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 an Automator PDF Workflow

Episode 7
Date: 10.14.2008
Duration: 00:07:25
Creating an Automator PDF Workflow
In this episode of Mac Automation Made Simple, Ben Waldie demonstrates how to save Automator workflows as print workflow plug-ins. Once saved, these workflows appear in Mac OS X's print dialog, and can be triggered to process printed PDF documents..
[View in iTunes...] [View at] 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 > 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)

X-Ray Magazine Scripting Quark Article > Automating PDF Creation with AppleScript

Vol. 4, Num. 4 - Automating PDF Creation with AppleScript.

I am sure that QuarkXPress users can attest to the fact that there are many time-consuming and repetitive tasks that take place in any desktop-publishing workflow. I have been developing custom AppleScripts to automate just these types of tasks for my clients for years. In the many desktop- publishing automation scripts that I have developed, similarities can’t help but be noticed, even in the most obscure workflows. In QuarkXPress-based workflows, one task that stands-out as a very commonly automated task is the process of using AppleScript to convert QuarkXPress documents to PDF. [Read more at X-Ray Magazine online...]