What can applescript do for you?

What is applescript anyway? What does it do and how can it help me?

First things, first. Applescript is for macs. If you don’t use one, you can still try to automate with javascript. Javascript is great because it is not limited to one platform. However, it is not the easiest language to learn and it is not as flexible as applescript.

Applescripts are written using the script editor which comes with your mac and is found in Applications/Utilities/Script Editor. Open script editor and you are ready to start programming. You don’t need to download anything!

Applescripts are programs/applications written to perform one or  more actions. Applescript applications can manipulate programs as long as the program supports applescript. Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign support applescript (as well as javascript and vb script). Finder, mac mail, filemaker and many other programs also have built in support for applescript. Not sure if something is compatible? Just google the program name and applescript and see what comes up.

What kind of manipulations can be done with applescript?

How much time do you have? Most functions can be automated! From small tasks like creating/naming a new folder (in a specific location) or creating a new file to complex workflows involving multiple programs and tasks. Applescript can collect information from the user through dialogs like choosing a/multiple file(s)/folder(s) or text input that can be used to name a layer, or by simply asking a yes or no question. Applescript can even write emails, save emails, or be triggered to do a task when an email is received. Should I even mention you can use applescript to upload files to an FTP?

I have another blog that offers free graphics. I completely scripted blog posts by triggering an applescript based on one image file.  The script first creates a preview graphic by reducing the size of the image and placing it into a predefined template. Then it saves it to the same location as the original file using an altered file name. Next, it uploads both the original image (downloadable stock art) and preview image to my website by FTP. Finally, it creates the entire blog post consisting of the preview image, a few lines of text containing a link to download the stock art and code to display advertisement links. The script formats all of this information in an email that it creates and sends out to my blog (set up in wordpress and postie). The subject line of the email (based on the image file name) becomes the title of the post and it even schedules each post a day apart so I can do a big batch of posts all at once without having them all post immediately. All of this happens with one click.

So what do you think? Worth a little bit of time to learn and write scripts to save hours of repetitive work? 

Comment below with any questions you have or to talk about time saving scripts that you are using!

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