Automator is an often-overlooked utility application that enables you to automate workflows that can automate repetitive tasks. Of course, you don’t have to use Automator just for complex or advanced workflows – sometimes you just want to automate a simple task like opening your favorite apps and documents at system startup.
One of the best ways to use Automator is through browser commands. It can save you a lot of time with normal actions in Safari or the web browser of your choice.
Automator lets you automate most of the actions you do on your computer. With Automator, you don’t need to know complex programming languages or scripting to create automation actions; Simply use any of the hundreds of actions available in the Automator library to create workflows. Actions can interact with a variety of apps and parts of macOS. A workflow can be as simple as one action, or it can include many actions that perform a series of complex tasks.
- 1 Create a workflow in Automator on Mac
- 2 1. Open a web page at a specific time every day
- 3 2. Open a specific set of web pages with Automator
- 4 3. Download all images from the page
- 5 4. Download all audio or video files from the page
- 6 5. Run a website as a standalone application
- 7 6. Open articles containing specific sentences
- 8 Learn to do more with automation
Create a workflow in Automator on Mac
To create a workflow in Automator, choose the type of workflow you want, and then add actions to it.
- In the Automator app On your Mac, choose
ملف -> جديد.
- Select the type of workflow:
- Workflow: A workflow that you can run from within the Automator app.
- Application: A standalone workflow that runs when you open it or drop files or folders onto it.
- Quick action: A workflow that you can add to Finder windows, Touch Bar, and the Services menu. For more information about using Quick Action workflows, see Use Quick Action workflows on Mac.
- Print plug-in: A workflow is available in the print dialog.
- Folder action: A workflow attached to a folder in the Finder. When items are added to the folder, the workflow is triggered and files are used as input to the workflow.
- Calendar alert: A workflow that runs when a calendar event occurs.
- Photo Capture Plugin: Workflow available in photo capture app on Mac.
- Spelling command: A workflow that runs when dictation is used.
- Click Select.
After choosing a workflow, add actions to it.
Add actions to a workflow
Actions in the Automator library are grouped into categories by application, file type, or data. Each action is one step in the workflow.
- In the Automator app On a Mac, you can search for an action by doing any of the following:
- See all available actions: Click the disclosure triangle to expand the library.
- See actions related to a specific category: Select the category in the Library column.
- Searching for a specific action: Enter a word in the search field. If you click on a category in the library and then enter a search term in the search field, only actions related to the category will be searched.
- Record your action: Click the Register button to get started and automatically complete the task you want to perform. After you’re done, click the Stop button.
- To add an action to the workflow, double-click it.note: If you record an action, it automatically appears in the workflow.
- Add additional actions, as needed.
- To save the workflow, choose
ملف -> حفظIf you create a specific type of workflow, such as an application or calendar alert, the workflow is saved as that type. For example, if you choose a calendar alert workflow, when you save it, Automator automatically opens the calendar and creates a calendar alert event.
Let’s look at several ways to use Automator with your browser.
1. Open a web page at a specific time every day
Many of us visit and revisit certain web pages at the same time every day. Maybe you need to open the same web page every day before you start working, or maybe you have a Pinterest board with some motivational quotes that you want to read every morning.
Either way, you can save yourself some time by having Automator open those web pages for you. Here’s how:
- Open Automator from Utilities under the Applications folder (or search for it with Spotlight using
Cmd + Space). Create a new document, then choose calendar alert.
- Select Internet from the sidebar and drag the action”Get specific URLsto the workflow on the right. Remove the default URL and add the page you want Automator to open (for example, we used Dz Techs’ home page).
- Now drag the action View web pages in the workflow and place it below the previous action. You’ll see one producing an output and the other taking the input, so they’re both connected.
- push the button “employmentin the upper-right corner of the aberration test. Automator should open the web page you entered in your default browser. If not, double-check that you have followed all the above instructions.
- Finally, go to
ملف -> حفظto save the project. When you do that, the calendar opens a new event (in our case, it’s called “Display DzTechs”). Edit the event in your calendar to repeat whenever you want Automator to open this URL.
In the example above, Automator DzTechs will open every Friday at 5:50 PM. Make any required changes here so that the page is displayed on your preferred days and times.
