Sunday, January 07, 2007

Apple Mac Automator Robot!

If, like me, you've been using Macs since back when they were beige you'll be familiar with the way they keep on surprising you with buried treasures.
I'm only now learning the value of a handy robot that can take loads of boring chores off your hands. It's even more powerful than Photoshop's Actions- it's Apple's own Automator application.
If you're shy of learning new tech stuff, here's a handy workflow to get you started.You download and unzip it, open Automator and go File > Import Workflows, import it then Save As Plugin... (for the Finder application). Once you've done that you can select any two folders and right click on them to compare the contents. Great for those who have millions of image files and no time to carefully read through long lists of file names searching for which files are different. Enjoy.

This wonderous gizmo is all thanks to a guy called Ben Long over at where there are hundreds more fab Mac robots waiting to lend a hand. Thanks also to Emilie over at the Mac discussions forums for help, advice and a great bit of AppleScripting!

This particular Workflow can compare the contents of two folders in a number of ways- it's customizable! (if you're prepared to learn a little about how Automator works).

The best thing about getting to know Automator though is the way it allows you to use almost any function of any application on your computer without even opening the applications!

With a single click you could take dozens of files from any folder, in to Illustrator, through Photoshop (and it's many Actions), in to Word, save them all in to a new folder as PDFs, Zip the folder and have it upolad or email it'self to any address!

Mind bloggling!

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