You could spend all day playing with the workflows Apple gives you, making minor tweaks and seeing how they affect the workflow's progress. You could even download more preassembled workflows from www.automatorworld.com/category/workflows/, if you were so inclined.
Still, those options don't give you the kind of hands-on experience you need if you ever want to automate your Mac on your own.
That's why the following pages walk you through building three different Automator actions from scratch. Along the way, you'll learn several tricks that you'll find handy when you start building your own workflows.
If you're feeling lazy, you can download the completed workflow projects from this book's "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanuals.com.
So you're listening to a song in iTunes, and you're seized by an overwhelming urge to email it to someone. Maybe you think your mom would like to hear the new Aaron Carter hit, or that your brother would be interested in your latest GarageBand opus.
The traditional process for emailing a song is a huge pain: locating the song in iTunes, Control-clicking it, choosing Show Song File from the shortcut menu, creating a new message in Mail, addressing it, typing out a subject and short body message, dragging the song file from the Finder into the email message, and, finally, clicking Send. Life, frankly, is too short.
Automator can greatly simplify this process. With a simple three-action workflow, you can locate ...