Does anyone actually use automator?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sweener88, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Sweener88 macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2006
    Hey everyone!

    I feel like automator is a really powerful app but iv never found a use for it! does anyone use it and have good uses for it that im missing out on? thanks! :):apple:
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    I use it to remove LSO's. Locally Shared Objects or Flash Cookies.
  3. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Never used it myself, any must have scripts for it?
  4. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    One of the links in my sig provides a use for Automator.

    Also, Automator is great if you have any software with a GUI but has to be launched from command line. Automator allows you to make a launcher with an icon so the application can be launched like any other application.

    It's uses are various.
  5. Shoesy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    Automator automated parts of my tv recording schedules for a while, but most of that is handled with Hazel and watched folders now...

    I learned the other day how to make an action that downloaded files from highlighted URL's the other day- that one keeps coming in handy for me.

    It can do a lot of things, but it is a kind of power user app I guess.
  6. laurenr, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    I use Automator for all sorts of useful things. For example, let's say I have dozens of pictures from a vacation in Hawaii, with random numerical names, and I want to transfer them to my Mac, and rename them instantly. I have setup an automator action to monitor a specific folder. Any pictures I put in that folder, an "action" will pop up, with the option to rename all files in there in consecutive order. Example, I would name them "Hawaii 2011_1 through xxx. Then, within that same workflow, a new album will immediately open in iPhoto, also allowing me to name that album. Very useful when you have tons of pics!

    Another one I have - very often, I am browsing the web on my ipad, but I want to see that link instantly on my desktop mac. I have an action, that I can email that link to a specific Dropbox folder that automator monitors, and will open the link in my default browser. It saves me the step of going to my desktop email, opening it, then clicking on the link. This works, even if I am in a remote location, far from home.
    I also use a similar folder action, whereby I can email a file to another dropbox folder, and it will immediately print whatever arrives in that folder. I just used this action, from here to print instructions at my home for our House-sitter.

    I have quite a few more, but they are at home, and I am on vacation many miles away.
  7. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I use Automator for converting images between file formats and also to launch a shell script I wrote in Terminal (it does some recordkeeping for me), using iCal to trigger when it runs.
  8. cmisener4 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    Elkhart, Indiana
    Love Me Some Automator

    I use a series of automator actions to record audio at a set time during the day using the iCal function to open a file. Do it every weekday. Has anybody had problems with the Import Audio File action since they've upgraded to Lion? My workflow gets an error with that action now and I can't figure it out!
  9. thejoshhoward macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    I love automator for setting up services that I use in Finder. I'm a designer, so I've set up a few services for converting PSDs and other layered files into jpegs, making a PDF out of multiple documents and things like that. It's really nice to not have to use any dialogue boxes and go through the process for each and every file. The services are in the right-click modal in Finder. I'd hate to live without them now.
  10. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
  11. diamondblack macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    i use automator to map my network drives upon login
  12. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Search mashable. I believe last month they had a very good article on the top 10 uses of it.
  13. shirokuma98 macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Just tried automator for ical work

    I am in need of creating employee and client schedules. Having checked numerous software and online sites none of which had what I am seeking.

    I then tried automamtor which almost does what I need. I want to input for example Shirokuma=Karen and then be able to select non-consecutive dates.

    the only way I can think is if ical events had a drop down calendar and I could click on all the dates i require without time also. But I have no idea if this is possible. I do like the automator but I am still inputing too much info . I may as well input it manually on ical. A tedious task for what i require.

    Does anyone know if I can use automator as I described?
  14. bojany macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2006

    I am new mac user and I've managed to make Automator open 5 news pages in the morning before I wake up so I have everything prepared when coffee is ready :)
    Another script opens iCal, enables Bluetooth and start syncing with my phone with one click :cool:

    Simple things but effective and make me smile every day for switching to mac.

  15. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Nope. I've never found a use for it. I haven't ever found myself getting frustrated because of having to do the same sequence of steps repeatedly.
  16. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    Never thought of a use for it. I've tried once or twice but never got anywhere
  17. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I used it yesterday, but only for a trivial image-file-format-converter, so I can change screenshots from pngs to jpegs when that's what I need.
  18. tootall macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    Quebec, Canada
    I use it to rename batch of files and transform MS OFFICE files (e.g. from XLS to XLSX)
  19. appleguy123 macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I use it to merge PDF's it was pretty easy to figure out.
  20. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm pretty sure most of that can be done via AppleScript as well.
  21. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    I use it to create backups of my contacts and my Entourage Identity. iCal runs the workflow and the files are saved to a folder with a folder action that puts the files into a dated folder. It's my own home rolled Time Machine.
  22. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I've set up a few useful scripts. For example, full-size photos from my digital camera take up 6-8 megs each, and if I want to post a picture on a site like Facebook, put it on my website, or email it to someone, it doesn't necessarily have to be so big. So I have a few Finder menu items like "Resize to 50%" (which does exactly what it says) and "Resize image" (which pops up a dialog inviting me to enter a maximum resolution).

    Very handy.
  23. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Occasionally I find Automator very useful - for example, if I've just downloaded a bunch of RAR archives, but the server is misconfigured and saves them with a .rar.txt extension, I have an Automator Action to strip the spurious .txt.
  24. redmac macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2008
    San Francisco
    I use Automator to organize my photos and videos after I download them from my camera.

    My Canon uses its own software to transfer new images to my Mac. When download is complete, movie files and photos are listed under the same folder created by the software for each date. This is when I use Automator. It searches for movie files in the Pictures folder and transfer them to the Movies folder. Then searches back the Pictures folder for empty folders and delete them (some days I only take videos and the folders created for those days should be removed).

    This is a simple but very helpful workflow (especially when you use a 32 GB memory card and wait until its full). My next step will be to use it with my new setup. I am planning to create a workflow to do the following:

    - Using Image Capture, import photos and movies to the Firewire drive that my Mac Mini is connected.
    - Sort them under Pictures and Movies folders
    - Import them to iPhoto
    - Transfer everything to my NAS (Which is a basic external HDD connected to my Airport Extreme Base Station. It has exact copies of Pictures and Movies folders but not the iPhoto Library.

    At this point all new downloads will be sorted, backed up and transferred to my Mac Mini's iPhoto library. They will also be ready to be imported to my old Powerbook's iPhoto library. I may also work on creating an Automator workflow on the Powerbook to auto import everything new in the NAS.

    I didn't start working on this little project yet but all these steps sound doable to me. Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would be helpful?

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