More on Automator Services
Thread poster: Meta Arkadia

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 11:01
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Jul 22, 2013

It seems lots of Mac users don't use the Automator. That's a pity, since especially the Automator Services are very useful for us, translators. And you don't even have to compile them yourself, so there's no excuse not to use them.

You can use Services to automate things by hitting a keyboard shortcut (KBS). I think you can compare it with AutoHotKey in Windows Speak.
There are Services for dozens of things, like finding a selected word in a local dictionary or on a website, paste the selected text in a Word:mac document, "surround" the selected text with quotes, use the selected text to write a new e-mail, etc. You may have noticed that the magic word here is selected. You can hit the KBS for the Service as many times as you like, if you haven't selected anything, nothing will happen.
If you select a text in any application, the active Services will show up in

OS X comes with a number of Services. You can find them here:
 | System Preferences | Keyboard | Keyboard Shortcuts

Devon technology offers a a useful selection. For free.
Our friends in Redmond made some 80+ Automator Actions available for Office:mac.
And you can find many more on the Automator World site where those MS action came from.

If you created or downloaded a new Service, you'll have to see to it that it is saved in the appropriate place:

The easiest way to do that with downloaded Services, is to double-click them so they'll open in Automator, followed by Save (or Save As if it's not a Service but an Action or Workflow).
You will then have to go to the System Preferences (see screenshot above) to check the box in front of your new Service to make it active, and to click "none" to assign a KBS to it.

I write this, because in I mentioned a Service, and it turned out it wasn't very clear. In my screencast, I showed how to use a Service to copy a text into an Excel file. The only action required is to click the field in which you can find the text to be copied, and hit the KBS for the Service. The Service will then: Select All the text, Copy it to the clipboard, run Excel, and Paste the text into the Excel file.



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