Save 35% on Peachpit Mac Automation Made Simple Videos

My 8 chapter Mac Automation Made Simple video series is 35% off through the end of the year if you use coupon code VIDEO12.

[Learn more here or visit the Peachpit website]

Now Available: New Mac Automation Made Simple Videos!

Peachpit has bundled a new series of my Mac Automation Made Simple videos on Automator.  They're now available for purchase as DRM-Free downloads, so you can play them on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.  Topics in this 8-part series include:

  • Automate generating job folders - If you use job folders for multiple projects to keep organized, learn how to save time and reduce errors by building workflows in Automator to create job folders consistently and quickly. You'll also learn the basics of actions and variables in Automator.
  • Batch-create folders from an Excel list - If your workflow ever requires you to create a large number of folders or sets of subfolders with specific naming conventions, Excel and Automator can work together to eliminate the manual creation of folders. By using the powerful features in Excel to build lists of file names in large numbers and use Automator to process those lists into hundreds of folders in minutes.
  • Display Growl notifications for new content - File sharing over a network is great for larger files that you wouldn't send via email, but how can you be sure that you're always notified when a new file lands in your folder? Learn how to team Automator with the popular notification software Growl to build a great workflow that eliminates the need for you to get an email or phone call notifying you of new files.
  • Schedule backups via a network - Do you manually back up your Mac to a server? If so, you've probably had to set up calendar reminders and run through the process on a regular basis or risk losing your data. In this lesson, learn how to make that process automatic and painless with Automator and iCal.
  • Share files via Dropbox - Take the powerful PDF tools offered in OS X a step further by building your own Print Plugin with Automator. You'll learn how to set up a Print Plugin that automatically posts any document you print to PDF to the online file sharing tool Dropbox. You'll also learn the basics of setting up actions to rename files to be friendly for upload tools by removing offending characters.
  • Batch-convert image files to PDF - If you've ever had the daunting task of scanning a book or a box of images with a flat bed scanner, you know that it isn't easy to combine all those files into a single PDF without some heavy-hitting applications like Photoshop and Acrobat Pro. But what if you don't have those applications or are just looking for an easier way? Learn how to set up a quick and easy way to combine multiple images into a single PDF without the hassle.
  • Batch-process images for iPhoto - If you're like most people with a smart phone, an amature photographer or have a large photo digitizing project on your plate, you'll import, manipulate and save hundreds to thousands of images a year. In this lesson, you'll learn how to unleash the power of Automator and free third-party tool to streamline your workflow and make importing images to your iPhoto library a snap.
  • Batch-process multiple InDesign files to PDF - Exporting multiple InDesign files to PDF can be as quick and easy as dragging and dropping your files. You'll learn how to create a drag-and-drop application with AppleScript and Automator that opens, exports, names, and saves PDFs from InDesign. You'll be able to use the same custom application for both InDesign CS4 and CS5.

Sold as a set, or individually, you can find them on Peachpit's website.

Mac Automation Made Simple Video Podcast > Creating a Microsoft Excel 2008 Automator Workflow

Episode 10
Date: 11.25.2008
Duration: 00:07:17
Creating a Microsoft Excel 2008 Automator Workflow
In this episode of Mac Automation Made Simple, Ben Waldie demonstrates how to use Automator to perform tasks in Microsoft Excel 2008. Ben shows you a workflow to batch convert Excel workbooks to .csv format and one that builds address labels in Excel.
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Peachpit Blog Post > Creating a Microsoft Excel 2008 Automator Workflow

04.30.08 - Creating a Microsoft Excel 2008 Automator Workflow.

Today’s Office 2008 Automator workflow is for Excel. This workflow will retrieve a list of selected tracks in iTunes. It will then create a formatted and sorted list of the names of those tracks in a new Excel workbook and save that workbook in HTML format. You could then incorporate the HTML into your Web site to display a list of your favorite iTunes tracks. [Read more at]

Macworld 2008 Presentation > Office 2008 and Automator

Macworld 2008 - A Day at the Office Series
Office 2008 and Automator: Creating Office workflows with Automator
[Watch now...]

MacTech AppleScript Essentials Column > Introduction to Scripting Microsoft Entourage

May, 2007 - Introduction to Scripting Microsoft Entourage.

For some time now, we have been discussing scripting the Microsoft Office applications, partially in preparation for the forthcoming release of Office 2008, in which Microsoft has announced that Visual Basic macros will no longer be supported. So far, we have explored the AppleScript support in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, three applications that currently (in Office 2004) include Visual Basic macro support. This month, we are going to discuss the fourth major Office application, Entourage, a popular email and project management client. [Read more at]

MacTech AppleScript Essentials Column > Introduction to Scripting Microsoft Excel

February, 2007 - Introduction to Scripting Microsoft Excel.

With Office 2008 on the horizon, Microsoft has recently begun to push AppleScript as an alternative automation technology to Visual Basic macros in the Office applications. Moving forward, Visual Basic macros will not be supported in the release of Office 2008. Current AppleScript users are ahead of the curve. The Office applications have been AppleScriptable for quite some time, and AppleScript actually provides several advantages over Visual Basic. For one, AppleScripts can interact with multiple applications, including non-Microsoft applications, allowing even complex multi-application workflows to be automated.

Last month, we began discussing how to get started with scripting Microsoft Word. We explored various techniques for interacting with Word documents, as well as the content within those documents, all using AppleScript. This month, we're going to begin discussing another Office application, Microsoft Excel. Like Word, Excel contains a quite extensive AppleScript dictionary, allowing almost any task that can be performed manually to be automated using AppleScript. [Read more at]