Archive for the ‘Automator’ Category

Applescript and Automation

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

One of the great things in Mac OS X is the build in script-ability and Automator. Of course there is always a discussion about the syntax of Applescript but besides that it enriches the platform a lot. Good scriptable applications provide incredible possibilities for their users.

A pretty cool usage of Applescript is being shown on Macbreak and can be downloaded from Automator.us. It’s a clever combination of Applescript, Keynote and the speech system for doing self presenting presentations.

I’m looking forward to Leopard and the incredible improved new voices.

If you are a Mac developer think about adding script-ability to your application for a number of reasons:

  • let your users integrate your app in their workflow (and they probably never will switch to the app of your competitor)
  • use automatic tests for some parts of your application
  • improve the design of your app by providing a scripting API (you probably want get a good API without a clear design)
  • provide some clever Automator workflows to give users an idea about what your app can do for them beside the core features

Customize Mac OS X with Automator

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Some days ago I wrote about the Automator dillema and the fact that Automator needs more attention. Today I will give Automator more attention.

What makes Automator really helpful and powerful is the possibility to integrate a workflow with the OS. You can store a workflow as a plugin for Finder, Folder Actions, iCal Alarm, Image Capture, Print Workflow or for the Script menu.

With Automator and these plugins everyone can add new functions to prominent places of the OS. You are missing a ZIP and Mail menu item in the context menu of Finder? No problem with Automator.

I made two simple workflow (Archive PDF Printouts and Create Source Bundle) that show the possibilities of Automator. (more…)