Take Control of Automating Your Mac, 4th Edition

Book description

Work faster, increase your efficiency, and have more fun with automation!
Version 4.1, updated April 14, 2023

Ever wondered if automation could make your life easier? In Take Control of Automating Your Mac, Fourth Edition, Mac expert Joe Kissell shows you how to save time and aggravation by using numerous built-in macOS tools, as well as helpful third-party apps, to automate routine tasks and procedures.

Looking for ways to work smarter and faster with your Mac? In this updated and expanded fourth edition of his popular guide to Mac automation, Joe Kissell shows how anyone, at any level of experience, can save time and effort, and avoid unnecessary errors, by using automation techniques that range from the simplest keyboard shortcut to the most complicated script.

In this book, Joe teaches you how to automate routine tasks in a wide variety of ways. You can begin by making the most of productivity features such as Siri, Spotlight (for launching apps), and text replacement—and then move on to the more sophisticated automation tools built into macOS, such as Shortcuts, Automator, AppleScript, services, and shell scripts.

In addition, Joe gives extensive information about third-party automation apps that can make a huge difference to your work efficiency, such as Keyboard Maestro, TextExpander, OmniGraffle, and many more. As an extra bonus, the book includes coupons for discounts on seven automation apps!

Whether you’re new to automation, you just need a refresher, or you’re experienced with automation but want to go deeper, this book can teach you the skills you need to automate with ease. Take back your time, work more efficiently, and have more fun with your Mac, with Take Control of Automating Your Mac, Fourth Edition!

With this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Get started with the built-in macOS automation tools, including Shortcuts, Automator, AppleScript, and shell scripts
  • Take full advantage of input devices to save clicks and keystrokes
  • Customize toolbars and your Touch Bar to put hard-to-find controls at your fingertips
  • Use your voice to control your Mac with Siri and Voice Control/Dictation Commands
  • Automate text expansion for faster, more consistent typing
  • Control the Finder with a launcher and by organizing files with Hazel
  • Supercharge your clipboard to remember and reformat previous copies
  • Write macros in Microsoft Office and Nisus Writer Pro
  • Create rules to file email automatically in Apple Mail and Outlook
  • Log in to websites faster with a password manager
  • Automate cloud services with IFTTT and Zapier
  • Set up automatic backup and syncing
  • Use Omni Automation for JavaScript-based automation tasks
  • Control nearly anything on your Mac with Keyboard Maestro

Table of contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Settings vs. Preferences
    3. What’s New in Version 4.1
    4. What Was New in Version 4.0.1
    5. What Was New in the Fourth Edition
  2. Introduction
  3. Automation Quick Start
  4. The State of Mac Automation
  5. Develop an Automator’s Mindset
    1. Learn the Basic Principle of Automation
    2. Learn What You Can Automate
    3. Look for Automation Opportunities
    4. Pick the Right Tools
  6. Use Built-In Automation Features
    1. Use the Mac’s Built-In Keyboard Shortcuts
    2. Make Your Own Keyboard Shortcut
    3. Use and Customize Toolbars
    4. Use macOS Text Substitutions and Transformations
    5. Control Your Mac with Your Voice
    6. Update Apple and Mac App Store Software Automatically
    7. Update Non-Mac App Store Software Automatically
    8. Work with Rule-Based Searches
    9. Create and Use Smart Containers
    10. Deal with the Mac’s Evolving Security Features
  7. Automate Your Input Devices
    1. Use Trackpad and Magic Mouse Gestures
    2. Use BetterTouchTool
    3. Customize Your Touch Bar
    4. Save Clicks with Third-Party Input Devices
    5. Program an Input Device with USB Overdrive
    6. Control Anything with a Stream Deck
    7. Learn About Other Special Input Devices
  8. Automate Text Expansion
    1. Use Text Replacement in macOS
    2. Use a Third-Party Text Expansion Utility
  9. Automate the Finder
    1. Use Spotlight as a Launcher
    2. Use a Third-Party Launcher
    3. Organize Files with Hazel
  10. Supercharge Your Clipboard
    1. Learn What a Clipboard Utility Can Do
    2. Use a Macro or Launcher Utility
    3. Use a macOS Clipboard Utility
  11. Automate Individual Apps
    1. Automate Microsoft Office
    2. Automate Nisus Writer Pro
    3. Discover Other Internally Scriptable Apps
  12. Automate Email
    1. Use Server-Based Rules
    2. Automate Apple Mail
    3. Automate Outlook Email with Rules
    4. Automate Other Email Apps
  13. Automate the Web
    1. Log In Faster with iCloud Keychain and Safari Autofill
    2. Automate Web Logins with a Password Manager
    3. Automate Cloud Services
    4. Discover Other Web Automation Options
  14. Automate Backup and Syncing
    1. Run Backups Automatically with Time Machine
    2. Create Hands-Off Versioned Backups
    3. Automate Mac-to-Mac Syncing
  15. Discover macOS Automation Technologies
    1. Apple’s Core Automation Technologies
    2. Using JavaScript for Automation
    3. Using Swift for Automation
  16. Use Services for System-Wide Shortcuts
    1. Configure Services
    2. Find and Use Services
  17. Get Started with Shortcuts
    1. Explore Shortcuts
    2. Run a Shortcut
    3. Import Automator Workflows
    4. Customize a Shortcut
    5. Create a Shortcut
    6. Share a Shortcut
  18. Get Started with Automator
    1. Create a Simple Automator Workflow
    2. Create an Automator Droplet
    3. Create Your Own Service
    4. Find and Run Sample Workflows
    5. Learn More about Automator
  19. Get Started with AppleScript
    1. Write a Simple AppleScript
    2. Learn What AppleScript Can Do
    3. Understand AppleScript Basics
    4. Find and Run Example AppleScripts
    5. Edit an Existing AppleScript
    6. Use GUI Scripting
    7. Use AppleScript Folder Actions
    8. Learn More About AppleScript
  20. Script the Command Line with Shell Scripts
    1. Create Your Own Shell Script
    2. Try Another Script
    3. Shell Scripts Outside the Shell
  21. Use Omni Automation
    1. What Omni Automation Can Do
    2. Try Omni Automation in OmniGraffle Pro
  22. Use a Macro Utility
    1. Control Your Mac with Keyboard Maestro
    2. Use Another Macro Utility
  23. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author and Publisher
    3. Acknowledgments
    4. Credits
  24. Copyright and Fine Print
  25. Also by Joe Kissell
  26. Hazel Coupon
  27. Keyboard Maestro Coupon
  28. LaunchBar Coupon
  29. Nisus Writer Pro Coupon
  30. Script Debugger Coupon
  31. TypeIt4Me Coupon
  32. Typinator Coupon

Product information

  • Title: Take Control of Automating Your Mac, 4th Edition
  • Author(s): Joe Kissell
  • Release date: April 2023
  • Publisher(s): Take Control Books
  • ISBN: 9781947282476