TUAW Post > AppleScripting Email > Developing a Quoted Reply Service

outlook_autoA reader recently wrote to me with a problem. Apparently, Microsoft Outlook no longer contains the ability to create quote level chunks of text when replying to messages in plain text format. Why this functionality was removed, I can't say. But, with a little help from AppleScript and Automator, I was able to help the reader to add this functionality back via a Service. Better yet, the Service can be set up to work in any email client, or even systemwide in any app. Here's how you can do it...

[Read more on TUAW...]

Macworld > Ask the Script Doctor: Deduping Contacts and more

scriptdoctorIn previous columns, I answered questions on scripting Mail and working with text. This time, I’m answering some questions I’ve received on a variety of topics, including:

  • Showing the Library folder in OS X
  • Deduping Contacts
  • Getting started with AppleScript

[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 > AppleScripting Microsoft Outlook > Announce New Emails By Voice

outlook_scriptIn my last post, I demonstrated how to write an AppleScript that verbally announces when new emails arrive in Mail. Some readers asked whether the same thing could be accomplished with Microsoft Outlook. It certainly can.

[Read more on TUAW...]

TUAW Post > AppleScripting Mail > Announce New Emails By Voice

mail_scriptYou're in the kitchen cooking dinner, or sitting down watching TV, or exercising. Ding! You have a new email. Quickly, run to your Mac to see who it's from. Meh, spam. Ding! Meh, a message from your boss. Ding! Meh. Sure would be nice if Mail could announce who's emailing you. That way, you could just listen for ones you care about. Well, with the help of AppleScript and Mail rules, you can set this up on your own. Think of it as an audible caller ID, but for email.

[Read more on TUAW...]

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.

-Ben

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]