what kinds of things do you all use automator for?

MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2005
769
15
CA
i've had my ibook for a month now and still don't really have any ideas on what to use it for. any suggestions or personal experiences?
 

Jay42

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2005
1,357
498
Yeah, I've never opened it actually, but I am curious. I understand what it does, and vaguely how to use it, but I can't think of any real world applications. Probably a lot of stuff having to do with photos.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
I've got two workflows that find and copy files out of iTunes/iPhoto respectively and save them to my desktop without me having to open either application - makes it much easier if I want to tinker with the file in another application without wrecking the original.

I've got a one to convert image files to different types and resize the image.

I've got one for renaming several files more quickly as a Finder plug in. I've also got one that renames images and imports them straight into iPhoto which I use when importing images from my camera through Image Capture since it allows me to have filename like 'Birthday 001' etc rather than DSC23445.jpg

And lastly, I've got one that iCal runs every morning at 8am and sends out a birthday message to anyone whose birthday it is that day.

I've also set up a few temporary ones to pull down files from the web and save them in appropriate places or to remove strange characters from file names etc.
 

mcmillan

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2004
318
0
I use it to quickly convert or resize pictures. Nothing else, I haven't really found any useful workflows.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
Applespider said:
I've got two workflows that find and copy files out of iTunes/iPhoto respectively and save them to my desktop without me having to open either application - makes it much easier if I want to tinker with the file in another application without wrecking the original.

I've got a one to convert image files to different types and resize the image.

I've got one for renaming several files more quickly as a Finder plug in. I've also got one that renames images and imports them straight into iPhoto which I use when importing images from my camera through Image Capture since it allows me to have filename like 'Birthday 001' etc rather than DSC23445.jpg

And lastly, I've got one that iCal runs every morning at 8am and sends out a birthday message to anyone whose birthday it is that day.

I've also set up a few temporary ones to pull down files from the web and save them in appropriate places or to remove strange characters from file names etc.
Can you post the one you use for image renaming? Posting it in a zip file is the best way to do it on the forums.

I started this same thread basically a few days ago... here it is...
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/145869/
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
Applespider, does the image resize one change actual dimensions of the picture, or do you mean file size? if it is either would you mind sharing?
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,829
223
Bergen, Norway
Don't use it too much but I have a Zip & Mail Finder plugin, that lets me compress a number of files and attach the archive to a new mail message. Then I have one plugin that renames some ics files, which for some reason OS X insists on naming vcs, thus making iCal reject them, back to ics and add them to iCal.

I also made a test that will open iTunes and start my favorite playlist (as an answer to a question here at MR), but I've never actually used that one. ;)
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,068
70
Same as Applespider- I use one finder plug-in to batch rename a selected group, batch add spotlight comments, and then add to iPhoto.

I haven't built this one yet, but just glancing at the actions, I love the idea of taking a bunch of images and automatically generating a PDF contact sheet.

Or even the 'combine PDF pages' action would probably be useful.
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,068
70
OK- I just tried the 'make contact sheet' thing and it's slick. I can see myself using that a lot.
 

hyperpasta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
680
0
New Jersey
Automator was the big dissapointment in Tiger

Automator is the one feature that didn't live up to the hype. It's slow and useful noly in special situations.
 

TEG

macrumors 604
Jan 21, 2002
6,573
51
Langley, Washington
I was creating a bunch of images in Appleworks for the Washington State Highways Wikipedia Project, and saving them as gif's through Preview. However thanks to preview's very poor Save Dialog (i.e. it does not remember the last place you saved), I used automator to save me time.

I'd save the images in Documents, with the name being the route number, then run my automated task to add the "WA-" to the front and move them to a folder in the Pictures folder. It was nice.

I'd like to see Automator be able to take arguements like a script for renaming. Because, I organize my Music Video Collection by song title, and when I get them they are Artist first. I'd like to have an automator task that switches the title and artist around the "-" and remove anything in "()". But alas I'm doing it by hand, because I don't feel like writing the script.

