Merge PDFs Natively With A Right-Click In OS X

UPDATE: If you installed this script today (2016-08-15), you may need to update it.  I added a line in the script that should prevent duplicate pages from being appended.

There are plenty of apps that help you merge PDFs into a single file, but if you want something faster with a “native” feel, you can set up an OS X service to quickly merge selected PDFs simply by right-clicking them. Continue reading “Merge PDFs Natively With A Right-Click In OS X”

Convert DOCX to PDF Natively With A Right-Click

Microsoft Office for OS X is usually very sluggish and slow.  This is one reason I don’t like working with DOCs or DOCXs in OS X.  Yes, you can easily view the document using QuickLook (pressing the Space bar while the file is highlighted), but if you actually want to open the file and manipulate it, you need to either buy Office, or get an open source alternative.

Download a pre-built workflow (or create your own by following the steps below).

Continue reading “Convert DOCX to PDF Natively With A Right-Click”

Give Your Mac A Voice-activated Self Destruct Command (Just Like Star Trek)

OS X Yosemite has a new feature called Dictation Commands.  This allows you to press Function key twice, speak your command, and then have the computer do something for you.  While there are some useful built in ones, it is much more interesting to make your own.

In this example, I make a Star Trek-style auto-destruct mechanism, which will destroy all the data on my hard drive and make it crash (not really, but there are ways to do this). Continue reading “Give Your Mac A Voice-activated Self Destruct Command (Just Like Star Trek)”

Automator: Scale Down Large Images From the Contextual-menu

Automator seems to be one of those unknown or ignored Apple-made apps.  But it is very powerful and can save you a lot of time.  It has also been part of OS X for a long time.

Purpose

To save time by automatically scaling down images (while keeping the original file) to a pre-set size as opposed to manually editing each one.

Requirements For This Walkthrough

Materials

  1. Mac with OS X
  2. Large image files

Downloads

  1. Automator workflow

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to navigate throughout a computer OS
  • Knowledge of basic computer terminology

Step-by-step Instructions

Create the Automator Workflow

You can also download a a pre-built workflow.

  1. Create a folder for the scaled-down images to go
  2. Open /Applications/Automator
  3. Create a workflow similar to the following: (editing the folder and size fields)jacob_salmela_automator_workflow_reduce_image
  4. Click File > Save
  5. Save as something like Reduce to 800×600

Use The New Contextual Service

  1. Right-click a large image file
  2. Click Reduce to 800×600jacob_salmela_resize
  3. Watch the magic happen

The scaled-down image will now be revealed in the folder you designated.  The original remains in-tact.  This operation can also be completed on many files at once.  In this example, the picture was 1.8MB and was reduced to 144K.