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"Forget All That Other Stuff I Said" - Kevin Nealon
If you're human (and who isn't?) you've certainly had the experience of spending perhaps a large amount of time and effort doing some kind of work only to find that there was a much simpler answer - but only after you finished doing it the hard way. I recently had that experience because I made the mistake of opening Apple's Automator. Today you get to see me eat my own words, and I won't even use ketchup.
As a long-time Applescripter, I guess I regarded Automator as a "lobotomized" version of Applescript. After having glanced at it when I first installed OS X Tiger, I saw (or thought I saw) that it wasn't very flexible, the pieces being prebuilt and all. It was just "scripting for dummies." After all, it couldn't do what a scripting guru like me and Applescript could do, right?
Wrong. I've taken some time to get closer to my friendly-neighborhood Automator robot, and found that, despite my first impression, Automator, used properly, is very powerful. As an example, I'm going to show you how to re-do two of my more advanced scripts, Scale Images and Convert Images from my Image Events article. Once you see how easy it is to assemble the correct pieces in Automator, I hope you'll be much more likely to try out our little robot buddy!
Six 2x4 LEGO bricks of the same color can be put together in 915,103,765 ways... - from the Wikipedia
Much like LEGO bricks, Automator contains prebuilt parts from which you can make your artistic (or scripting) masterpieces. This time, let's work backwards from my previous article and start with duplicating the function of the Scale Images script first. We'll talk about the Convert Images script re-write later on.
First, fire up Automator in your Applications folder. When it opens you'll be presented with an Automator document window. Automator document windows are a bit more complex than a Script Editor window. The window not only has an area to the right for assembling your "LEGOs," but also contains lists of the applications and actions you can use and a small corner window that gives information about the particular action you're looking at.
First, let's find some actions that work with images and see if we can find one that will scale them. Type "image" in the search box while the Applications folder is selected. Scroll down the list and you'll see this: