Forum Question: Widespread Ignorance of Automator


Am I crazy or is this the most underused program in OS X? Do most users who want to accomplish things more quickly on Mac go directly to scripting? Is Automator unreliable in some way?

There is a site called, but it’s not updated anymore.

I’ve tried to use it for a few (seemingly) simple tasks but haven’t found many online resources.


— Chris

Comments: 4 Responses to “Widespread Ignorance of Automator”

    10/23/09 @ 8:13 am

    Interesting subject. I don’t think it is ignorance, but usefulness. I’m as much of a power Mac user as you’ll find. And I’m very familiar with scripting shortcuts and automating tasks for Web sites. Yet, I have trouble finding real uses for Automator. In fact, several times I have set out to do a video podcast on Automator only to change my mind after not being able to come up with a useful example
    Batch renames? How often does the typical Mac user really need that?
    So, what would you use Automator for? Let’s start a discussion!

      10/23/09 @ 3:32 pm

      For example, I have a MacBook Pro and I shuttle it back and forth from work to the house daily. At work I use a notebook stand and second monitor, a USB keyboard and a Bluetooth Mighty Mouse.

      The MBP never recognizes the mouse when I open the lid and wake up the machine. I have to manually turn off bluetooth, then turn it on again to force mouse recognition.

      So I thought I’d try to use Automator to do this for me. I recorded these actions and even used the arrow keys and “return” to select the options in the menu. The action seemed to record well and I saved it as an application (I use Quicksilver so I wanted to be able to launch it quickly when I woke the machine up when I got to work).

      I can’t get this to work successfully – the action plays through to the point that Bluetooth turns off but it never turns on. I’ve tried tweaking it a few ways (waiting longer for the results while recording, etc.), but it won’t work.

      I’ve found several people who have the same problem with mouse recognition in various forums, so I would think finding a quick solution with Automator would be valuable, but so far it hasn’t worked.


        10/23/09 @ 3:43 pm

        I don’t think Automator works well when it needs to rely on mouse location. You probably can get that to work, perhaps with some delays built in between actions.

    12/2/09 @ 7:19 am


    I just installed Snow Leopard and this seems to have fixed the mouse recognition problem.


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