MacMost: Automator

Automatically Organize Files With an Automator Folder Action Shell Script
9/15/20

By using a Shell script in an Automator Folder Action you can create a "drop zone" folder that moves any file placed into it. By using a Shell script it is easy to add new conditions and destination folders.

Create Customizable Text Inserts Using Automator
6/8/20
While you can use text replacements to insert reusable blocks of text, it is sometimes necessary to customize the text for various situations. You can build an Automator service to trigger a series of prompts and then create a block of text based on your responses. In this example, we'll build a way to quickly respond to support email messages.
Creating An Information Notification With Shell Scripts And Automator
5/26/20

You can go to the Terminal and use simple one-line shell scripts to get various pieces of information such as the date and time, your Internet IP address and your Wi-Fi network name. Using Automator, you can incorporate these bits of information into a simple notification that appears whenever you press a keyboard shortcut.

Create a New Text File Anywhere With a Keyboard Shortcut On a Mac
4/29/20

Many Mac users wish there was a way to create a new text file in the Finder just like you can in Windows. With the help of a simple Automator service you can add this to your Mac, and even customize how it works.

Export All Of The Notes On Your Mac Using a Script
4/1/20

In Mac Notes you can only export one note at a time as a PDF file. With the help of a script, you can quickly and easily export all of your notes to html files as a backup or archive. You can also save notes this way to clear out your Notes app.

3 Ways To Automate Keystroke Sequences On Your Mac
2/20/20
If you need to repeat a specific set of keyboard commands or movements often, you can reduce the sequence to a single action. One method is to use Automator Watch Me Do actions, which record key presses and allow you to repeat them. You can also write a script in Automator to press keys. A third method involves using the Mac Accessibility Keyboard to record and play back the sequence.
An Introduction To Using Mac Automator
2/10/20
Learn the basics of using Automator on your Mac to create workflows. Automator is a useful productivity tool but it can be intimidating for non-programmers. Learn how to use Actions to build Workflows to get things done. This is a basic introduction for those who have never used Automator before.
Add Dates To File Or Photo Names With an Automator Script
12/26/19

You can use a shell script inside an Automator Quick Action to add the date of a file to the beginning of the file's name. You can also make this work with photos using the date the photo was taken from the metadata in the file. As a Quick Action you can easily apply this name change to one or many files at once.

Saving and Recalling Window Positions With Automator
12/24/19
You can use JavaScript in Automator to save the positions of each window in each app to a file. Then you can recall those positions later if you want to resume working with the same window locations. This script will save as many position settings as you like and then allow you to recall them easily. You can even set it up as a keyboard shortcut.
Compress PDFs On Your Mac With Preview or an Automator Quick Action
12/17/19
When you scan in documents with your iPhone or other device you sometimes end up with files too large to store or send in an email. You can easily compress a PDF using the Preview app on your Mac. However, the default compression setting is too high for most uses. Learn how to customize the compression with your own quartz filter and then use it in Preview or turn it into a Quick Action using Automator for one-step PDF compression.
Filling In a Web Page Form Using Automator
12/6/19
You can use JavaScript in Automator to fill in a web page form. If you make this a Quick Action you can access it from the menu bar or as a keyboard shortcut. This can help speed up situations where you need to fill in the same form every day.
How To Copy Reminders In macOS Catalina With a Script
11/19/19

You can't copy and paste or print Reminders in macOS Catalina. However, with the help of a script you can get a Reminders list as text to be pasted into any app, printed, or sent as email. Learn how to create a Mac script in JavaScript (JXA) using Script Editor or Automator to get this important function back and have it available as an easy-access menu command.

Dismiss Notifications With a Keyboard Shortcut Using Automator
9/30/19
It can be annoying to have notifications appear at the top right corner of your screen while you are typing. Normally, you have to move the cursor to click on the Close button to dismiss those. However, you can build a simple JavaScript service in Automator to do it, and then use a keyboard shortut to trigger that service.
Creating Custom Finder Quick Actions With Automator
9/18/19
Quick Actions allow you to do thing with files in the Finder by just clicking on a single button. You can use some preset Quick Actions or build your own in Automator. In this video, we'll look at two examples. The first will create a backup archive of a file. The second will speak the contents of a text file.
Building an Automator Script To Snap Windows Into Position
7/15/19

If you would like to precisely position your application windows without using any third-party tool, you can build a versatile script in Automator to snap windows to portions of your screen. You can give yourself multiple options such as the Left Third, Right Two-Thirds, corners or anything you can come up with. Then you can put the workflow into the Services menu where you can quickly trigger it with a keyboard shortcut. The framework in this JavaScript/JXA script can be used to develop your own customizable window organizing tool.

Hide Desktop Icons With an Automator App
7/10/19

If you have a cluttered Desktop, you may want to occasionally hide the icons. You can do this with third-party apps or Terminal commands. You can also write a very simple shell script in Automator and save it as an app. Then you can toggle the Desktop on or off with a simple click in the Dock.

Create a Button On Your Mac or iPhone To Make a Call With One Tap Or Click
5/21/19

If you want to make it as easy as possible to call people you can set up a single-action icon that you can tap on your iPhone or click on your Mac to make the call. On the iPhone you can use the Shortcuts app to build a shortcut and place it on your Home screen. On your Mac you can use Automator with a shell script and some JavaScript to place an app in your Dock to make the call with a single click.

A Shortcut To Enclose Text In Quotes Using Automator
1/29/19
You can create a very short Automator action to take text as input, manipulate it, and replace the original text. In this example, we'll create a Javascript JXA action that encloses the text in quotes. You can use this in conjunction with a keyboard shortcut to quickly apply quotes in Pages and other apps.
Creating Dynamic Pop-Up Menus In Numbers With AppleScript
7/18/18
While it isn't possible to create dynamic Pop-Up Menus in Numbers alone, you can use an AppleScript service to pull data from one table, present it in a list that will then populate the value of a cell. You can set this service up with a keyboard shortcut to make data entry easier. The list will automatically update as you update the second table.
Listing Zip Archive Contents With Terminal and Automator
3/6/18
You can peer into a zip archive and see which files are in there using the zipinfo Terminal command. You can refine the results to show you only the files with fgrep. You can take this same command and use it as a Shell Script in an Automator service for easy access. In this tutorial you'll also learn about using Shell Scripts with files as input arguments in Automator.