Introducing the “Welcome to Xojo” Bundle!

New to Xojo and looking for guidance? We've put together a terrific bundle to welcome you! Xojo Bundle

This bundle includes six back issues of the magazine -- all of year 21 in printed book and digital formats -- plus a one-year subscription (beginning with 22.1) so you'll be learning all about Xojo for the next year. It's the perfect way to get started programming with Xojo. And you save as much as $35 over the non-bundle price!

This offer is only available for a limited time as supplies are limited, so hurry today and order this special bundle before the offer goes away!

Article Preview

Buy Now

Issue 12.4 ('Game Center')
Instant purchase and download via GumRoad!


Take Control of Automating Your Mac

Issue: 12.4 (July/August 2014)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,614
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 12402
Related Web Link(s):


Full text of article...

Since I'm essentially lazy, I love automation. Any task I do that's at all repetitive, I prefer to figure out a way to let the computer do it for me. Most of the time this involves writing a small Xojo app, but often that's excessive or not appropriate. That's when I turn to other techniques (such as scripts or macro software).

This book isn't meant for programmers. It's a general overview of the various ways you can automate tasks on your Mac. As such it's useful, especially to those who are new to the Mac. The book covers not only built-in automation solutions, but briefly goes over various third-party options, so it's a great way to learn about helpful software you may not have known existed. (Windows Xojo users who are creating Mac software will find this book particularly valuable.)

Though I'm experienced with automation (I actually discovered REALbasic in 1998 in my quest to automate graphic design tasks), there are parts of this book I didn't expect. For instance, there's a short section on using alternative input devices (speciality keyboards, mice, trackballs, joysticks, and other hardware). Other concepts explored in this book I'm familiar with, but just don't use enough, such as Smart Folders in the Finder. There are also good explanations about acclaimed programs I haven't tried (such as LaunchBar) and third-party services that I need to learn about (IFTT).

But, mostly, this book is a terrific overview of all sorts of automation areas you may not have considered. These include Mail rules, clipboard utilities, automatic backup, web browser automation, and scriptable applications (i.e. using VBA with Microsoft Office). Of course, the book also works through more obvious topics such as AppleScript, Automator, shell scripting, and macro utilities such as Keyboard Maestro.

While no section goes into fine detail, there are examples (even shell script code), and screenshots. It's definitely a good way to inspire you to use the tools you already have in hand. For instance, I have Keyboard Maestro, but don't use it nearly enough, and this book has given me lots of ideas of things I can do with it.

End of article.