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Discussion in 'macOS' started by PowermacG5, May 12, 2005.
What does automator do? And why do I care?
I created my first automator script yesterday. Not much, all it does is remove the Original pictures from my iPhoto Library. iPhoto saves a copy of any photo you edit in the Originals folder incase you want to revert back. I pretty much like to tweak most pictures so I had a ton of photos in these folders. I made a script that goes in there and removes just the jpegs because in iPhoto 5, it keeps the videos in there as well. It was really easy to make and it saved about 300mb on my hard-drive.
I created a script in about 2 mins that allows you to attach spotlight comments to selected files. I installed it as a plug-in to the finder, so it's right there in the contextual menu!
If that ain't useful I dunno what is!
Apple wouldn't include it if it wasn't useful.
It should just record mouse movement
how would that work? What if windows moved and such? What if you want to rename things? What if you want to do something else with your Mac while the automator is running? Anyone who writes computer programs will tell you there are faster ways of getting things done than moving the mouse!
How about if you import a load of pictures from a digital camera? They are all called DSC_0019 or something. You can take these images, sort them by date, and then rename them sequentially, or by date or anything, eg Holiday 1, 2 etc etc.
Sound useful yet?
I have found Automator extremely useful.
I have made a workflow that looks in a folder (I put images in it), renames them and numbers them sequentially, converts them to JPEG, adds a user specified Spotlight comment, attaches them to an email addressed to a particular person with default comments in the message body and then moves the images into another folder for easy reference.
I will be using this script multiple times daily as I need to convert medical scan images and send them via email for remote reporting. The name of the file and the Spotlight comments are essential as I frequently need to recall images for further review. When you search for the Patient name (the new filename made by Automator) or type of scan (Spotlight comment), Spotlight will display the relevant information - instantly!!
Before this script, I was spending up to 1-2 minutes - depending what else I was doing at the time. Do this 20 times a day and there is 20 - 40 minutes wasted.
With this workflow, the whole process takes about 10 seconds!! Automator has saved me about 15 - 20 minutes a day!!! Now I can take a longer lunch break
Aside from security concerns, could automator go to a website, 'press' the appropriate link, enter my username and password?
This is an Action that I'm looking for also...I think if you can get the appropriate URL you should be able to feed that into the existing Safari actions. I'm trying to create a workflow that will log into my online banking and quickly get my account balance. But, I'm having trouble finding how to call the logon function in my online banking.
I think you are missing the point of recording mouse movements...a step up from true scripting languages are macro languages. Macros were typically created within applications like MS Word, Excel--even way back to Lotus 1-2-3. Macros would basically record whatever the user did from the time they started recording to when they ended. In that time the user would do a series of operations that they would like to save into a macro.
So if every day it is your job to open 100 text files and print them you could write a macro that would record what you did and then save it. Then you could just "run" the macro, it would open and print each file. You could go have some coffee.
Microsoft took macros to the next level in Excel 5 when they created Visual Basic for Applications. Not only could you record macros, which would generate all the code but you could also directly write VB code and create forms for the UI.
I'd be very surpirsed if we don't get recording capability in a future version of Automater. Automator is awesome and very simple to use but imagine if you could just tell automator--start creating code now, then you go and do some actions in iPhoto, iTunes, etc and then you stop recording and automator has created the workflow.
Once you have made your workflow, you can do file>save as Plug-In.. and then specify the app you want it to be a plug-in for! - Neat stuff!
Then, in finder, you can ctrl-click on a item go to "Automator" and get a list of the "workflows" you've made. Yum!
All i know is I tried it in AppleScript and it did not work!
I do know the merits of visual basic and alike.
I was going to hold off longer moving to 10.4, but blodwyn's link to Apple's site prompted me to go out there and see what Automator is all about.
I then found this link:
Re-naming Finder Items
Giving an exmaple of renaming multiple photos.... very nice and useful.
Of course, allowing a rename of the actual file under iPhoto 5 would be nicer... but this is incentive enough to consider an upgrade.