Does anyone actually use automator?

Sweener88

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 27, 2006
426
1
Im EVERYWHERE!
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:
 

munkery

macrumors 68020
Dec 18, 2006
2,217
1
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.
 
Comment

Shoesy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
718
1
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.
 
Comment

laurenr

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2008
936
31
California
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.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,730
3,839
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.
 
Comment

cmisener4

macrumors newbie
Jan 29, 2008
18
0
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!
 
Comment

thejoshhoward

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2010
76
54
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.
 
Comment

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
3,616
88
USA
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:
Search mashable. I believe last month they had a very good article on the top 10 uses of it.
 
Comment

shirokuma98

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2011
2
0
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?
:confused:
 
Comment

bojany

macrumors newbie
Dec 30, 2006
3
0
Hi.

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.

Bojan
 
Comment

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
5,956
423
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.
 
Comment

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,730
3,839
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.
 
Comment

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
Hi.

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.

Bojan
I'm pretty sure most of that can be done via AppleScript as well.
 
Comment

dianeoforegon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
907
137
Oregon
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.
 
Comment

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,044
118
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.
 
Comment

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
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.
 
Comment

redmac

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2008
182
178
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?
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.