Automators 31: Making Your ScreenFlow Flow and More with J.F. Brissette

In this episode of Automators David and I got a chance to dive behind the scenes of ScreencastsOnline and into the Terminal app (not at the same time) with J.F. Brissette. David and J.F. met years ago at Macworld!

J.F. does editing and assembly for ScreencastsOnline — which means he spends a lot of time working with video and audio in ScreenFlow, and he has got his workflows down with automation. As he said “it needs to be automated if you’re going to use it as much as I do” which is something worth bearing in mind for any application you use heavily.

Keyboard Maestro is his tool of choice (as it is for many people), and he has many macros which he has found. The Clipboard History Switcher specifically makes it much easier to copy and paste elements around — also allowing you to create a palette of elements from your macros, something that applies to many kinds of work!

J.F. also uses Terminal a lot, for everything from opening apps to checking what day you were born on or what day your birthday will be on next!

open -a Safari
open -a "Keyboard Maestro"

These open apps — because Keyboard Maestro has a space in its name it needs to be wrapped in quotation marks. Note that capitalisation is optional, and you can use either single or double quotation marks — J.F. tends to use lowercase and single quotations, like this: open -a ‘keyboard maestro’.

cal 01 2021

This will show you a calendar for January 2021 – so you can quickly scan for “11” and see that my birthday will be on a Monday!

We also had a look at regular expressions, which are a way to do search (and replace) with extra magic by defining very specific patterns. Shortcuts even supports regular expressions, both to “Replace Text” as well as with “Match Text”, which can be followed by “Get Group from Matched Text.”

Thanks to our sponsors for this episode:

  • ExpressVPN: High-Speed, Secure & Anonymous VPN Service. Get 3 months free with a 1-year package.
  • Pushcut: Automation your way. Trigger iOS Shortcuts from anywhere. Try it free. P.S. If you haven’t listened to our members-only special yet you should – the camera and audio equipment were all monitored (and set up by) J.F.! Listen to

Automators 31: Making Your ScreenFlow Flow and More with J.F. Brissette.


9 thoughts on “Automators 31: Making Your ScreenFlow Flow and More with J.F. Brissette

Inspired by the latest episode of the Automators podcast, I did two things. First, I started istening to the Taming the Terminal series that they recommended. So far so good. More practically, I created a bash alias for a couple of commands that I use almost every day. They use rsync to save a copy of a couple of important sites locally, and in the way of such things the commands are complex with many moving parts. Until now, I’ve kept them in a text file, and copied and pasted when I wanted to run them. This time, I copied and pasted into .bash_profile. Yay me! Time and keystrokes saved. Yay Automators!
Next I really want to learn how to tell bash to send me an email with the results of a command it has carried out.

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