Mac Automation Tips for Geeks
This morning in Twitter I noticed a tweet from Mac automation tips. I love it when I can use my Mac to do things automatically for me. It seems to me that is what computers are supposed to do, make my life easier. It definitely feels good and geeky to set things up to happen automatically. The website Mac Automation Tips recommends the use of automation applications such as Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, Better Touch Tool and Alfred. Reading through the site this morning I found another application they recommend called Super Tab. I might have to give that a bit of a test to see if it fits in my workflows. The Apple automation tools such as Automator and AppleScript are also useful but most of its functionality can be replicated easier in Keyboard Maestro. Can use AppleScript inside of Keyboard Maestro anyway. I have recently upgraded to the latest version of Keyboard Maestro and there are a couple of automations I use daily.
Remembering to use the automations
It is necessary to remember what you have set up to automate. Most of these things work on a keyboard combination. Remembering the keyboard combinations if you don’t use them every day can be a little bit difficult sometimes. It is probably better to get something into muscle memory by using it over and over for a few days or weeks. After you have done that it is going to be easier to remember for the long term. I have a Keyboard Maestro automation set up to Open up two applications at the same time for me. One application is DragonDictate which is what I use for talking to my computer. The automation will open up the correct file for my work and the other application opens up to show the markdown syntax rendered as it will look on a webpage. Marked 2 also gives me more information about my text, such as the number of words I have written so far. Another automation will activate based upon a keyboard shortcut and take the text from DragonDictate and put into another application ready for me to do the editing part of the job.
Expand your Text
Some would argue that Text Expander is even more useful for automation on your Mac. Certainly, if you do a lot of writing then you will get much use out of this application. I have a text expansion which will let me add markdown reference links into my text. I already have the link in with a clipboard and I only need to use a short three letter code followed by the number I want to use for the link reference. It is so quick and easy I can put HTML links into documents in my sleep.