Windows Newbie: Need help automating print jobs :(

zigx

Registered
Hi Guys,

First off i am from a windows/linux background and this is my first time using an apple system. Work hooked me up with a g5 and a sweet, SWEET 20 inch cinema flat screen. I have to say... i am so impressed with the system that i am probably going to buy my own... that is, if i can get things automated!!

This is my problem:

I need to automate the printing of various files via the listed applications

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • CorelDraw
  • QuarkXPress
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe PageMaker
  • Macromedia Freehand
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Adobe Acrobat

I will be setting different options int he printer's driver and basically i would like your expert opinion on What way i should go about doing this? Should i learn how to code applescript? Can applescript do this for me?? Should look into a keystroke recording application? Do you have any suggestions/links for software (opensource would be Great!) .... Any information would be AWESOME, thank you guys.

:D
 

Decado

Kallikanzaroi
Hi, Zigx!
could you be more specific what you want to do with each file, give us an exemple of a typical workflow.

are you using Panther or Tiger? the reason i ask is because Tiger comes with Automator, an application made for people who want to... automate things :)
 

zigx

Registered
Decado said:
Hi, Zigx!
could you be more specific what you want to do with each file, give us an exemple of a typical workflow.

are you using Panther or Tiger? the reason i ask is because Tiger comes with Automator, an application made for people who want to... automate things :)
i am running 10.4.

Basically the kind of automation i need to do is illustrated in the workflow below:

-open specific file in a specific application
-open print dialog
-set specific options in the print dialog
-print

repeat, but with diff file and application.
 

Decado

Kallikanzaroi
that sounds simple.
i'm currently away from my main computer but i would do an autmator task that watched a certain folder, filtered the contents (open photoshop documents in photoshop etc.) and then printed. then save it as a folder-action so it would run everytime you dropped something in it. go to http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/automator/ and look around to get inspired :)
 

zigx

Registered
Decado said:
that sounds simple.
i'm currently away from my main computer but i would do an autmator task that watched a certain folder, filtered the contents (open photoshop documents in photoshop etc.) and then printed. then save it as a folder-action so it would run everytime you dropped something in it. go to http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/automator/ and look around to get inspired :)
Man im already inspired after just looking @ my mac screensaver!! haha

Can automator set specific print driver settings?
 

zigx

Registered
Looking around the net even more i am finding that automator needs actions specific to an application. And for example Acrobat is not applescript-able.

Since it appears that automator actions are just snippets of applescript, it looks like apple's automation may be lacking?
 

texanpenguin

Registered Penguin
OS X includes a program called "Preview" which can display and print PDF files too, and another program "ColorSync Utility" (in your Utilities folder) which, combined, provide a good deal of the features (especially relating to printing) of Acrobat.

It's interesting to note that a program doesn't explicitly need to support AppleScript to be scriptable (it's just insanely more complex). You can actually write a script which tells the application to click the first menu option, choose "Print…", select the settings, click the "Print" button and then close the program.
Naturally that's out of the realm of a large number of peoples' ability. If you want to read more, search for "Interface scripting"
 

zigx

Registered
texanpenguin said:
OS X includes a program called "Preview" which can display and print PDF files too, and another program "ColorSync Utility" (in your Utilities folder) which, combined, provide a good deal of the features (especially relating to printing) of Acrobat.

It's interesting to note that a program doesn't explicitly need to support AppleScript to be scriptable (it's just insanely more complex). You can actually write a script which tells the application to click the first menu option, choose "Print…", select the settings, click the "Print" button and then close the program.
Naturally that's out of the realm of a large number of peoples' ability. If you want to read more, search for "Interface scripting"
i will do that.

Thanks man, i appreciate your response / help!
 

Decado

Kallikanzaroi
that is a good advice to always use preview. since Preview can open even layered Photoshop-documents and adobe illustrator documents (at least those saved in later versions), there really isn't any reason to use any other application to print from.

here is a page with some tips on how to write smple GUI scripts:
http://www.apple.com/applescript/uiscripting/index.html
 

elander

Registered
You can set up a desktop printer, and if you drag and drop documents to it, they will open in their respective application, with the print dialog open. If you don't need to change the settings, you just click "Print" and you're done.

Here are a few things to try, they were written for Panther, but I beleive they work just fine in Tiger too:

http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/desktopprinting.html
http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/desktopprinting2.html
http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/sidebarprinting.html
 
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