Automator: Practical Uses for Every Day users?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I've seen that sweet looking Automator icon for awhile now, and sadly I have never taken the time to learn how to use it. Can somebody enlighten me to what I may be missing out on? I don't have a business or anything of that sort, and I can't think of any monotonous tasks that I would need to perform...

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    i opened it for the first time today.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    They come up from time to time for everyone. Recently I had to change the extension on a bunch of files, and automator did the trick nicely.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,541moderator
    I think it's close to useless for me because it's too linear. It's also fairly bloated - it uses up at least 250MB of hard drive space (check the system folder) - as it includes all the languages.



    Any uses I found for it could be done far better with other software. Renaming files for example, I use a program that shows you a preview of the names before it actually renames anything. Merging PDFs, I can also delete or add individual pages in the program I use.



    It depends on what you do I guess and you might find something useful in these sites:



    http://automatoractions.com/

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/automator/
  • Reply 4 of 12
    I messed around a bit with it last night. Eh, we'll see. Thanks for all the input
  • Reply 5 of 12
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I used it to change some names of pics sequentially. I still haven't tapped into its power because the user interface isn't quite that clear.



    If someone makes a good book on it I'll be glad to dig in more. I'm still surprised that you cannot simply modify multiple filenames using Get Info on multiple items. That would have been very simple.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    I have used Automator to launch applications that I use together. It does save some time and all, but programming it is a bit of guesswork. I used some of the sample scripts as a basis for commands and syntax and a lot of trial and error.



    Maybe it ultimately could be useful, but without better support files it is not very easy to get up and running.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    akacakac Posts: 512member
    I'd like to use Automator to Eject All mounted firewire drives, to rip a home made DVD into a disk image, and then burn it.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    I previously posted that Automator is a 'lost' app. It's too complex for non-programmers, and too simple for programmers. It seems to be an app without a cause.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    I made a garbage collector for my downloads folder. It will find files like *.pdf, *.wmv, *.zip ... whatever. Then moves them to the trash.





    I tried to make one that would scan Mail to pick off GroupWise appointments and import them into iCal but as far as I can tell there's no pathway to do that. I can't remember why.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Ah, so I'm sensing I'm not exactly alone in this whole Automator thing. They make it sound like once you start using it, you'll never understand how you went without it. Thanks for all the comments!
  • Reply 11 of 12
    I like the others have not used automator but I am now thinking about it to delete all my spam emails. If it could go through the entire process of a full deletion, the automator would be worth its wait in gold for me. I get about 125 spam emails a day.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tutumiles1 View Post


    I like the others have not used automator but I am now thinking about it to delete all my spam emails. If it could go through the entire process of a full deletion, the automator would be worth its wait in gold for me. I get about 125 spam emails a day.



    Sounds like you need to switch to G-mail (free from Google).
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