11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2013 12:49 PM by HD
jestory Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm a complete novice to the Automator App.  I'm trying to create a keyboard shortcut for Word, Excel etc. so I can open the programs using the keyboard rather than the mouse or trackpad. 

I can create the workflow in Automator, select "Run" and it executes the workflow but the book I'm using to learn, Missing Manual for Mtn. Lion, states after creating the workflow to "go the the very top of the workflow pane, change the pop-up menus so theat they read, "Service receives no input in any application" (where the underlined phrases are pop-up menus).  I don't see the phase "Service receives etc etc." anywhere in Automator.

Next after saving the workflow the book states to "Open Sys. Pref., keyboard, keyboard shortcuts.  Click "Services", then find your new Service and give it a keystroke shortcut. 

I don't find my new "Service" or workflow anywhere in the "Keyboard Shortcuts" area.

 

If you can't answer the questions any suggestions for either books or websites concerning the Automator app. would be appreciated.

Thanks


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • 1. Re: Automator Question
    red_menace Level 6 Level 6 (14,615 points)

    Automator can create several different types of workflows.  You can create a Service workflow (which has the mentioned popups) by selecting the Service document type when creating your workflow.

  • 2. Re: Automator Question
    jestory Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Red_Menace,

    That solved the workflow issue, however, when I assign a keystroke command it isn't activating the program.  Got any ideas on what might be happening.

     

    Thanks again for helping me

    Jim

  • 3. Re: Automator Question
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,295 points)

    I've seen where I need to activate the Service from the Menu once before the shortcut will work.

    The other possibility is that the service is silently failing.

  • 4. Re: Automator Question
    HD Level 4 Level 4 (3,240 points)

    Launch Automator and choose Service as the type:

    Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 22.08.36.png

     

    Add a Run AppleScript action, delete all the text inside, then write a one-line script:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 22.10.47.png

     

    (This is for Numbers. You'll need to find the precise name of your application, from memory it may be "Microsoft Excel") Make sure the settings at the top match the screen shot: Service receives no input in any application

     

    Save the Service workflow. I called mine run Numbers. Quit Automator if you like.

     

    Launch System Preferences, go to Keyboard, Keyboard Shortcuts, Services, General, select your Service:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 22.16.12.png

     

    Choose a shortcut, quit System Preferences, test the shortcut.

     

    Hope this helps with the process.

  • 5. Re: Automator Question
    HD Level 4 Level 4 (3,240 points)

    Better version of first screenshot:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 23.00.40.png

  • 6. Re: Automator Question
    jestory Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks HD, that really helped.  I've got it working now.

    Thanks to everyone for responding, I truly appreciate the assistance.

     

    HD, my wife and I were in Bath in the summer of 2000.  Beautiful community and very interesting.

  • 7. Re: Automator Question
    HD Level 4 Level 4 (3,240 points)

    It's a great place to live!

  • 8. Re: Automator Question
    jestory Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    HD, a little more help if you have time.

    Do you know where the files created (workflow files) using Automator are located. (folder, etc)  And also, I've created some workflows that didn't work but are in the keyboard-shortcuts-services window.  Do you know how to delete them?

    And last, I created several using your instructions and they worked but then quit working.  Any ideas as to why they would stop operating.  (it's probably operator error, haha)

     

    Thanks Again

    Jim

  • 9. Re: Automator Question
    HD Level 4 Level 4 (3,240 points)

    Jim,

     

    The workflow files are located in folders inside the LIbrary folder of your user account. In Lion and Mountain this is hidden by default in Finder. To access it, pull down the Go menu in Finder and then press the Alt key (? Option in US) on the keyboard - LIbrary will appear in the menu and you can select it to open it.

     

    Inside the Library folder is one folder callled Services and another called Workflows. Services contains Services you have created yourself. Workflows contains subfolders for Workflows, Applications, Folder Actions etc.

     

    Alternatively, right-click on a Service in the keyboard shortcuts pane in System Prefs and choose Show in Finder.

     

    Removing the files from these folders will remove them from the keyboard shortcuts list in System Prefs, but you may need to log out of your account and log back in again to see the change.

     

    Without more detail about what the workflows do, it's hard to say why they might stop working. Is it just the keyboard shortcut that fails, or do they stop working from the Services menu too?

     

    Cheers,

     

    HD

  • 10. Re: Automator Question
    jestory Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    HD, Thanks again and again

    I was able to delete the files using your instructions and clean up the services window in preferences.

     

    Is it just the keyboard shortcut that fails, or do they stop working from the Services menu too

     

    I'm going to do some testing and see if I can figure out what is going wrong.

     

    As I stated b4 your help has cleared up many of  my questions.

     

    I've had an iMac for a number of years but never really got into it like I want to now.  I just got a new 27" iMac and it's so much better than my old one I had. I've been having a great deal of fun with it and I want to really learn the system.  Difficult for a aged mind such as mine. Haha.

    Take Care

    Jim

    PS. is there a way to send you a private message rather than using the discussion board?

  • 11. Re: Automator Question
    HD Level 4 Level 4 (3,240 points)

    Glad to be of help! I don't think there's any way of sending private messages on these forums, the content is intended to be open to all. I tend not to publicise my email address on any sort of public forum either!

     

    Hope you get the workflows sorted out, post back if you need more help.

     

    H