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  1. #1
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    I think I have used Automator ages ago and now have a task that I think is perfect for Automator, but I'm having trouble to get my head around the way Automator is set up in El Capitan.

    I basically can't figure out which of the eight options to use to even starts.

    The task is very simple

    I have a few thousand pdf files in a folder on my desktop.
    What I need in the end is a jpeg file of the first page of each pdf file.

    So manually I just:
    1. Select the folder on my desktop
    2. Open the first pdf
    2. Save this pdf as a jpeg (which will save only the first page of the pdf as a jpeg)
    3. Save the jpeg in the same folder
    4. Close the pdf
    Repeat by selecting and opening the next pdf

    First problem I'm running into is that automator does not show an action "Open pdf"
    If I look at "Open Word Documents", a pdf document is not one of the types.

    And I thought this would be easy and straight forward.

  2. #2
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    11,409
    I basically can't figure out which of the eight options to use to even starts.
    The task is very simple

    Doesn't your Mac OS Automator.app still have a "Watch Me" to record the script you want to create of everything you want to do, or has Apple removed that feature along with so many others???



    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
    Posts
    7,937
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" 2019 iMac
    Automator World has an action for this that you can download.

    Convert PDF to JPEG | Automator World

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  4. #4
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Posts
    5,529
    Your Mac's Specs
    Late 2015 5K 27-inch Retina iMac, 4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB Flash Drive, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
    Nice find, Lifeisabeach.

    Ian
    Ian

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    Nice find, Lifeisabeach.

    Ian
    Well....

    Means I have to dig out my old MacBook pro and reinstall my special macOS 10.6.7
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    Well....

    Means I have to dig out my old MacBook pro and reinstall my special macOS 10.6.7


    No, not really because you could try this:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:11 PM in response to jbsphoto

    Automator has a "Render PDF Pages to Images" action.

    There's a wizard that pops up when you run Automator asking you to choose a template. The second template is "Application":

    Applications are self-running workflows. Any files or folders dropped onto an Application will be used as input to the workflow.

    So:

    Open Automator
    Choose "Application"
    Drag the "Render PDF Pages to Images" action onto the workflow
    This action produces random filenames, so follow it with "Rename Finder Items" (choose "Make sequential" from the dropdown list
    Then add a "Move Finder Items" to have the output files moved to the Desktop
    Save your new application somewhere
    Drag files onto it
    how do i convert pdf to jpg in automator? - Apple Community

    And if that doesn't work, try here:
    mac automator "Convert PDF to JPEG"
    mac automator "Convert PDF to JPEG" - Google Search

    Good luck.


    - Patrick
    ======

  7. #7
    Thanks Patrick,

    But I couldn't get this to work either.

    Oner thing I should mention -
    When I do this manually as described in my first post...if I use Preview to opern the pdf and then save it as a jpg, I get a jpg of the first page ONLY!...which is exactly what I want
    If I do the same thing in Adobe Acrobat for instance, oen the pdf and then save/export it as a jpg, I get a jpg of every pdf page in the pdf document ...which is NOT what I want

    Seems to me, even if I could get this to work, that Automastor action: "Render PDF Pages to Images" just the way it is worded would probably give me jpg of all the pdf pages.

    I aslo tried another suggestion on the google list - select all the pdfs, open them with Preview and save as jpgs.
    Tried that on a sample of 5 pdfs, but when I saved them as jpgs, I only got a jpg of the first page of that whole lot, not a jpg of every first page of those 5 pdfs.

    BTW - The "Watch Me" function is still available by using the record button.
    Haven't tried that, but that just repeats the mouse or keyboard inputs exactly, I need the mouse (or something) to select the next pdf in a long list of pdfs and then do the repetitive stuff

  8. #8
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
    Posts
    7,937
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" 2019 iMac
    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    Well....

    Means I have to dig out my old MacBook pro and reinstall my special macOS 10.6.7
    Whoa. That's crazy. OK, let me work out a workflow for ya. I'm sure I can. Give me a bit here.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  9. #9
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,013
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    I won't be able to ork on this for several days but I'm pretty sure t can be done with Automator. I've prersonally been a little disappointed that there have been so few new Automator actions for quite a while. I haven't looked recently so I could be wrong there.

