TUAW Post > Triggering AppleScripts from Calendar Alerts in Mountain Lion

calendar_scriptAppleScript's are great tools for increasing your daily productivity. They're even better when they can be set to run unattended, at night, on weekends, or during downtime.  In Lion, iCal included a handy option for attaching a script to a calendar event.  Just create an event, add a Run Script alarm, point it to the desired script and you're good to go.  Things changed in Mountain Lion, though.  Presumably for security reasons, the Run Script alarm option was removed from the Calendar app.  Despite its removal, however, there are still some ways you can trigger scripts from Calendar events.

[Read more on TUAW...]

Macworld Article > 100 More Things Every Mac User Should Know > Five Useful Automator Workflows

The April 2013 issue of Macworld magazine includes a special feature - 100 More Things Every Mac User Should Know: Essential Knowledge for Anyone Who Wants to be Savvy.  I wrote the Automator section.  It includes the following 5 useful workflows:

  • Wrap selected text in quotes
  • Get a word count of selected text
  • Create a subfolder in the Finder
  • Add dates to files in the Finder
  • Toggle hidden Finder files on/off

Hope you find it useful.  This issue is available in print and in the iBookstore.


TUAW Post > More Tips for Troubleshooting Automator Workflows

troubleshoot_automatorIn my last post, I shared some useful tips for troubleshooting Automator workflow problems. I didn't cover everything, though. There are lots of other ways you can troubleshoot your workflow. Here are some more tips to help.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > Tips for Troubleshooting Automator Workflows

troubleshoot_automatorAutomator's great for streamlining time consuming and repetitive tasks on your Mac. It's easy. Just launch it, find a few actions, and string them together to form a workflow. Then, run your workflow anytime you want to perform that series of tasks again.

What happens if your workflow doesn't run as you expect, though? Finding and solving problems in Automator is often easier said than done. Suddenly, the simple tool that's supposed to make your life easier has become a real pain in the neck. This week's post covers some things you can do to troubleshoot a finicky Automator workflow, track down the problem, and hopefully solve it, so you can get back to work.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > AppleScript Productivity > Create OmniFocus Followups from Contacts

ofocus_scriptAs an OmniFocus for Mac user, it's important that I can quickly create tasks at any time, in any app. OmniFocus makes this pretty easy, by providing integration with OS X Mail, a keyboard shortcut for clipping content in apps such as Safari, a system-wide Quick Entry window, and a Services menu item. One feature OmniFocus lacks, however, is direct integration with the Contacts app. Suppose I am in Contacts, for example, and I need to schedule a followup phone call or email to one of my clients? Sure, I could bring up the Quick Entry window and enter the task, but I want something a bit more streamlined. I can accomplish just what I need by writing some custom AppleScripts. The following two examples demonstrate how to write AppleScript-based plug-ins for the Contacts app, which add OmniFocus followup options right into the email and phone number popup menus of your contacts.

[Read more on TUAW...]

MacTech Article > AppleScripting System Preferences

Whether you manage one Mac or many, applying system preferences and settings can be a real pain in the neck, especially if you regularly have to re-apply the same settings.  Maybe you're an admin who manages an entire network of Macs and you need to make a sweeping change across all of your machines. Or, maybe you just want your Dock on the left when you're at work and at the bottom when you're at home.  Regardless of the situation, if you need to make regular changes to settings on your Mac, AppleScript can probably help you streamline the process.  In this month's column, we'll take a look at some simple ways you can use AppleScript to gather system information and tweak settings.

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's January 2013 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

TUAW Post > AppleScripting OmniFocus > Send Completed Task Report to Evernote

ofocus_scriptI've mentioned before thatOmniFocus is my task manager of choice. Each morning, I pull up a list of scheduled tasks for the day, and focus on getting them done. In OmniFocus, I've set up Perspectives (saved window states) for both Due tasks and Completed tasks. What I really want, however, is something that will pull out recently completed tasks and summarize them in Evernote, my note management app of choice. This way, I can maintain a historical log of my progress, and pull out summaries of completed tasks to send to clients. Since this type of integration isn't built into OmniFocus or Evernote, I wrote an AppleScript to do it.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > AppleScripting Dates > Elapsed Time Calculator

script_heartSince Valentine's Day is this week, I thought I would take this opportunity to share an AppleScript I wrote to calculate how long my wife and I have been married. With this baby, I'll never be accused of forgetting how long it's been when our anniversary rolls around. The script determines the elapsed time between now (the current date and time), and a prior date and time (such as our anniversary). It then displays the result in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > AppleScripting Notification Center > Scheduling Do Not Disturb

nc_scriptMountain Lion's Notification Center is great for keeping you in the loop, but it can be a huge distraction when you need to get stuff done. Sometimes, a little peace and quiet is all you need to stay productive.

As you may know, iOS 6 includes a handy Do Not Disturb feature, which can be turned on to disable notifications. It can even be set to automatically enable/disable itself at scheduled intervals. Mountain Lion also lets you disable Notification Center. Just open Notification Center and drag down to access a Show Alerts and Banners toggle switch. Note that this is a temporary setting, and disabled notifications automatically re-enable at midnight.

Unlike iOS 6, though, Mountain Lion doesn't give you an option for enabling/disabling notifications on a schedule. At least, it doesn't provide a built-in option for this. With a little customized help from AppleScript, Automator, and the Calendar app, it is possible.

In this post, you'll create two Calendar Alarm Automator workflows, which can be configured to run at scheduled times to enable or disable Notification Center alerts and banners.

[Read more on TUAW...]

Peachpit Article > Building a Simple Image Processor with AppleScriptObjC (Cocoa-AppleScript)

My earlier article "Building a Basic AppleScriptObjC (Cocoa-AppleScript) Application with Xcode" explained how AppleScriptObjC and Xcode can be used to build robust interface-based applications for the Mac. While that article demonstrated this principle through the creation of a very simple Hello World application, the techniques provided can serve as the basis for building more advanced applications, for real-world scenarios. In this article, we'll build on those techniques to create a functional application that can perform some basic image manipulations, including flipping, rotating, and scaling a chosen image.

[Read more on the Peachpit.com...]