Hints & Tips

Hints & Tips

Call Automator Workflows from AppleScript

From Mac OS X Hints: “If you need to execute an Automator workflow from an AppleScript, have the application “Automator Launcher” open the saved workflow document. More »

Hints & Tips

Sanitize Filenames for Shell Scripts

Joe Block writes: “I ran into an issue with Automator workflows that call unix shell scripts. I’ve detailed it here, but it boils down to if you have a workflow that sends filenames to the unix script, you need to add an extra Applescript step to sanitize the file names. More »

Hints & Tips

Disable Actions for Testing Workflows

If you’re working on a complex workflow and want to see how it behaves without a certain action, click on the action’s number on the left-hand side of the title bar. A pop-up menu will allow you to select Disable; the action will now be dimmed out, and the workflow will ignore it. This menu also appears as a ctrl (right) click on the title bar, and allows you to add a custom name, reorder or delete the action from the workflow.

Hints & Tips

Get Instant Access to New Actions

Tired of having to restart Automator every time you install an action to have it appear in the Library? In Automator, File > Import Actions… will install the action into ~/Library/Automator/ for you, and have it appear in the Library immediately.

Hints & Tips

Schedule Workflows via iCal

This fantastic tip for scheduling Automator comes to us from MacOSXHints, and it’s one a lot of people have asked about. More »

Hints & Tips

Broken Destination Folders

Avoid sharing workflows that contain actions pointing to custom folder locations; these absolute paths break the workflow when another user runs it. Instead, select Show Action When Run so the user can choose the proper destination folder (or indicate how they should modify the workflow).

Hints & Tips

Installing Actions and Plug-ins

Actions should be installed in either: /Library/Automator/ or ~/Library/Automator/. Create the “Automator” folder if it doesn’t exist. They will appear in Automator under the appropriate application name. More »

Hints & Tips

Drag and Drop Files to Automator

Drag-and-Dropped files or folders to Automator will automatically appear as “Get Specified Finder Item” Actions. This is helpful if you want to make a quickie one-time workflow on specific files, or you want to test out a workflow without having to save it and test repeatedly on Finder items.