The Automator in Mac OSX is a great tool for you that allows you to automate your daily mundane task with little effort. You don’t need to have any programming background or expertise to create your own automation workflow/application. All you need to do is simply drag and drop the necessary actions and export the results as a workflow, application or as an item in the contextual menu. Well, in case you are lazy to learn or just wanted to look for some ready-made stuff to get things going, here are 24 useful automator scripts that you can used instantly. Some of them are actions script that you can import into your automator while others are workflow or application that you can use immediately.
Dashboarder is a simple application that allows you to toggle your Dashboard on/off so as to conserve RAM when needed while still allowing easy access to widgets. (download link)
Maintenance consists of a set of Automator actions that you can use to maintain the health of your Mac. It include features like Repair Permissions, Verify Perference Files, Periodic Cleanup, Clear Cache files, Force empty trash and many other useful tasks. (download link)
3. View with QuickLook
This is an action script that allows you to quickly peek into the content of a selected Finder item without having to open the file. (download link)
This is an action script that allows you to create a birthday calendar based on the contacts in your Address Book. What is different from the inbuilt birthday calendar is that you can set an alarm for each birthday and you can combine this action with other actions to publish your .ics file to a Web or file server. (download link)
5 – 9. Automator Actions For Web Designers
This is a pack of 5 Automator actions:
Save for Web
If you are like me, who have to constantly change image extension, resize image and rename image filename, then this application is a great tool for you. This Automator action can export images in JPEG, GIF, or PNG format either using Adobe Photoshop CS (for higher quality images) or Preview (for faster conversion) without having to open the application. There is also additional options that allow you to resize the image and sharpen the image after resizing.
This action script works as a plugin in your Finder so you can adjust your image with a single click.
If you need to change a bunch of files extension from one form to another without changing the content of the files (say from html to php), this workflow is a handy tool for you. You can choose to change the file extension for all the files, selected files or all files that have no extension.
Make Names More Web-Friendly
This Automator action converts the names of the selected files to all lowercase, removes accents, changes spaces to underscores or dashes, and converts other special characters to underscores or dashes.
Create Symbolic Link
This Automator action creates a symbolic link for each of the selected files. A symbolic link is similar to an alias, except that many applications, including the Create Clean Archive action, will see only the file points to rather than the alias itself.
Create Clean Archive
This Automator action creates a clean zip format archive (.zip) that’s ready to share with others. Macintosh resource forks and desktop files will be ignored so they don’t get in the way on other operating systems. If you’re uploading the file online, use the action “Make Names Web-Friendly” afterward to ensure the archive has a web-friendly file name. Works great as a Finder plugin, so you can access it with a single click!
10. Batch Rename
A workflow that grabs all the files in a specified folder and rename it to the way that you specified. A quick way to get things done if you want to rename a huge library of photos that you have taken during your holidays.
To use it as a plugin in Finder, simply copy and paste the file to
~/Library/Workflows/Applications/Finder/ folder. (download link)
11. Download URLs as PDF
Occasionally, you found a great website that provides great information that can solve your problem. Instead of bookmarking it down (because the website might change anytime), you can grab the URL and save it as a PDF file. You can then store it in your computer and use it for future reference. This action script allows you to download a URL as a PDF file. (download link)
12. Birthday Reminder
This is an alternative to the iCalBirthday application listed above. Instead of creating a birthday calendar, this application checks your Address book and announce to you the persons who are having birthdays on that day. This application is meant to run at startup for full effectiveness. (download link)
13. Photoshop Action Pack
This Automator application consists of 87 Actions for Photoshop CS and CS2 that allow you to control all of Photoshop’s major functions. In addition to the huge assortment of editing actions, the Action Pack includes sophisticated document filtering actions which let you process images based on many criteria including orientation, color mode, image size, file type, and more.
I have not tested this on Photoshop CS3. If you have tested it and find that it works too, do let me too. (download link)
14. Sync Folders
This is a action script that allows you to sync two folders. A handy tool for those who want to do backup of their projects. (download link)
15. Text to PDF converter
A simple utility for creating searchable PDF files from text documents. Simply drag-and-drop any kind of text document on the application icon to quickly convert it to PDF. You may also drag multiple documents at once, or even an entire folder. (download link)
Fast Apps is a series of applications that allows you to perform some of the daily mundane tasks much easier and faster.
This app allows you to easily set a photo from your iPhoto, Photo Booth shots and any other standard photo app (including Aperture) as the desktop wallpaper.
Quickly pick and play a song in iTunes.
FastPicImport lets you select an image and imports it to iPhoto.
Drag and drop your songs into this app to quickly import songs to iTunes.
Grab the photos from the current webpage.
Quickly convert a website RSS feed into text.
17. Simple Photo Editor
Easily apply effects to your image without the need of any external photo editing application. (download link)
18. Quick DMG
Ever wonder how you can create a .dmg archive? This automator application allows you to easily and quickly create your own .dmg archive. Simply drag all the files/folders to the icon to generate the archive. It integrates well with Growl to provide graphical notification so that you know when the building process starts and when it ends. (download link)
19. Movie to iPhone
This workflow takes a movie file, convert it to iPhone/iPod Touch format and import it into iTunes. Next time you sync your iPhone with your iTunes, the movie will automatically get transferred to your iPhone. There are several scripts for different usage pattern. You can use it as a Finder action, Folder action or as a standalone app. (download link)
20. Convert Images to Combined PDF
If you have a bunch of images that you want to email your friends, instead of attaching them as a zipped file, you can convert all of them into a single PDF file and send it to your friend. This workflow can be used as a Finder action. Simply select all the images and choose the Convert images to PDF option in the right-click contextual menu. (download link)
21. Flickr Upload
If you are one of those who upload photos to Flickr regularly, this Automator action script will be useful to you. You can easily add it to your workflow to upload a single photo or a whole batch. (download link)
22. Lock Desktop
This is a very simple yet useful application. You can use it to lock your desktop quickly and instantly. Whenever you need to get away from your Mac, simply double click on this application to lock your desktop. (download link)
This app lets you burn files and folders to CD, fast and easy. Disc Burner burns files and folders to CDs in just a few clicks and without any external application. If you are using RW CDs, Disc Burner can also help you to erase the CD before burning your files. (download link)
24. Sepialise Me
Easily and quickly add Sepial effect to your effect without the need for external photo editing application (download link)
There are plenty of free and useful Automator action scripts out there and the list covered here is only the tip of the iceberg. I will be keen to know what automator scripts you use and if you have any useful ones to recommend. Share with us in the comments.