2. Open a specific set of web pages with Automator
There may be groups of web pages that you always want to open together. For some, that might mean five different social media accounts. Others may always open their email, calendar, and to-do lists.
Why not create an action on Automator to open a list of URLs at once without any intervention from you?
- Create a new document in Automator and select Application as the document type.
- Again, go online and swipe up”Get specific URLsto the workflow, and then add the list of web pages you want Automator to open at the same time. We used some Hearthstone related pages.
- Add an action View web pages Below get the specific URLs, and I’ve setup.
- Save the app with a meaningful name, then launch it with Spotlight to open a large number of web pages with just a few keyboard taps!
We called this Automator app “hearthstone-read,” and we can use it to open up to four URLs in an instant.
3. Download all images from the page
This is not an automated workflow method, which means you need to run it from within Automator. Although opening Automator may seem like an extra step, it is still a faster way to download all the images from the active web page.
- Create another new document in Automator and select an option workflow.
- Again, go to the Internet category in the sidebar. This time, add Get the current web page from Safari to the workflow. Unfortunately, this workflow only works with Safari, but in many ways, Safari is a better browser than Chrome for your Mac anyway.
- Below, add Get images from a web page And set the Get Image Links dropdown menu to these pages.
- Add Download URLs to the bottom of the workflow and set your preferred download directory. We chose to stick in the downloads folder.
- To download all images from a specific webpage, open that page in Safari and run the Automator workflow. Depending on the number of images on that page, it may take some time to download.
- After the images are downloaded, you can resize, rename, or reorganize them using other Automator workflows.
4. Download all audio or video files from the page
You can do something similar with audio or video files using a slightly more complex workflow. This allows all audio or video files from a particular web page to be downloaded from within Automator.
- Create another workflow in Automator in the same way as before.
- Add an action Get the current web page from Safari once again.
- This time, add Get URLs from web pages.
- If you select only Returns URLs in the same domain as the start page , you’ll only get audio or video files hosted on the same domain as the page you’re on. Conversely, if you do not select this option, you will get all the files linked from the page, regardless of where they are hosted.
- Now add an action URL filtering to the workflow. How you set up the filters depends on what you want to download. For example, if you only want MP3 files, set the path to contain
.mp3. For MP4 videos, set the track to contain
.mp4, And so on.
- You can also include a number of criteria and choose which of the following is correct.
- Now you have filtered URLs, add action Download URLs and choose download folder.
- Then run the workflow from within Automator to download your chosen media from any open pages in Safari.
5. Run a website as a standalone application
If you’ve ever wanted a website to release its own app, or if you’d rather use windows for multiple browsers instead of multiple tabs, you might want to use Automator to open a specific webpage as its own app.
This is a great option if you want to create a custom Google search app with Automator.
- Create a new Automator document and choose Application.
- The first procedure is Get specific URLs , where you need to enter the URL of the site you want to convert into an app. As an example, we used the Google search page.
- Now add action Website popup , which creates a packaging application for the site. You can choose from a number of different settings to change the size and appearance of the site.
- Now save the Automator document as an application and give it a clear name; We called it “Google Search. To launch your web application, simply double-click on the Automator file.
6. Open articles containing specific sentences
RSS feeds are still useful for tasks like creating your own news feed. But some feeds are overwhelmed with articles, making it hard to find the articles you want.
If you are searching for specific topics or phrases, create an Automator workflow to open articles that match your search query in a specific feed.
- First, create workflow in Automator.
- Add action Get specific URLs With the URL of the feed (or feeds) you want to search. For our example, we used the BBC World News RSS feed.
- Now, create filters using Action Filter Articles. Let’s say we want to pull out any articles about the president; We can set a filter to capture articles with “PresidentIn the title or in the abstract.
- Add actions Get URLs from articles AndView web pages to finish.
- When you run the workflow, you should get a lot of tabs with articles matching your search criteria. Be careful with this workflow, as it can lead to a massive number of new tabs.
Learn to do more with automation
It’s a little complicated at first, but Automator can be a very useful tool for making your Mac more efficient. It takes some time to get used to the app, but after you spend some time using it, you should be able to create all kinds of useful workflows, services, and apps to make you more effective every day.
While we focused on using Automator with your web browser here, there are plenty of other useful Automator apps you can create as well.