Automator doesn't work as expected for me

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SoftPretzel, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. SoftPretzel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #1
    Hi :)

    I'm pretty new to the Mac and am trying to use Automator to create script(s) that will switch between international keyboards. I use the English and Russian keyboards and it is tiresome switching between them, so I decided to create an Automator script to expedite the process. When I record my actions using Automator and then Run the script to test it out, Automator reports an error that says The action "Watch Me Do" encountered an error. Check the action's properties and try running the workflow again.

    Here are the steps that I am recording:

    I click the Input menu in the menu bar (the Input menu is the little flag that shows you what international keyboard you are currently using and allows you to swtich to a different international keyboard.)

    I then click the Russian - Phonetic menu item.​

    Automator seems to perform these steps correctly, but reports the error after the mouse cursor moves over the Russian - Phonetic menu item.

    Any ideas about what is causing the problem? Remember, I'm a newb when it comes to macs. Thanks for any help!

    My ultimate plan is to create Automator scripts that will switch between International keyboards and then tie these scripts to Speech commands so I can simply speak to the Mac when I want to switch to a specific keyboard.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Uh, why don't you just use the keyboard shortcut? It would be faster than using Speech.

    System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Input Menu.
     
  3. SoftPretzel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #3
    Like I said, I'm new to the Mac. But thanks; your suggestion works well.

    Even so, I'm still interested to figure out why the automator isn't working correctly for me. This is an opportunity for me to learn both automator and the speech commands.
     
  4. SoftPretzel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #4
    I think this may be the problem:

    From Mac OS X Leopard - The Missing Manual:

    "Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to Watch Me Do, too:

    The conditions on the screen when you run the action must be identical to the way they were when you recorded. If some window isn't the same size, or in the same position, or if some button isn't where it used to be, the workflow derails.

    Watch Me Do relies on the Mac's accessibility features—the same ones that form the guts of VoiceOver and other tools for the handicapped— and different programs have been "accessibilitized" to wildly varying degrees. You can record and play back steps that involve System Preferences with amazing success, for example. But operating other programs can be hopeless.

    That's why Watch Me Do may seem incredibly flaky. For best results, use keystrokes and keyboard shortcuts as much as possible."
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    I'd try using AppleScript instead. Open /Applications/AppleScript/Script Editor.app and:

    tell application "System Events"
    ....keystroke " " using command down
    end tell


    If you do want to use Automator, you can run the same script using the Run AppleScript action.
     
  6. SoftPretzel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #6
    Thanks again BlueRevolution. I guess I'm about to get my feet wet with Apple Script. Your initial idea is working well; but what better way to impress our friends than telling our computer what to do? :)
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    Bingo. :) Unfortunately, I haven't found Speech to be reliable enough to be of use. It's less impressive when you have to tell your computer what to do three times loudly and clearly before it gets the message.
     
  8. SoftPretzel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #8
    Haha! I've definitely had that problem. I've found some commands work better than others, and maybe I'm just imagining this, but it seems that the Mac learns your voice the more you attempt a command.
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #9
    It's possible, but I don't think that's the case. More likely you're learning to speak more loudly and clearly. It's training you. :D
     
  10. SoftPretzel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #10
    heheh, that's a funny way of looking at it :)
     
  11. surfdrum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Ventura, California USA
    #11
    Automator no longer resizes my photos?

    For some reason the automator program no longer works on my new Mac Pro. I add files to resize by 50%, click run and nada. I downloaded the free program 'Resize' and it did the job Automator wouldn't do. Anyone know what might be the problem with Automator?
     

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