V Why Automator?
* Automator and srcipting provide powerful tools to Mac users, but I think many have trouble understanding when they would use it.
* Anytime you have a task that you often repeat
V When there is a process or functionality that is missing.
V Sometimes you may find a 3rd party app or utility, but often with Automator you could write it yourself.
* I did this with Safe Download Version and AppleScript
V When Automator and when AppleScript?
* You will likley use both. The work together and compliment each other
V Automator is easier to get started with and has built in "actions" that can be strung together.
* The ingredients-->recipie-->dish (food) metaphore
* Applescript is more like code. Stuff you can use to create your own ingredients if they don't exists
* There are resources for getting more actions and 3rd party apps can add in their own to the Automator Library
V Understanding Automator Actions
* I covered a bit of this in the Intro to Atomator episode
V The "Actions" list is organized into categories based on application or function
* You can browse or also search by a key word or term.
* "image" for example would show you all actions that deal with doing things with images
V When you select an action you can see it's description in the Description View (lower right corner). You may need to expand it (icon looks like a window with upsidedown triangle).
* Tells you what the action does in a sentance or two.
* Requires - Explains what other actions or applications may be required to be running or used to work with this action
* Input - Tells you if and what the action requires to have coming into it to work
* Output - What will be returned (come out) of this action and be feed into the next action.
V Some examples
V Go through the Send PDF to iPhoto example
* Need came out of a feature removed from iPhoto '11 and OS X
V Talk about starting points
* Workflow, Application, Service, Print Plugin, Folder Action, iCal Alarm, and Image Capture Plug-in.
* The main differences are where they will run and what the start with as input.
V Differences between 'PDF to Images' and the 'Render PDF Pages as Images' actions
* Why choose one over the other and how did I know which one to pick.
V Debugging using the Results
V For Services and Plug-ins you'll need to ususally add a “Get Specified Finder Items” action to the start temporarily
* The system will tell you if you forget and try to runt the workflow in Automator
V Run the workflow and look in the 'Results' section at the bottom of each action.
* icon, list, and
* Also look at the 'Log' at the bottom of the window. (View > Log)
V When I save this because it's a Print Plugin it goes to ~/Library/PDF Services and is availbale under PDF in the Print Sheet
* Name the workflow exactly as you want it to appear in the menu or Service drop down.
V Go through '' workflow
* No obvious way to get a trailer from
* Workflow to take the URL and download the file to a specific location on the Mac
V Started with a Service that could run inside Quicktime
* The reason was that the trailer would open in Quicktime X, but there was no file "downloaded"
* Could possibly locate the cache?
* Actually you do a File > Export… from QuickTime
* My service would extract the URL and go to Apple Servers and directly download to a specified folder
* Needed to use some AppleScript to make this all happen
V Adding in scripts
* Can use shell scripts and AppleScripts and this adds a ton of power
V Discovering what AppleScripts can do
* This just needs to be learned. Google it and I will also try to cover some in future episodes
V In the AppleScript Editor the 'Dictionaries' can be helpful
* Window > Library or File > Open Dictionary…
* All scriptable apps have dictionaries
* Organized into 'Suites' or groups of commands
* Have commands, like verbs in sentances. the actions, items (the nouns) and items have properties
V Automator 'variables' can store results for use later in the script. Set and Get value of variable actions
* Gets can be strung together to pass more than one into an action.