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How-To Automate Tasks on a Windows or MAC PC Using Action(s)

Hey there groovyReaders! Have you been using your computer for things like rotating or renaming photos and moving and compressing files to your external HDD?  You know, it’s those basic actions we do often that we  wish we could just automate or have someone else do for us!  Luckily, there is!  Today I’ll quickly go through a free java-based application called Action(s) which can easily automate most of those annoying processes for you on both the MAC OS and Windows 7 and older. Let’s begin!

Video Screencast

Step 1 – Downloading Action(s)

First of all you need to download Action(s). (Note: You need to have javainstalled in order for this to work). Get started by going to app.jbbres.com. From there you can read some useful information about the program in addition to downloading it. To begin your download, simply press the red button on the right side of the screen and follow all the steps to complete the install.

Quickly go through the download process…

..agree to the terms of use…

..do trust the application publisher if asked…

..and then the application should start.

Step 2 – Creating your first workflow

Once Action(s) loads up you will notice its interface is fairly simple. On the left side you have all the different actions you can perform, and on the right side you’ve got a your workflow, where you can organize all your actions and create a simple workflow that the application can perform for you as many times as you like.

Today we’ll try to make a quick workflow for renaming the images we just got from our digital camera. First we will begin by dragging in the Ask for Pictures action into our workflow. We will leave the prompt name to its default and we can change the Start from option to whatever suits our needs. Personally, I will set my mini-browser to start from the desktop.

Then we can drag in the Rename Files action into out workflow. From here we have some extra options, but for the best results we’ll set the first dropdown menu option to Make sequential and set images to have a new name, placing the numbers after the name and separating them with space. At the bottom left of the action in the workflow you can also see an example of how your filenames would look like after the full workflow is completed.

Step 3 – Running workflows

After completing your workflow you can test it out by pressing the Run button in the upper right corner of the screen.

Since our workflow was created for renaming pictures we need to point to a location with some pictures ready for renaming. Just select all your photos and click Open…

…and in a flash all your Photos will be renamed.

Step 4 – Saving workflows

If you’re happy with the results your workflow helped you achieve, you can save your workflow for later use whenever you need it again. Simply press the diskette Save icon in the upper left of the program…

…and pick a location where you want to save your workflow.

Your workflow will be saved with a .wkfl file extension and can be opened simply by double clicking the actual workflow at any time when needed. You can copy your workflows on a thumb drive to use on another computer, but do note that in order to do so, Action(s) needs to be installed on that computer as well.

There you have it – a quick and easy way to automate simple tasks on your Windows or MAC PC. Do you have a tip for a really groovy piece of software or service you just coulnd’t live without? Tell us about it below or shoot us an email at [email protected]

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