What do you use the Automator for?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jojoba, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I haven't really used it yet, so I'm looking for tips on how to maximise its potential. All ideas/experiences appreciated.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    All I have ever used it for is to add "services" to the right click menu. I added one that allows me to select multiple PDFs, then click and they are combined into one PDF file.

    If you search for Automator services you can find more ideas on this.
  3. printz macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2012
    I've used Automator most notably to mass-download pictures or other files from webpages (hooray for botting ;) ) and to mass-decompress ZIP files (sometimes with the help of StuffIt Expander).

    I've found Automator unreliable when it comes to filtering files, always returning 0 results. I suspect it's the crappy requirement to index the files first. I guess I'm supposed to use AppleScript/Python/Ruby/Bash for the more complex tasks, but it requires learning them.
  4. Tech686239 macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
  5. kryten2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2012
    Why don't you open it to see what actions are in Automator that can help you automate things you do on a regular basis. Combined with the Run Applescript and Run Shell script actions you can create some pretty cool workflows, apps, droplets, folder actions or services.

    Info : http://macosxautomation.com/automator/index.html
  6. Beau Nash macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    York, UK
    Batch renaming, combining PDF pages, automated upload folders, bulk document encryption, converting images to PDF, extracting images from PDFs, making lots of images into one PDF contact sheet, extracting just the text from PDFs...

    Once you get into it, it really is quite a nifty little app. And it's also its own reward when the script you produce is attached to a folder and works exactly as intended.
  7. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks, everyone, for ideas and input! So, this thing looks quite powerful. I'm going to clear some time next week to experiment with it and see how it can improve my workflow.
  8. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I batch converted old Word *.doc files to the new *.docx format.
  9. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    So, I've started experimenting with batch renaming of files, automatic back up of some of my folder structures to DropBox, and batch transfer of photos from DropBox to iPhoto. Also discovering the joys of Hazel for automated tidying of various folder. Automation is cool :cool:

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