TEG
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
922 said:
Automator is the one feature that didn't live up to the hype. It's slow and useful noly in special situations.
I think it can be very useful, when used properly. The program itself may not be that fast, but when you make plugins for different apps it can be very useful. I just think most people haven't realized how to use it yet.
 

hayduke

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2005
1,177
2
is a state of mind.
As a launcher...

I have very few application set to launch at login because I find it very frustrating to wait for things to launch when you are trouble shooting, rebooting, etc. I've written an Automator script that launches a specific set of applications. That way I can launch my work applications when I'm at work and my home applications if I'm at home. It's not a huge time saver, but launching a single "app" does streamline things.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Automated batch downloading of pr0n. Trying to fill 250GB is no easy task.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
PlaceofDis said:
Applespider, does the image resize one change actual dimensions of the picture, or do you mean file size? if it is either would you mind sharing?
I'll post the image renaming mini-app later when I'm back at my Mac. It's stored as an app so that Image Capture can automatically act on it - ie download these images and then do x to them.

The image resize does both - it changes the dimensions of the image and the file size although it doesn't get it quite so small as Photoshop does. Dimensions wise, I have it set to ask me what pixel size I want when it runs although you can set it up to have it a fixed size each time. It will run the pixel size along the largest edge.

I can share that too - I'll write something up that will allow people to follow through what they're doing so that if people want to tweak them, they can rebuild them for what they want.
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,068
70
Heb1228 said:
Why don't you post it on here for others to try?
Because it's just one action, not a bunch of actions strung together. It's the 'make contact sheet' action under PDF, or preview, or whatever. (I'm not on that computer right now) I just saved it as a workflow and it is in my finder right-click menu now. (Still a little confused about this part though- where it saves and why, the difference of workflow/plug-in, etc.) I'm still kind of a newb at automator but so far I have nothing bad to say about it except it takes six bounces on a dual 2.3 to launch.
 

ldurden

macrumors newbie
Jan 3, 2008
4
0
hayduke how do you do this?

I have very few application set to launch at login because I find it very frustrating to wait for things to launch when you are trouble shooting, rebooting, etc. I've written an Automator script that launches a specific set of applications. That way I can launch my work applications when I'm at work and my home applications if I'm at home. It's not a huge time saver, but launching a single "app" does streamline things.
I would like to do this same thing... I want to click one file and it open every app I use for the day at work and also put them in the appropriate Spaces I predefine (under Leopard).

Thank you for your time in advanced.

l.durden™ :apple:
 

heatmiser

macrumors 68020
Dec 6, 2007
2,431
0
Azureus downloads torrent files to my desktop. I couldn't find a way to have the program eat them afterward (the way Transmission does), so I wrote a script in Automator to delete torrent files after my confirmation. I need to tweak it some more (it pops up whenever non-torrents appear on the desktop as well), but it gets the job done without much hassle.
 

Mydel

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2006
731
441
Sometimes here mostly there
Yeah its one of those applications I dont really use. Its got potential but I've never had time to get into it. Frankly Im not sure if I was using it correctly. But I believe with time it will be more and more popular.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,185
1,615
5045 feet above sea level
Yeah its one of those applications I dont really use. Its got potential but I've never had time to get into it. Frankly Im not sure if I was using it correctly. But I believe with time it will be more and more popular.
eh i dunno. this thread is over 2 years old and people still dont know how to use it really
 

iSaint

macrumors 603
After being a Mac user for nearly four years, I finally opened Automator up to change dimensions of some photos. The idea is to create an ideal size for a digital photo frame. It was handy because it completed the task of changing 200 pics in a matter of minutes. It also helped by suggesting it add a workflow to make a copy of chosen pics before changing them.

There are many other workflows set up in the program that are fun to check out.

eh i dunno. this thread is over 2 years old and people still dont know how to use it really
Hah! I missed that!
 

DaveF

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
735
2
NoVA
I wrote a Workflow to pre-process video files:

* Copy MPG files from my digital camera
* Convert them to H.264 with MPEG StreamClip
* Import them into iMovie 08
 
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