Author Topic: The underrated Automator app in Mac OSX  (Read 206 times)

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Offline Frank B.

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The underrated Automator app in Mac OSX
« on: September 11, 2017, 01:34:37 PM »
If there was one application in Mac OSX which doesn't get the attention it deserves, it's Automator. This simple to use application can create applications and services without you having to type a single line of code.

Anyone can use Automator. Creating automated workflows is a simple drag-and-drop process of visually selecting and connecting the individual actions you want the computer to do for you-there's absolutely no code to write. Click the Run button and Automator goes to work.

With Automator you can automate just about everything you do with your computer. For example, you can create an application that creates PDF contact sheets of photos from your computer. The app can be configured to use any size of paper and any number of columns. Another useful service is the Text to Audio file action. The text to speech function of Mac OSX is one of the best available. It has many voices to choose from, including accented voices for reading foreign languages. By creating a Text to Audio File service it's possible to create audio files from any text from any application or source. This is great for those who may be making video tutorials and who may not wish to use their own voice as a voice-over. Instead, you could type your script and then run the Text to Audio file service on each segment of the script. This will create a number of audio files that can then be imported into the soundtrack of your movie editing application.

Automator can create workflows that can be run from within the automator application, Applications that are self running, or Services which are contextual workflows available throughout OSX by simply right clicking a file and selecting services from the context menu. The application is so powerful, it can even create an app that scours your hard drives and places all files of a specific type into relevant folders. It can also ensure that when you save a file to a common directory, it will be instantly moved to it's correct directory. So, if you have a general Documents directory where everything gets saved, when you save to that directory, all Excel files will be moved to an Excel directory, whilst Word files will be sent off to a Word directory. Likewise with images, videos, PDF's or any other file type you may be using. I even have a translate service created in automator that allows me to select any foreign language text in any document or email, right click and have it translated by Google.

Anyone with a Mac should really take a look at what Automator can do. There are also many sites that have ready-made automator scripts ready for download for instant use. Give it a try.

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