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
This week I was fortunate enough to be able to go to San Francisco and take part in a very special live show to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Relay FM – a podcast network now old enough for kindergarten!
For this show Myke, Stephen and Jason Snell devised a very special game of Family Feud – I’d never played before so of course I ended up being team captain (I’m not sure that was an entirely wise decision, but nonetheless it happened).
In episode 30 of Automators David and I thought we’d share a few of our recent automations with you – as well as updating my TextExpander outputs to accommodate a switch in my email addresses I had some fun with Shortcuts!
Episode 3 of Nested Folders has landed, in it we talk about building bookends – those magical periods of time in the run up to something in which we get everything done that we need to! I also trick Scotty into doing maths, and most important of all: Scotty has a new mic.
On top of this, to celebrate episode 3 we’re also having a competition: listen in for details on how to win a year of OmniFocus Pro and a copy of Build Your OmniFocus Workflow.
Last month I went to MacStock – it was my first MacStock and my first time speaking there too (why not combine firsts!) and I had an amazing time. For anyone who has been on the fence about going I would highly recommend it – so many friendly people and it turns out we all have at least one thing in common 😉.
I’ve put together a page of the resources from my talks: MacStock 2019 – here’s where you can grab the Shortcuts to download them, as well as links to the apps I talked about!
Disclaimer: Tom Bihn provided this bag free for a review. All opinions below are entirely my own.
You may recall that recently I reviewed my Waterfield Staad backpack which is a lovely backpack that I use a lot of the time. However there are times when I need to carry more than fits in this bag – trips where I’m away overnight or just need to carry a lot of things. When the chance came up to review a new Tom Bihn bag with a dedicated laptop compartment, clamshell opening and luggage pass through it seemed meant to be – and this was confirmed by the random number generator saying I won!
In episode 29 of Automators we got to talk to Adam Tow – creator of awesome automations. I met Adam at the Automators WWDC meetup this year and he demoed some of his wonderful shortcuts for me. I’ve seen them before and even tried them out, but once I saw Adam demoing them David and I knew we had to get him on the show to share how this all works!
Adam walked us through a few of his amazing automations:
MsgFiler: A way to file messages in Mail extremely quickly. I’ve been trying this since we recorded and I’m sold, I’ll admit I love using the keyboard and tend not to reach for the mouse unless I have to but this is a great utility!
Photo Magic: Adam has an amazing setup whereby photos taken on his DSLR end up automatically sent to him via iMessage, added to Photos, uploaded to Google Photos, oh, and the RAW photos are uploaded to Amazon too. Sounds crazy? There’s a bunch of very good reasons for this!
The Dark Dungeon Text Adventure: Did you know you can play a text adventure game in Shortcuts? Or have it translated into (almost) any language? Adam made it easy!
For more details you’ll have to listen to the show.
As a note, in the show I said I thought you could get a public link to a Dropbox folder through Shortcuts. You can get links to files, but for some reason links to folders no longer works – this is a shame, but we can hope that Dropbox offer this as a paramaterised Shortcut in iOS 13.