Automator Help?

Diomedes

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 5, 2004
250
0
San Francisco
I need some assistance with Automator.

I want to create a workflow that moves selected items into a new folder, either one whose volume and name I can specify (preferably) or a generic name, like FruitMenu's "Gather Items" contextual menu.

Also, besides Apple's web site, are there any good 3rd-party Automator workflow sites? I'd like to use some workflows with Font Book, and hopefully if there are some Entourage workflows.
 

AdamZ

macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2004
140
0
Automator SEEMS great, but I can't figure out any workflows beyond the very basics. there is no help anywhere online yet, I've been looking for weeks. The problem is that there are no detailed discriptions of what each action does. I can't find a book or site, including Apples that helps either. It is so frustrating to me since when Automator was first featured, the discriptions from the screen shots were much, much longer. There needs to be a comprehensive guide to what each Automator action does. Hear that Publishers!!!?
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
AdamZ said:
Automator SEEMS great, but I can't figure out any workflows beyond the very basics. there is no help anywhere online yet, I've been looking for weeks. The problem is that there are no detailed discriptions of what each action does. I can't find a book or site, including Apples that helps either. It is so frustrating to me since when Automator was first featured, the discriptions from the screen shots were much, much longer. There needs to be a comprehensive guide to what each Automator action does. Hear that Publishers!!!?
you really need more information than what it gives you in the summary? It tells you exactly what it does. It tells you the inputs and outputs.. match them up with what you want to do and all that jazz. It's pretty self explainitory to me. Between the title of the action, which by the way is categorized by application, and the description of it in the summary, including inputs and outputs outta be enough for just about anyone.
 

Diomedes

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 5, 2004
250
0
San Francisco
DXoverDY said:
you really need more information than what it gives you in the summary? It tells you exactly what it does. It tells you the inputs and outputs.. match them up with what you want to do and all that jazz. It's pretty self explainitory to me. Between the title of the action, which by the way is categorized by application, and the description of it in the summary, including inputs and outputs outta be enough for just about anyone.
I consider myself an expert, and Automator's poorly-documented features have me puzzled. On the surface it seems simple, when when you get down to it it's not as easy as it seems. If you are a master at it, please email me...I'd hire you to write some workflow actions!
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
Diomedes said:
I consider myself an expert, and Automator's poorly-documented features have me puzzled. On the surface it seems simple, when when you get down to it it's not as easy as it seems. If you are a master at it, please email me...I'd hire you to write some workflow actions!
i'm certainly not a master. but if you asked here i could maybe make it or point you in the correct direction if it's even possible to make.

That's the biggest problem i see with automator. People just don't grasp the limits of the application. They think it can do everything, when it has a very limited set of things it can do ... for now.

It can't do looping and it can't do real conditionals. which for me stop it from being all that useful. hence i rarely use it.

Ask away. Maybe i'll write a quick tutorial on how to use it tonight. I am kinda bored.
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
Diomedes said:
I consider myself an expert, and Automator's poorly-documented features have me puzzled. On the surface it seems simple, when when you get down to it it's not as easy as it seems.
I am exactly in the same situation as you, except maybe I can live without Automator, so I juts don't use it :)
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
I downloaded an Action that resizes Photoshop files. How to make it work? I don't know. I think that first select items for resizing in Finder, open Photoshop, open these items in Photoshop, resize to say 640x480, save to a new folder on Desktop, close. But how to make it??? :mad:
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
eXan said:
I downloaded an Action that resizes Photoshop files. How to make it work? I don't know. I think that first select items for resizing in Finder, open Photoshop, open these items in Photoshop, resize to say 640x480, save to a new folder on Desktop, close. But how to make it??? :mad:
I don't have the action you have, nor do i have photoshop so i can't help specifically with that one.

The easiest way to do this though is to do the following. I imagine the photoshop action takes input as files, and outputs as files right? You'd have to install the action, and then it'll show up in the Library listing pane on the very left of the automator screen.

1. Get Selected Finder Items (Located in Finder Library)
2. Photoshop Resize Action (Located in Photoshop Library)

This should do what you want once you set all the correct settings in the automator action for photoshop. once you drag it over, it should have a bunch of options. Just set them how you want.

Save As Plug-in... from the File menu, goto finder, select your files, right click Automator->Your Workflow

EDIT: I would back up things before you try doing this. JUST to be sure. and by backing up i mean the files you'll be resizing. I'd hate to have it overwrite your files and not be able to get them back. So... copy some spares around to a temp folder, and try it on those :p
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
DXoverDY said:
I don't have the action you have, nor do i have photoshop so i can't help specifically with that one.

The easiest way to do this though is to do the following. I imagine the photoshop action takes input as files, and outputs as files right? You'd have to install the action, and then it'll show up in the Library listing pane on the very left of the automator screen.

1. Get Selected Finder Items (Located in Finder Library)
2. Photoshop Resize Action (Located in Photoshop Library)

This should do what you want once you set all the correct settings in the automator action for photoshop. once you drag it over, it should have a bunch of options. Just set them how you want.

Save As Plug-in... from the File menu, goto finder, select your files, right click Automator->Your Workflow

EDIT: I would back up things before you try doing this. JUST to be sure. and by backing up i mean the files you'll be resizing. I'd hate to have it overwrite your files and not be able to get them back. So... copy some spares around to a temp folder, and try it on those :p
Thank you for help. I'll try that now and post back if I succeed
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
Yes It worked! Thank you very much. This workflow will save me a lot of time, should I need to resize a ton of pictures.

One problem though... Do I always have to open Automator, open the specific workflow and click Run to run it??? :confused:
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
eXan said:
Yes It worked! Thank you very much. This workflow will save me a lot of time, should I need to resize a ton of pictures.

One problem though... Do I always have to open Automator, open the specific workflow and click Run to run it??? :confused:
note the "Save as Plug-in" thing i mentioned. that should allow you to save it so that when you select your items in finder, then right click, goto Automator, it should be listed there.
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
DXoverDY said:
note the "Save as Plug-in" thing i mentioned. that should allow you to save it so that when you select your items in finder, then right click, goto Automator, it should be listed there.
Oh thatnk you again, I get it now. :D