Some tasks, such as changing an image file's format, are easy to do but eat up a lot of your time. In some cases, you can speed things up by using OS X’s Services — little extension tools available with just a right-click of your mouse. We’re going to build a basic Service that converts just about any image you select in Finder into the JPEG format, reducing its file size and making it ready for web use.
Microsoft PowerPoint doesn’t play nicely with PDFs on the Mac. However, we can use the power of Preview and Automator to automate the process of converting the PDF to individual images, and then creating new slides based on those images.
It was a week of news for the big iPad, the little iPad, and even something as old as email made news this week. We've got more details on all of this plus a how-to, a rumor, a jailbreak announcement, and the competition floundering. Sounds like a pretty good week, all in all.
Folders are a great place to store files and subfolders, but folders can also be smart about the content they’re storing. For instance, Dropbox can whisk files stored in its folder into the cloud — so why can't you do something like this with any folder? Well, as it turns out, you can, and all you need is a simple script cobbled together in OS X’s automation tool, called Automator. Continue reading, and we’ll show you how to use Folder Actions to turn regular folders into smart-ified folders with pizazz.
A bit of a mixed bag this week as the news cycle recovers from the iPhone 5 launch. Hey, didn't Amazon do something that no one is talking about anymore? I guess now we batten down the hatches and see whatever became of all those iPad mini rumors. We're just shy of October when the drop is supposed to happen. Here's to waiting.
If you find yourself performing the same actions on your Mac again and again, open up Automator and see if you can program a workflow, which you can save as an application and run from your Dock or with any application launcher. Alternatively, you can set up a Folder Action, which means that Automator watches a specified folder, and anything you put in that folder gets processed instantly.
In our example, we’ll set up an Automator workflow to resize images for our blog, save them as JPEGs, and rename the files. But poke around Automator’s actions library and you’ll probably find ways to speed up your own most-performed tasks, too.
Picture files come in all sorts of formats such as JPEG and TIFF. Each has its own individual strengths, but it’s common to need to change the format of one or more images. For example, you might need to convert a sizable TIFF file into a smaller JPEG to email it to someone. Doing this manually -- even for a single file -- takes time, so we’re going to show you how to set up an automated process for converting one or more image files from one format to another. The input files can be in BMP, GIF, JPEG, PDF, PICT, PNG or TIFF format. All you’ll need to do is drop the files’ icons onto an app in your Mac’s Dock and they’ll be converted to the format you’ve specified.
Every Monday, we'll show you how to do something new and simple with Apple's built-in command line application. You don't need any fancy software, or a knowledge of coding to do any of these. All you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!
We’ve covered running AppleScripts in the past, but we've taught you about running these scripts from within the AppleScript editor. While that is the ideal place to test those scripts, it’s not the best way to run them. That’s where this Terminal 101 tip comes in: you can also run almost any AppleScript from within the Terminal. Read on to find out how.
Web applications have exploded onto the scene. From web-based word processors available online through services like Google Docs and Office 365, to full-fledged video games like Angry Birds made available in Google Chrome, there's plenty of evidence that the online world is expanding to more than just web browsing. But some users don't want to be stuck inside their browsers. For these people, Automator lets you easily create a fully customizable native application on your Mac based around your favorite web apps.