How do you use Automator?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iBunny, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I have never ever used this.. I cannot for the life of me figure out how it works.

    What I want to accomplish. I have Hundreds of Pictures in Hundreds of folders. I copied these from my Windows Machine.

    What I want to do with Automator (If its at all possible)

    Have it search ever folder, move the Thumbs.db file (windows auto generated) to the trash. Then, Move all the Pictures into a single new folder.

    Is this possible? HELP! I thought this Mac stuff was supposed to be easy
  2. Burgess07 macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2007
    Watertown, WI
    1. Create a folder with whatever name you want (I chose Windows pics)
    2. Make a workflow something like this

    Picture 2.png
  3. iBunny thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    THank you sir for your assistance :)

    Do people find this user friendly? They really should have more help for this because its very complicated but seems like such a powerful tool
  4. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Automator looks too confusing. Haven't tried it seriously yet.
  5. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Berklee College of Music
    I think Automator is one of those apps that can't really be made too simple. It's not overly complicated, as the set-up and such is pretty simple, it's just knowing the correct method of execution to obtain the desired results is pretty annoying. I've never figured it out, nor am I going to try.
  6. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    What you are asking for is akin to asking for the safety guard on a chainsaw to be removed to make it easier to use...
  7. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    automator seems pretty self explanatory to me

    open automator

    click on type of automation you want done

    drag specific action to the work area

    repeat until satisfied

  8. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    As far as "Scripting for Dummies," you can't get much simpler than Automator. Its only problem is limited depth of actions. I find it doesn't even get close to what tasks I need. Unfortunately, they're in AppleScript territory.

    Now, if you could record an AppleScript process and save it as an Automator action, that would be tres' cool. That, and some conditional actions (if-then), a few Boolean arguments (and/or/not), then we'd have a very powerful tool. More of a Visual AppleScript, I guess.
  9. imfrog2002 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2007
    I usually only use it for repetitive tasks. I use the Record feature, and it does a great job. ;) I love the cheater's way.
  10. acxz macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2007
    Apple needs to make more of its applications compatible with the record function in Automator. Currently the only big one is Finder.

    You might want to try looking into AppleScript. It's a very simple 'programming' language which can do far more than Automator.
  11. Matari macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Re Automator - I thought this was something that I would really like, but even though I have played with it a couple of times, the learning curve seems too steep if you are not serious about using it.
  12. DARKJ3DI macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2008
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    yeah use applescript instead. its handy for finding duplicate songs in itunes and merging multiple windows in camino.
  13. macmikey2 macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2008
    West Chester, PA
    Automated Workflows

    This guy is an AppleScript and Automator genius. Check his site as well for help and references:
    Not affiliated, just know him from a training class he taught at.
  14. stevenson-kaats macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2013
    God help me, I belong to MENSA, but this is just rubbish !

    AUTOMATOR !!! Are they taking the whizz ? There is nothing easy or automatic about Automator. It is long-winded , complicated, nontuitive and to top it all, they've employed a savant to explain it ! I'm certain that if life was long enough to learn how to work the thing and better still, find a purpose for it, I could explain it really blooming easily to pretty much anyone.... but life's too short and if I only do one thing at the time on my computer, that's because I only got one thing ever to do at any given time. People whom I know do not want to see vast swathes of dull, tedious pictures of my wretched face trolling through it's turgid little existence any more than I have any interest in theirs. So therefore the need to automate megabytes of data in my library of uninterestingness just never materialises. Ditto the rest of everything. If I went to an office and daily needed to produce sticky labels for my millions of eBay customers who bought their paperclips individually... maybe it might help ? The trouble is that there are much better alternatives already available that do not include the need to faff about to make the simple things much more complicated than they were before you started. I'm certain the geeks amongst us will roll their eyes at my gormlessness and just KNOW that I'm talking horse-pooh... the only trouble being their inability to tell anyone other than their mates how to work this silly gadget. It is a certain fact that even the easiest, simplest things can be obfuscated by technobabble and
    made wholly indecipherable to all other beings. Speaking as one such 'other' being, I remain entirely bemused and puzzled as to what the little robot actually does or how to switch it on to make it help me..... from the sounds of it, even the sturdiest of Mac user is equally dumbstruck. I thought that Macs were supposed to be 'intuitive'... when did that stop being a prime objective ? :eek:


    No..... no, no it really isn't in the same league as playing with chainsaws! Chainsaws are genuinely dangerous.... Automator is in the category of 'stupid', not 'dangerous'. ( it might also be true that I inhabit the first category too since I'm not particularly dangerous either ?) :confused:
  15. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    i use it to rename downloaded files in bulk. I haven't needed it for much else, but its so simple once you just tinker with it for a while.

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