The Best MacOS Automator Scripts You Should Have Installed.
Automation tools like IFTTT and Siri Shortcuts are popular options for streamlining day-to-day tasks, but macOS has long had a tool for that. The automator is little known to anyone except experienced users, but if implemented correctly, it can take care of the little things and help get rid of boredom in everyday tasks.
No programming skills are required to set up Automator. All you need to do is drag and drop the skills you want into your workflow. Here are some of the best scripts you should check and install.
1. Clean up the Downloads folder
The Downloads folder can quickly become cluttered, especially if you frequently download photos or files. The number of zip files and installation packages can grow rapidly. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: Install Automator, which moves files older than a certain date range to the trash.
Automator may seem a little overwhelming at first, but it’s actually much easier than it sounds. Start by opening the program and choosing New Document, then choosing Folder Actions. From there, select Find Search Items and drag it to the blank screen on the right.
Click the Options tab and select Ignore this entry. If you don’t, all files will be sent to the trash immediately. Select Move Finder Items to Trash and drag it under Find Items.
Once you configure this action, it will automatically move all files older than 90 days to the trash.
2. Rename multiple files at once
macOS tends to name certain file types in a certain way, and it can be difficult to sort them all, especially if you have 98 screenshots named “screenshot xxx-xxx-xxx”. Fortunately, Automator can make this process easier too.
First, you will create a new document in Automator. Select “Workflow” and then select “Files and Folders” in the far left window. Drag Get Selected Finder Items from the middle window to the right window, then do the same for the Rename Finder Items.
When you do, a pop-up window will appear asking if you want to proceed and will offer the option to make a copy of the files before renaming them. While you can do this, it prevents you from modifying files right away.
Just enter the text you want to find in the Find box, and then the text you want to replace it with in the Replace box. You can use advanced options such as finding the full name, base name, and extension. Once you’ve done that, you can simply open Finder and then run the Automator script.
3. Open your favorite websites when you start the browser
Let’s face it: most of us have a routine when it comes to web browsing. Maybe it’s a collection of websites that you enjoy reading to keep up to date on your favorite topics. Maybe it’s work related. Either way, you can save yourself some trouble by making Automator open your most visited websites the moment you load your browser. Here’s how.
When you open Automator, select Application. Select “Internet” in the left window and select “Get specified URLs” in the middle window. Drag it to the right. Once you’ve done that, enter the URLs you want to visit when you launch your browser. (Hint: If you have a page open in Safari when you click Add, it automatically enters the URL.)
Then select “Display Web Pages” and drag it under “Get Specified URLs”. Save the Automator script. The next time you open Safari, it will open the pages you specified.
Other automation uses
Automator is a powerful tool with almost unlimited use. While the scope of it can be confusing, trial and error will teach you everything you need to know. You can do everything from sending automatic birthday greetings using Outlook to merging text files together.
If you’ve set up Automator correctly, it will save you most of the repetitive tasks. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to organize functions without coding skills, and the Run button in the upper right corner of the app lets you test your Automator script before saving it.
If it doesn’t work the way you want, change a few parameters and try again. And if that still doesn’t work, Apple has an active Automator community that you can turn to for help.