We’ve written about Automator multiple times here at Make Tech Easier not only because we think it is an easy and fun tool to work with, but also because we believe that it helps in saving a lot of time for the average computer user.
Apple has spent a lot of time in making this tool extremely easy to use for the beginner and at the same time incorporating enough bells and whistles for keeping the power users happy. For a blogger and a mac user, Automator can be quite handy if used correctly.
Now, resizing images is something that almost everyone with a digital camera has to do these days. Whether you’re an average computer user looking to share your photos on Facebook or a blogger looking to upload screenshots of an application to your website, resizing images is a necessity. Considering how important this small function is, it’s actually surprising that modern operating systems don’t come with a built-in feature to automation this task.
Well, if you’re a Mac user, Automator has you covered.
Let’s suppose you’re an amateur photographer and you want to upload all the photos from your recent trip to your website. The photos have all been clicked at the highest resolution possible and you’d want to resize all the images to a respectable 800×600 to save bandwidth and space on your webhost.
Let’s create an Automator script to do this for us.
Fire up Automator and select the “Workflow” template.
Now, select and drag the “Copy Finder Items” action to the workflow area. Select a location where you want to copy the working files. These are the images that the next action in the Workflow will work on. Don’t select the “Replace existing files” checkbox. This is important because if something goes wrong in the workflow, you don’t want to lose your originals too.
The second step is to add the “Scale Images” action from the library. Drag the action and select a size depending on your need.
If you want to make sure the images are saved in a “Web friendly” format, add the “Change Type of Images” action from the library. Automator will ask you if you want to add a “Copy Finder Items” action since the type of the original image is changing. Since we’ve already saved the original images in the first step, you can safely select “No” here.
Now, save the workflow that you just created to an easily accessible location and don’t forget to select “Application” as the file type of the workflow while saving.
To use the workflow on a set of images, just select the images in the Finder and drag them onto the Workflow application.
Now, you can browse over to the location that you chose in the first step of the Workflow. Your resized files will be available over there.
There ! Doesn’t that make your work much easier ?
What kind of other routine tasks do you guys perform on your computer everyday ? Have you tried using Automator to help you ?