From Automator to AppleScript, the Mac has a lot of great automation tools built right in; however, these tools can sometimes be a little intimidating for novice users. Hazel is a system preference pane that remedies this by giving users some powerful sorting tools, but with a super-simple rules-based interface for configuring file-sorting options on their Mac.
Hazel works by monitoring a specific folder for files that match rules that are specified by the user. When a file appears in that folder matching the rule, you can specify an action. Actions can be as simplistic as notifying you via Growl, or as complex as taking the file and adding it to Evernote and beyond. We’ve compiled 7 awesome Hazel file-sorting rules that you won’t be able to live without.
Computers were designed to do repetitive tasks efficiently and consistently, so why then are we still sitting around and renaming files on our computer by hand? Why are we still relying on our memory to remind us of our friend’s birthdays? There’s got to be a better way, and there is with Automator and AppleScript. Not only can you rename files, but you can also augment your mind by having your computer remind you of events when you start up your machine.
True Mac wizards keep their hands on the keys, and Apptivate can help, letting you assign hotkeys to open an application, file, folder, Automator script -- anything executable or openable. The menu bar app even blocks you if you're trying to use an established system-wide shortcut, like Command-C.
We’re all Apple fans. But why? Deep thoughts like that -- and 50th issues -- call for a countdown! But don’t worry, we balanced our enthusiasm with a hard-hitting look at the dark side of Apple...
Turning 50 is certainly a milestone, and we’ve been saving something special for our 50th issue: a countdown that examines all the reasons that Apple fans are Apple fans. After all, as the Microsoft Stores so perfectly prove, no other tech titan can inspire the same level of devotion.
But there’s no single reason we love our Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods -- in fact, we thought of a lot more than 50. It took some of the most epic staff meetings we’ve had in Mac|Life history -- we haggled, we argued, and we picked on Nic and Flo because teasing them is pretty fun -- but in the end, we emerged with a thoughtful, incisive look at what makes Apple so successful.
You know Mac OS 10.6 lets you customize contextual menus with services, the handy shortcuts that use features from one application in another. But did you know you can build custom services with Automator? This is an outstanding way to banish mundane repetitive tasks -- like cropping and resizing photos, shortening URLs, changing file extensions, and much more -- from your life.
It looks like it isn’t all wine and roses for iTunes 10: Among the complaints about the new icon, colorless interface and removal of 99-cent ringtone creation, a legitimate bug has surfaced between the media player and Automator.
If you've seen its adorable robot icon, but never knew what it was for, this how-to illuminates the awesome automation that Automator offers, saving you time and eliminating needless repetition from your day.