Mac Hacks: 11 Excellent AppleScripts to Speed up Your Daily Tasks
1. The DesignerGeeks Free List
Coming in first on our list of excellent AppleScripts is the wide array of free scripts available at DesignerGeek. Just take a look at the list and functions of some of these scripts! With features and scripts ranging from backups, iCal, Fonts, Drop box alerts, Growl and Wiki apps, the list just goes on and on! If you're looking for some quality free AppleScripts, look no further.
2. Convert an Image
How many times have you gone through the following process? Download an image(s), find the image, open up PhotoShop, wait, select the image and open it, and then finally save the image as a different type of file by converting it. I know I have done it more times than I could count and this is exactly the scenario where AppleScript is meant to help. Download the script above, and all you need to do is drag the images you wish to convert, select the new file type you wish, and you're done!
3. NetNewsWire to FriendFeed
FriendFeed has really blown up in the past year or so, with more and more end users taking advantage of its services and capabilities. This AppleScript aims to bring NetNewsWire and FriendFeed together, which will end up saving you some time in the long run. To quote the script author:
This applescript allows you to post an article to FriendFeed from NetNewsWire. This script based in large part on the "blog selection" script that comes with NetNewsWire.
Another big time saver here. Imagine you need to know every detail and all of the information about a certain image. You could locate the photo, open up PhotoShop, open the image, find the settings to view all the details etc. Or, you could just download the rampage script for free, select the image and be done with it. Rampage will tell you everything you wanted (and didn't want) to know about the current image you have selected.
5. Doug's iTunes Scripts
Here is a resource of scripts that will be extremely useful to any iTunes user or music fan. Good ol' Doug has setup a page with, at the time of writing, 454 AppleScripts that deal with making iTunes work for you. Some of the scripts range from organizing songs in advanced fashions, to joining certain tracks together with a few clicks of your mouse. Later on we will look at a particularly great script from Doug's website.
6. iCal Duplicate Script
iCal is a wonderful Mac software program that functions as a day planner/calendar/event organizer etc. It can really help you to keep track of daily (or monthly) tasks and what you need to get done on any given day. It is, however, not without it's flaws. If you use iCal frequently, you might have noticed it is somewhat easy to accidentally add or create duplicate/multiple entries. These can really start to clog up your calendar. By downloading and installing the iCal duplicate script, you can clean up your calendar in about three seconds!
7. iTunes Library Manager
Earlier, I stated we would have a look at another one of Doug's excellent iTunes script and the time has come to do so (oh joy!). If you are anything like me, you have a lot of iTunes music and libraries setup. The iTunes Library Manager allows you to maintain multiple libraries, all with different customizable settings. Features you ask? The author answers:
Additionally, because each library is saved and loaded with its associated preferences, you can create many different configurations for different uses. For instance, you can assign each library its own designated iTunes Music folder, and keep a directory of audio files on your computer and another distinct directory of audio files on another volume, network drive or external drive; different libraries can have different Sharing, Burning or Importing settings, too.
8. iTunes Music Alarm Clock
This script is a must have for myself and many others. If you happen to be more of a night owl rather than a morning bird, you may have just found your answer to those getting ups for those horribly early mornings. The iTunes music alarm clock allows you to set all of your preferences for when and how long the alarm should go off. You choose the tracks or albums, the libraries, whatever you want really. Better to wake up to some of your favorite music than a horribly annoying buzzing sound!
9. TinyURL AppleScript
Website owners and bloggers will probably find this script most helpful. With the popularity of services like Twitter came the need for short and simple URL's, and services like TinyURL. Problem is, if you need to create a bunch of different URLs, it can be sort of a mind numbing process of copying and pasting, and navigating to certain sites. The TinyURL AppleScript takes the current url of the page in Safari, and adds it to your clipboard for easy pasting. Sweet and simple.
Developing Your Own!
So far we have looked at pre made AppleScripts to help you speed up your daily tasks and procedures. That is all fine and dandy if you can find the script you are looking for, but what if you can't? What if you need a script specialized to your exact needs? Well, you could hire a programmer to do it for you, or you could look at the resources below and build it yourself! It's not too difficult, I promise!
10. The AppleScript Beginners Tutorial
If you have never worked with AppleScript before, start here. No, seriously, this is one of the best resources you will find on the topic and is straight from the Apple Developers themselves. This tutorial, takes you through everything you need to know before getting started, and then how exactly you get started. You'll be writing your own scripts shortly after reading this!
11. Automating iPhoto and Photoshop
Now that you have read through the beginners tutorial above, you are ready to get your hands a little more dirty. In this series by the O'reilly Mac Dev Center, you will learn exactly how to use iPhoto and Photoshop with AppleScript to speed up all kinds of daily tasks.
Hopefully, you can see how helpful and time saving AppleScripts can be. By taking a few seconds to download a script, or a few minutes to hours to write one, you can drastically cut back on the time you spend doing everyday tasks on the computer. Did we miss any of your favorite AppleScripts? If so, please let us know in the comments below!
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