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.
You can use Automator to create a special action that acts on files added to a folder. In this example, we'll create an action that looks for new screen shot files to appear on the desktop. It will then move them to another folder. You can look at a special controller to see which folder actions are active on which folders, and disable ones you don't need at the moment.
You can use Automator to apply Apple system (Quartz) filters to image files. This simple Automator app will convert an image to ASCII art. There are color and size options you can adjust to get the look you want. You can also try out some of the other Quartz filters for various effects.
You can use Automator with a bit of AppleScript to schedule a text message through iMessage or SMS. The message can be attached to a Calendar event. There are some catches and further customization will require some programming skill.
You can create scripts in Automator that can then be assigned to dictation commands. Once you have set things up, you can speak the command and your computer will execute the Automator script. In this example, I show you how to instantly bring up pictures of cats whenever you need some stress relief.
You can add Automator actions and even AppleScripts as alarms in the Calendar app on your Mac. It may look like this is no longer possible with Yosemite, but you can do it as long as you use the special Calendar Alarm document type in Automator, or if you simply use an On My Mac calendar instead of an iCloud one.
The latest version of Numbers restores our ability to use AppleScript to automate some actions in your spreadsheets. You can use AppleScript to create new commands in Numbers and do things that could be difficult or impossible to do otherwise. Take a look at some simple examples that populate cells with random numbers and modify the values of checkboxes.
You can use AppleScript to create scripts that control Numbers and Pages. This is similar to how Microsoft Office users use macros to control Word and Excel. In either case, you need some level of programming skill to be able to write scripts. If you can do it, this can be a very powerful way to enhance Numbers and Pages, adding functionality that isn't possible otherwise.
Learn about some of the actions in Automator that control the Calendar and Mail app. Build a workflow that will search your events, summarize them as text, and convert that text to an audio file. Then Mail can send it as an email message.
With Automator you can create your own application that will resize any image dropped onto it. In this example it will create a new file, name the file appropriately, and resize the image in that file. You can use this for a single image or to batch process several images.
You can use Automator to alter what happens when a file is added to a folder. In this example, new files added to a folder are then sorted into subfolders according to their type. You can add multiple actions to a folder and then determine which order they are used.
You can launch an application using the Finder, Dock, keyboard, Terminal and even your voice. See how many of these you knew about.
You can use Automator to create scripts that appear in the right click menu. This example shows you how to build a workflow that attaches the current file to a new email message.
Learn how to use Automator to convert selected text, or text from a file, to audio. You can listen to the result on your Mac, iPod or iPhone while on-the-go.
Instead of letting iTunes update podcasts every hour or in the middle of the day, you can schedule iTunes to check at night. Using a simple AppleScript and scheduling it to run with iCal you can have new podcast episodes waiting for you when you get to your Mac in the morning.
You can create tasks in Automator and then have iCal run them at a specific time in the future, or even as a recurring event. This example shows you how to have thumbnails of new photos automatically sent to an email address every week.
Learn how to rename a batch of files using Automator in Snow Leopard. You can quickly and easily create a workflow that will allow you to select a group of files or a folder and rename the files replacing or adding text, adding numbers or the time or changing the file extension.
Learn how to use Automator in Mac OS X Leopard to record actions and play them back. In this example, you'll see how to create an Automator script to save a Web page from Safari as a PDF.