    BTW I don't find the Watch Me Do action helpful in many situations where one would expect it to be. Haven't used it (or Automator in general) in a while but IIRC Watch Me Do often got confused if that action was called when the cursor was in a different place when the workflow was designed.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  10. #10
    Thanks guys,
    If I had any experience with Automator recently, I could probably figure this out myself pretty easily, but I have trouble figuring out where to even start.
    Also there doesn't seem to be an Automator function to open a pdf in Preview.

    BTW - What happened to the "Edit" function?
    I was trying to correct some typos I just noticed in my last post, I double checked to make sure I'm logged in, which I am, but there is no Edit option for my own posts, just "Reply" and "Reply with Quote" like every other post in this thread.

  11. #11
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    11,409
    BTW - What happened to the "Edit" function?
    I was trying to correct some typos I just noticed in my last post, I double checked to make sure I'm logged in, which I am, but there is no Edit option for my own posts, just "Reply" and "Reply with Quote" like every other post in this thread.

    Hmmm... I hadn't really noticed but you are correct, and with some quick crude ckecking of my own posts or edits, it seems that any posts after about 24 hours from the last post seem to drop the "Edit" option. Any posts prior to 24 hours seems to have the "Edit" option available.

    Maybe one of the Admins/Mods could confirm what the settings might be.


    - Patrick
    ======

  12. #12
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    57,876
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Maybe one of the Admins/Mods could confirm what the settings might be.
    I'll have to refer to Nick on that. The old "edit" options were different for the Staff, Premium Members, and regular members. But those time limits were from long ago when I first joined the forums. I really do not know what they are currently.

  13. #13
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
    Posts
    7,937
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" 2019 iMac
    Ok, this took some trial and error. As per Automator World, the numbering is completely random and a simple rename won't work because you can't distinguish which jpg is page 1 for subsequent documents when batching this. But I found a way around that. I suggest saving this as a "Quick Action", which will be accessible from the Services menu by right-clicking the PDFs you want to run this on.

    This workflow starts by splitting the selected PDFs into separate PDF pages. These will be named sequentially and not randomly. So in the demo I was running, Document 01 is split into Document 01-page1, Document 01-page2, and so on. The next step will then render them all as JPGs. Afterwards, it will move the JPGs to a folder of your choice. And so, here we go....

    Open up Automator; click "New Document", then select and choose "Quick Action".

    On the far top right, adjust the options so that "Workflow receives PDF files in Finder". The remainder of the options there are irrelevant.

    From the list of actions on the left, select "PDFs", then double-click on the action "Split PDFs". This action will then be on the right in your workflow. Set the folder you want these output to. These will be the PDFs split into single pages, so plan on deleting them all once done. You can leave the input name as same, unless you have a need to rename them.

    From the list of actions on the left, select "PDFs", then double-click on the action "Render PDF Pages as Images" to add it as the 2nd step of the workflow. Set the options as you see fit.

    From the list of actions on the left, select "Files & Folders", then double-click on the action "Move Finder Items" to add it as the 3rd and final step of your workflow. Set the location you want to save these JPGs to.

    Once done, save the workflow named as you see fit. "PDF to JPG" for example. It should be saved directly to the Services folder for your user account. You can then highlight all the PDF files you want to run this on; right-click on them; and select the workflow from the list of services at the bottom.
    One quirk I have here is that the JPGs will have " 2" appended to the end of the filename. You can use a renaming tool to quickly remove that by the "remove two characters from the end" option that most of them have. There's not a clean foolproof way for me to do this automatically in the workflow without risking messing up your preferred filenames. I also wasn't able to easily filter just "page1" for conversion to JPG, so once done, just filter the folder contents yourself in Finder for "page1" and then move them to another folder of your choice. You can then delete what's left. It should be possible to automate this, but it's going to overcomplicate the task and this is easy enough to do manually, especially if it's a one-off task. I can work it out if you need me to.

    screenshot_129.jpg

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  14. #14
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    14,013
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
    Kudos for that LB. Way to go the extra mile. I'm sure it's appreciated.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  15. #15
    Does anyone use Automator on a regular basis?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
    Posts
    7,937
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" 2019 iMac
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    I've prersonally been a little disappointed that there have been so few new Automator actions for quite a while. I haven't looked recently so I could be wrong there.
    Yeah, AutomatorWorld is very severely outdated. I was dumbfounded that the one I pointed out was PPC-only. That's just awful. The site clearly has effectively been abandoned. It's a shame because Automator is one of those little gems that adds a lot of utility to OS X. Unfortunately even Apple seems to have abandoned it also considering no new actions have been added in ages.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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