Creating Automator Action

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Hi Everybody. I'm completely new to Mac; just got my Macbook Pro yesterday. I'm loving it and everything is working as it should but I could use a little help with the Automator and Speech Feedback apps. I have Googled the issue and ran a search through this forum.

These articles were more or less on point but the steps I want to complete aren't available. ATPM 15.11 - How To: Making Your Own Speakable Items and ATPM 12.07 - How To: Maybe You Ought To Be Using Automator

I installed Adobe Photoshop Elements and Google Chrome. I dragged both into Speakable Items and simplified the names to "Open Email" and "Open Photoshop." Both work as planned. Now I would like to create Automator actions to quit both of those apps without speaking the entire name. However, when I try to create an Automator workflow with Quit Application, those two apps are not available. For example, I can navigate to the Elements folder but Photoshop Elements Editor is grayed out. (It is available in Finder and in Applications) Any suggestions on how to create this action would be appreciated.

Thanks.

John
 

Slydude

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I don't have Google Chrome installed to test for sure but if you got it to open using Automator it should be possible to close it as well. I tried the following with Photoshop Elements and it works so I think it will work for Chrome as well with minor changes:

!. Launch Automator and decide the kind of workflow you are going to create. Then type "Quit"(without quotes" in Automator's search field to find actions with the word quit.
2. Choose "Quit Application" and drag it into the workflow. I think it has Address Book selected by default but you can scroll to the bottom go the list and choose Other.

From here a dialog will appear and you can select the program that you want to Quit. In the case of Elements choose the one that says Photoshop Elements not Elements 9

You can chain a series of these steps together to close several applications without closing everything. If you can't do the same thing with Chrome it can probably be closed using a one line Applescript as part of the workflow.
 
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Thanks for jumping in to help, Slydude. It sort of worked but the results were not what was anticipated. I must have done something wrong. Here are the stepsI took:
* Opened Automator.
* Selected Workflow for the type of document
* Found 'Quit Application' and dragged it to the panel on the right
* Scrolled down the applications list to Other and then navigated to Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor (the only app in the folder that was active)
* Tested it by clicking on Run and it successfully closed Photoshop
* Saved it to the Documents folder as a file called Close Photoshop
* Quit Automator
* Moved it to the Speakable Items folder
* Reopened Photoshop
* When I spoke 'Close Photoshop', it opened Automator and displayed the workflow I had just created.

I repeated the same steps to create a workflow to close Google Chrome with the same results; it opened Automator and displayed the 'Close Chrome' workflow.

I must have missed some crucial step somewhere. Any idea what I did wrong?

Thanks.
 

Slydude

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I must have missed some crucial step somewhere. Any idea what I did wrong?

Thanks.

You're almost there. When you speak the name of the workflow and it opens in Automator do they work properly if you click the Run button in Automator's window? I bet they do.

To fix the problem do the following open each of the workflows in Automator and save them as Applications instead of workflows. Use the names that you want to say in Speakable Items to trigger the workflows.

BTW Don't feel bad I made similar mistakes in the beginning. And still do from time to time for that matter.

EDIT: If you are developing an interest in Automator there are several good podcasts available. One of my favorites is Mac Automation Made Simple with Ben Waldie. There are several others that are also good though.
 
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That was it! That did the trick. Had to do a File, Duplicate To... in order to get to a dialog box where the type could be changed to Application but that worked. Thanks for the help Slydude.
 

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Glad to help. Automator is one of my favorite features about the Mac. If you don't mind here are a few tips that might make your experience more enjoyable:

1. When saving a workflow as an application, service, o similar save one copy somewhere as a workflow. It is easy to make changes to these in the future if say the name of a server changes or you want to add another application to the list of things to quit.

2. I mentioned several websites in those articles that have additional actions for Automator. The actions label as Universal Binary or Intel may work under Lion. The ones labeled PPC will not.

3. Sometimes a major shift in the OS will break one of your projects. This happened with the shift from 10.6 to 10.7. Sometimes the workflows need to be completely rebuilt but often fixing the problem is as simple as opening the workflow in the newer version of Automator and re-saving it.
 
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Excellent. Good to know. Thanks again.
 

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