  7. hob macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I still haven't found a use for it yet. I loaded it up and made an app called "Start Playing iTunes"... also maybe one for sending Birthday emails, but i was a little underwhelmed - is there maybe a good site for it?
     
  8. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #8
    I had a few iTunes tracks that the titles were in ALL CAPS, and it was like over 50 of them, so it would of been a pain to go through and do it all manually so I just ignored it... then I opened up Automator and I noticed it was able to CHANGE THE CASE of selected tracks in iTunes!! Sweet... took me 3 min to set it up properly, and BAM it worked beautifully!

    i've also used it many times to rename a bunch of files and such... I havnt dug too deep into Automators features, but I have a feeling I will be using this program daily soon enough...
     
  9. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2001
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Does it name them like: "WITH OR WITHOUT YOU": -> "With or Without You" or does it make it "With Or Without You"?
     
  10. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    #10
    is there an automator action to correctly name the song if all the information is in the title?
     
  11. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #11
    With Or Without You.

    You may have to go and fix a couple odd problems (like 20TH CENTURY FOX FANFARE turned to 20Th Century Fox Fanfare). but other than those couple odd problems, it works great.
     
  12. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    Oct 24, 2003
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    Tucson AZ
  13. James Philp thread starter macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #13
    AWESOME!!
     
  14. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    On a jet plane
    #14
    I've got a 'convert to PDF' Automator action going, which I'm using surprisingly often. If this Automator thing takes off Apple's gotta start thinking about shipping a two button mouse! :eek: :p
     
  15. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Breton Island
    #15
    I created a pretty nifty automation, first you select the songs you want in iTunes then run the action, it will find each file from what you have selected, copy them to the desktop, rename then sequentially (01-,02- etc) then create an archive of those files giving it the name you specify before running the action in automator. I used this action because I wanted to put some of my playlists on my girlfriend's computer, and I didn't feel like wasting 5 cds when I knew I could could fit the mp3s on one. What made this scripts so helpful was that the zip file had the proper track order for the playlist, this wouldn't happen normally, as the filenames would be numbered sequentially according to the album they are in.

    This action took me about 10 minutes to make, and then saved me about the 40 minutes it would have taken to do this manually.
     
  16. Advance The Man macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    #16
    Need simple instruction on how to use Automator.

    I want to throw the PB in the lake! I can't do one thing with automator. I am new to Apple. I watched the how to video on apple.com. The first thing I want to do is highlight say all of my April 2005 photos, go to automator and rename them April 2005-1.jpg, April 2005-2.jpg, etc. On the video they highlight it in Finder (I can do that), then they pop up a list of items with Automator as one of the options (I don't know how to do that).

    I can go to Automator manually, but no clue what to do.

    I was going to start a thread with a suggestion of requesting detailed instructions on how to do each automation. Can someone write down detailed instructions (for a Apple layman!)?
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #17
    What if the name of a file is something like "01_Intro.mp3", and I wanted to rename the album liket this: "01. Gorillaz - Intro.mp3"???

    I want to keep the number sequencing and add the "Gorillaz - " bit into the filename, and then keep the title. I do this so often that it would be great if I can automate it. It doesn't sound possible, but you never know. ;)

    Also, how do I make a Workflow act like an app? If I make a workflow and save it to the desktop, I want to be able to double-click it and have it execute without it opening up the Automator app. I want the workflow to act on its own without executing the application itself, sorta like it has been compiled and run. Right now its like I have to open XCode and running an app I wrote in there each time I want to use it. What's the point? :confused:
     
  18. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #18
    I think i may have to bring the laptop with me as i sit in line for Star Wars tomorrow to look at automator more, haven't had time to yet and thus i have yet to use it, but spotlight rocks my socks. And yes i still use dashboard to check the weather :p
     
  19. dmbfloydian macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #19
    I too am looking for other things to use with automator. i think its an awesome program with awesome potential.

    the only thing i have a workflow app created for now is for screenshots.

    it takes a screenshot after a 5 second delay, saves it to the desktop, then converts the .png to a .jpg, and trashes the .png.
    i saved it as a .app so I can put it in the Dock if i want. (cause i take screenshots often)

    but i'd love to use more, just don't know what for.
     
  20. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #20
    OK...doing this at work without automator handy but here goes:

    On the video, the reason they can right click and get the list with Automator as an option is because they've saved an earlier Automator sequence as a Finder plug in. You need to create the sequence and save it before it will appear for you.

    Open up automator and click on 'Finder' in the leftmost column. That will bring up a list of all the actions that apply to the Finder. You want the 'Get Selected Files' one to drag over into the right hand space. Bear in mind that you're not specifying the files here - when you come to use this in the Finder later, the files you're highlighting there will be the 'selected files'.

    Then you want to apply some actions to those folders (these are the things in the second left column). You want to use the Rename Files action. Drag that over into the right hand space. It may ask you if you want to copy the files or use your originals. If you say copy, you can specify which folder it copies them.

    From rename, you've got a few options - rename to date is one of the options in the drop down list. You can choose the date format and how you want the sequence numbers added. You can also choose whether you're changing the name entirely or just appending information to the existing file name.

    If you've got lots of images and they're not necessarily in the order they were taken (ie sorted alphabetically - if you have two different cameras with different file name formats), there's a sort action that you can use to re-order the files into 'creation' date order. Obviously you'd want to put this action before the renaming if you're using sequence numbers.

    If you want to add a name as well (ie Wedding April 05 - 1, Party April 05 - 1), you'd have to add in two rename steps (the name one before the date one!). If you choose the option to 'see Action as run' then when you run the sequence, it should prompt you to fill in the name that you want.

    That should be you. Save your workflow as is - so that you can tweak it if you want to (doesn't matter which folder you save it to - it will appear under 'My Workflows'. Then do a Save As and tell it you want to save it as a Finder plug-in and choose a name. Now you should be able to rightclick on those files in Finder and see the Automator > Name of Workflow as an option. (Obviously try it out on one or two files before you try it on an entire folder!)

    Good Luck!
     
  21. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #21
    Do a 'Save As' and change the dropdown from a Workflow to an Application or Finder Plug-in. Then it should run without opening Automator; it brings up the steps it is doing in the System Menu bar so that you know it's running as well as an adapted Automator icon on the Dock.
     
  22. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #22
    I'm joining the masses singing Automator's praises :rolleyes:

    Finally used it in earnest today - I was taking lots of screen shots of various websites which all had to be named by the appropriate website, sequenced and reduced to a common pixel size.

    Although I couldn't use the 'go to safari URL and take screenshot' to start with thanks to wanting various parts of windows, I was able to create an Automator plug-in which renamed/sequenced/resized/converted to JPG each image very very quickly and easily.

    It's easily saved me more than an hour of boring open/resize/save as activities.
     
  23. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #23
    I think Automator can be a very nice addition to the Mac, when I start getting used to it. Just made one plug-in so far: Zip and Mail which - obviously - zips files and makes them the attachment in a new Mail message. :)
     
  24. James Philp thread starter macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #24
    Jeez, there's SO MUCH that this little-praised program can do to help the daily lives of us Mac users.
    Apple should have a Automator plugin/app page on it's site with downloadable automations that people can use. The zip/mail thing above is so simple, yet when used regularly, it will become second nature and part of the OS for the user, who will also them take pride that they have this, and not many others do!
    Good job apple, Automator ROCKS!
     
  25. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #25
    Woah, where was that taught? Link? Search Forum isn't helping me. :/
     

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