Mac OS X Automator

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Mac OS X Automator

Automators interface is simple to understand. Select an action from the left hand side, choosing from the available categories, and drag it across the to the right.

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Mac OS X Automator - Keyword search

As well as displaying Actions according to their kind, you can also choose according to keyword. The keywords are contextually sensitive, so that for example, if you choose Photo and Send you can see all actions concerning sending an image file.

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Mac OS X Automator - Linking Actions

When linking together Actions, you need to have input and output matching for each step. In this case, we have a problem, as one step is expecting an image from an Action which outputs a general file. The problem is highlighted by Automator in red.

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Mac OS X Automator - Finder contextual menu

Automator is integrated into the Finders contextual menu system, so that you can send a batch of files to it for further processing from any Finder window.

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Mac OS X Automator - Modifying files

For any operation which changes the name or contents of a file, Automator gives a warning and offers to insert an additional Action creating copies of the file before you work on it.

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Mac OS X Automator - Saving workflows

Once youve completed your script (which Apple refers to as a Workflow) you can save it as a standalone application, similar to a drag-and-drop enabled applet in AppleScript.

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Mac OS X Automator - Scheduled tasks

Although the integration of shell scripts delivers plenty of potential power for administrators and advanced users, some Workflows can be very simple. This two-step script checks for anyone in your Address Book who has a birthday today, and sends them a b

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