Introducing Ray Robertson

Ben and Jen Waldie

Ben and Jen Waldie - Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends:

It’s our pleasure to introduce Ray Robertson as the new owner of Automated Workflows. Ben has accepted a position with Apple Inc., and we are relocating to sunny Cupertino, CA this August.

You may know Ray from Scripting Matters and Scripting Events, LLC, where he has provided professional AppleScript consulting services and the wildly popular AppleScript Pro in-depth training sessions. Ray is an extremely talented Mac developer and industry expert, and we have complete confidence in his ability to continue providing top-notch productivity services and workflow solutions long into the future. He’s an outstanding guy, and we can’t think of anyone we’d trust more with our business.

Thank you to all those in the Mac community who have supported us these past 11 years, purchased our products, hired us as consultants, read our articles and books, attended our presentations, and so on. We appreciate your confidence and support. Stay productive and best of luck with your workflows! Now, please lend us a hand in welcoming Ray!


-Ben and Jen Waldie

Ben Waldie

Jen Waldie

A moment in the life of Steve Jobs…

It was January 6th, 2004. Jen and I had just finished watching an enthusiastic Steve Jobs give the keynote address at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. We meandered about for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do next. Should we get lunch? Fight the crowds next door at the expo? Wander around the city? After a short debate, we decided to take on the expo, and then get lunch.

Due to our dilly-dallying, the doors were already opened when we arrived, and the crowd had been ushered into the expo. Great! No need for us to wait in line.

We entered near the Apple booth, which, as usual, was jam packed with attendees, eager to try out the latest and greatest from their favorite tech company. As we neared the booth, we noticed a small group of people entering behind us. As we turned, we were amazed to see Steve Jobs and John Mayer (who had joined Steve onstage to introduce GarageBand at the Keynote), along with a small group of reporters and Apple employees. Without much fanfare, they made their way to the Apple booth. We, of course, followed closely. After all, that's the direction we were heading anyway.

Steve, who rather comically wore an exhibitor badge, pointed out this and that to John Mayer, who nodded with interest. I snapped some photos. After a few moments, a woman walked up to Steve, glanced at his badge and said… "So, I'm having a problem with iPhoto. I can't get it to do this or that, and blah, blah, blah." Steve stopped in his tracks and listened to her question. Then, without hesitation, he gracefully snagged the arm of a nearby Apple booth worker and said "So and so will be glad to help you with that."

I don't know if anyone else heard this brief exchange, but it's one I will never forget it.  The woman was completely oblivious to the fact that he was one of the world's greatest technology visionaries.  Yet, he wasn't too important to stop and listen to her.  To that woman, he wasn't Steve Jobs.  He was a guy from Apple.  That he was, and I couldn't help smiling.

Steve Jobs smiles slightly, as he looks over the Apple exhibitor booth at Macworld 2004.
(Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, is to Steve's right).

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” You did, Steve. Rest in peace.

Through the years, your success and vision has inspired me to be a better business owner, a better developer, and a better person. I feel fortunate to have been able to attend a number of your keynotes. Thank you.


“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Article > Creating an iWeb Photo Preview Page

The integration among iLife applications can make sharing data between them a breeze. Take iPhoto and iWeb, for example. In iPhoto, you can create a new iWeb photo album with the click of a button. Automator can make this process even simpler by eliminating the need to even launch iPhoto.

The following steps will walk you through the process of creating an iWeb photo album of iPhoto images. The workflow will be saved as a plug-in for the system-wide script menu, allowing you to trigger it at any time, from within any application. When run, the workflow will display a list of images in your iPhoto library. Simply select the ones to include, choose an iWeb template, and the workflow will handle the rest. [Read more...] (pdf) Article > Creating a Photo Slideshow DVD

Creating a photo slideshow DVD is easy enough with iDVD. But Automator can make it even easier. The following steps will walk you through the process of creating an Automator workflow that will scan through a folder structure of files, extracting any JPEG images, and creating an iDVD slideshow containing those images. [Read more...] (pdf) Article > Uploading Aperture Image Previews to an FTP Server

Export presets in Aperture make it easy to quickly export preview versions of selected images in your photo library. But wouldn’t it be great to automatically rename those images and send them to your FTP server at the same time? With Automator, you can.

The following steps will walk you through the process of creating an Automator workflow that will export selected aperture images as previews, rename them sequentially with the current date, and upload them to your FTP server. [Read more...] (pdf) Article > Individually Processing Files Through an Automator Workflow

Automator makes it easy to create drag-and-drop workflow applications to process batches of files all at once. Simply save any Automator workflow as an application, and it will automatically become a drag-and- drop application.

This method of processing may work fine for workflows that process only a handful of files. But what if you need to process hundreds or thousands of files? It may not be practical to process an entire set of files as a single batch. Instead, it may make more sense to process the files through the workflow individually, one after another. The Automator Multi-Item Processing Utility, available for free from Automated Workflows, LLC, makes this type of processing possible.

The following steps will walk you through the process of individually processing files through an Automator workflow using the Automator Multi-Item Processing Utility. This particular workflow will open InDesign documents and export them to an output folder in PDF format. [Read more...] (pdf) Article > Creating a Scheduled Automator Workflow

Automator workflows are a great way to speed up those time-consuming and repetitive manual processes on your Mac. But perhaps it would be even more efficient if you could perform some of those tasks outside of the normal workday. Do you know that you can schedule Automator workflows to run when you are away from your desk?

The following steps will walk you through the process of creating an Automator workflow, which will be saved as an iCal alarm that will be triggered in the middle of the night, allowing you to accomplish tasks even when your office is closed. This particular workflow will be scheduled to run at midnight, and it will generate a summary of the new day’s iCal events in TextEdit, ready for your review first thing in the morning. [Read more...] (pdf) Article > Creating a Folder Watching Workflow

A very powerful automation feature that is often overlooked in Mac OS X is folder watching. Prior to Mac OS X Tiger, folder watching was possible by writing custom AppleScripts and attaching them to folders to process incoming items. Now, with Automator in Mac OS X, it is easier than ever to turn any folder into a watched folder, with no scripting necessary.

The following steps will walk you through the process of using Automator to create a folder watching workflow in Mac OS X. This particular workflow will automatically create padded thumbnail versions of full size image files as they are placed into a watched folder. [Read more...] (pdf) Article > Email PDF Contact Sheet from Aperture

Automator can be used to extend Aperture’s reach throughout the operating system. Use Automator to integrate Aperture with external applications in new ways that benefit your own unique workflow. Need to email previews of your project images for review? Streamline the process with Automator.

The following steps will walk you through the process of creating an Automator workflow that will generate a PDF contact sheet of a specified Aperture project’s images, and attach it to a new outgoing email message in Mail. [Read more...] (pdf)