TUAW Post > Preparing Blog Images with Automator

Automator's the perfect tool for streamlining some of the repetitive things you do on a daily basis. One thing it's great at is doing basic manipulation to lots of image files. Need to resize a bunch of images or convert them from one format to another? No problem, Automator is ready to help. In this post, you'll build an Automator workflow that prepares images for your blog by renaming them sequentially and then scaling them down in size. Don't have a blog? Well, this workflow could also be used for preparing images for insertion into a Word document, or to send in an email. Feel free to adjust to your specific needs.

[Read more on TUAW...]

Macworld > Ask the Script Doctor: Working with Text

Ask the Script Doctor is a regular column in which we solve real-world Mac problems using AppleScript and Automator. If you have a problem you’d like us to solve, send an email to the Script Doctor for consideration.

Whether we’re writing novels or email, we all use text all the time. AppleScript is a great tool for making text-focused work easier and more efficient. For that reason, I get a lot of questions about how to simplify common text tasks. Here are a few of those questions and my answers.

[Read more at Macworld.com, subscribe to the print edition, or get Macworld on your iPad...]

Do you have a scripting problem or a question for the Script Doctor? Send it to scriptdoctor@macworld.com.

TUAW Post > Build a Photo Calendar with Automator

I'm very happy to announce that I am now writing automation and productivity tips for The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).

My first post is an Automator how-to.  It shows you how to create a Print Plugin that shows up in the PDF menu when you print a document. This specific plugin lets you print a photo calendar right out of the Calendar app.  It's fun, and it shows off some of the cool stuff you can do with Automator.

[Read more on TUAW...]

Save 35% on Peachpit Mac Automation Made Simple Videos

My 8 chapter Mac Automation Made Simple video series is 35% off through the end of the year if you use coupon code VIDEO12.

[Learn more here or visit the Peachpit website]

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows – Set Desktop to Astronomy Picture of the Day

Each day, our good friends at NASA are kind enough to share a breathtaking photo of our wonderful universe.  Sometimes of the Earth, sometimes of the heavens, these photos showcase natural beauty that is surely Desktop-background worthy.  Here's how you can create an Automator workflow that runs each night to set your Desktop to the latest photo... [Read more on the Peachpit blog...]

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows – Implementing a Spoken Dictionary

A handy feature in Mac OS X is the ability to quickly and easily define words.  In most applications, just Control+click the desired word, and choose Look Up "TheSelectedWord" from the contextual menu to bring up the system-wide dictionary.  Even easier, if you've got a trackpad, just double-tap the word with three fingers to display its definition.  Automator lets you get even more creative.  You can expand these useful dictionary services with one that will read the definition to you.  Here's how you do it... [Read more on the Peachpit blog...]

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows – Creating Quick Notes

It's 9AM and your boss is on the phone.  She's rattling off important info you need for your 9:30AM conference call.  Quick!  You need somewhere to take notes.  Sure, you could use your email client - Mail and Outlbook both include note features.  Or, you could use on of the 50,000 note taking apps you've downloaded.  Better yet, why not use that handy Automator Service workflow you created?  You know, the one that automatically creates RTF notes into a Quick Notes folder, names them with the current date and time, and opens them in TextEdit so you can quickly begin typing?  You recall how easy it was to create.  Here's how you did it... [Read more on the Peachpit blog...]

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows – Print PDF to FTP Server

In Mac OS X, it’s a snap to convert almost any document to PDF.  From the print dialog, simply choose Save as PDF... from the PDF popup button.  If you’ve done this before, then you may have noticed there are some other options in this popup, as well, such as Mail PDF.  These are print plugins, and, using Automator, it’s possible to create your own and add them to the list.  Suppose you upload PDFs to your FTP server on a regular basis, so you can share them with your family, coworkers, or whoever.  Every time you do this, you have to save your document somewhere as a PDF, launch the popular FTP client Transmit, connect to the server, and upload the PDF.  This is a perfect time to create a custom print plugin to do this for you.  Here’s how... [Read more on the Peachpit blog...]

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows – Convert Rich Text to Image

Your wife’s surprise birthday party is tomorrow.  You’ve prepared a top notch slideshow on your Mac using Keynote, and transferred it to your iPad.  Great!  Now you can present directly from the iPad.  There’s only one problem.  The fonts in your presentation are no longer appearing properly because the iPad doesn’t have all the same fonts your Mac does.  It looks like you might have to lug your Mac along too.  No, with Automator’s help, you can just replace the problem text with images.  Here’s how... [Read more on the Peachpit blog...]

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts & Workflows – Scaling Images in the Finder

There are tons of apps that allow you to manipulate images on your Mac.  iPhoto and Preview are two from Apple, and there are lots more available from the Mac App Store and third-party software vendors.  What you may not know, however, is that you don’t need a third-party app to do some basic image manipulations with your existing operating system.  Using Automator, you can create your own custom image processing plug-ins, which you can run right within the Finder.  [Read more on the Peachpit blog...]