6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 19, 2013 7:24 AM by Kyle Treece
Kyle Treece Level 1 (0 points)

I have never used automater before but I have a question and am wondering if it would benefit me to start using it.


Every morning when I turn my computer on (three displays) I open up about four different tabs in my internet browser and put them in the same location every time. I also open up FileMaker and put it in a certain location. After that I have a few other random programs that run in the same location on the screen every single morning. Will automater actually make all those functions into one click?

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    In Mountain Lion, you can use the Resume feature to achieve that.


    First, go to


     > System Preferences > General


    and uncheck the box called "Close windows when quitting an application".


    Second, click the power button once to bring up the logout window. Check the button that says 'Reopen windows when logging back in'.


    Press 'escape' to dismiss the box if you don't wish to restart/shutdown at the time (OS X will remember the setting even after you escape it until you change it again in the logout window).

  • Kyle Treece Level 1 (0 points)

    But when I do that, I notice when waking from sleep things are real buggy if I don't shut it down every few days. Can automater not do that?

  • VikingOSX Level 6 (14,280 points)

    In Mountain Lion System Preferences > Energy Saver > Schedule... you can configure your Mac to shutdown and restart at specific times of day. As a precaution, I would make certain there were no applications running with open files.

  • Kyle Treece Level 1 (0 points)

    Maybe I didn't explain it right.


    I don't want to shutdown at anytime. I just want to setup a one click to open screens and place them in a certain location. I assume Automater doesn't do this?

  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Yes, you can do it in Automator but it's just not the most efficient way of doing it. The OS 'application savedstate' feature (which you turn on by the instructions I gave you earlier) should do that without 'bugs'. I'm not sure what you mean by 'is buggy', but that sounds like an unrelated issue. It works fine on my system and every system I've ever done support on.


    In any case, if you insist on using Automator, you need to create a new workflow, and then do a separate 'watch me do' recording for each app. If you've got 5 apps, you'll want 5 recordings that play one after the other in the same workflow. Don't try to record the whole set up in one 'watch me do', it'll never work.


    Test each recording by hitting 'run' before making the next one. It often takes a couple of goes to get the recording to work flawlessly (unlike 'application savedstate', this feature is 'buggy'), and you need to click apps from in the Dock and take it slow, or the recording won't pick everything up.


    Hunt around youtube for 'automator' and 'watch me do' videos if you need a visual demonstration, but its fairly intuitive. Just don't get frustrated if the first couple of recordings throw a "the action 'watch me do' encountered an error" message. The trick is to make shorter recordings with a small number of actions in each one, and then string them together in the same workflow.

  • Kyle Treece Level 1 (0 points)

    The reason I was thinking Automater would work better for me is because of the addon/plugins that I run in all of my FireFox/Chrome windows. They're all custom build and the browsers require a complete quit and reopen every day or two. With the savestate I am still having to drag and place everything every few days.