I don’t like scripts. I like what they do, I just don’t like the hassle of creating scripts. It requires waaaay too much thinking.
However, I know enough about scripts to know they’re also waaaaay cool and can make your Mac do some very good things. Here’s my favorite.
Mac OS X Tiger, like Panther and Jaguar before, features the ability to create and use AppleScripts systemwide. Wait? If you’re like me, actually writing a script is not something I venture into often; as in, ever. So, download a few scripts, drag and drop them to the right spot, and, bingo. Something cool happens. Here’s what it is.
One of my favorite web sites is Mac Scripter. As you’d suspect with a name like that, MacScripter collects scripts; these are little applications that help other applications do more things that you want to do.
With Apple’s AppleScript you get the opportunity to make scripts that can work with most of Apple’s major applications and many other applications. For example, AppleScript works with the Finder, Safari, the ToolBar, Mail, iTunes, AppleWorks, iDVD, iTunes, QuickTime, and many applications.
While AppleScript editor and Studio are both handy, they also require some thought and work to develop useful scripts. That’s another couple of reasons to like MacScripter. Less thought, less work.
Speaking of ‘less thought, less work’ don’t forget Automator in Tiger. Think of Automator as ‘drag-and-drop’ AppleScripts. Click Here for a few more details from Apple on Automator and what it can do with some Mac applications, and AppleScripts.
I’ve created a few AppleScripts but they were not very powerful. Automator can change that because many Mac applications take advantage of the ‘scripting’ power in Automator and Apple Scripts.
For now, there are many AppleScripts from which to choose. One of my favorite scripts is Mail Scripts. This is a great little collection of AppleScripts that make Apple’s Mail.app work better.
Download the scripts. Installation couldn’t be easier. Drag and drop the scripts, launch Mail, and you’re ready. Can it be that easy? Well, yes. Check out what you get with Mail Scripts.
Add Addresses: As it says, this script adds addresses found in the selected messages (in the header fields “From”, “To”, “Cc”, and “Bcc”) to the Address Book. This is much more flexible than the “Add Sender to Address Book” available in Mail and provides a convinient way for creating mailing lists.
Archive Messages: Move messages from the selected mailbox(es) to an archive mailbox or export them to standard mbox or plain text files for backup purposes or import into other applications. You can select to move all messages or only messages sent within or certain period as well filter messages based on their read and flagged status.
Change Mail (SMTP) Server: Switch between different already defined SMTP servers or define a new one. This is especially useful if you are using your computer in more than one location and have to switch servers for several accounts at once.
Create Mail Rule/Filter: This is for those who have figured out how to use a filter. It’s easy but you need practice. Create a new rule based on the first of the selected messages.
This saves you the trouble of copy/pasting address or other info between the message and the rule window and provides much quicker way for setting up a rule with multiple criteria/actions.
Remove Duplicates: Locate all duplicate messages found in the selected mailbox(es) and move them to a separate mailbox for easy removal (duplicate matching is based on the unique message header “Message-Id”).
Schedule Delivery: One of my favorites. Allows you to send individual messages at predefined times (this script uses iCal for scheduling message delivery).
There’s more, but that’s enough to let you know there’s something useful with most scripts, MacScripter has more scripts than anyone, and you don’t need to know how to write scripts to use scripts.
Regardless, this will be a good way to get started with scripts. Download the file from the Mail Scripts Home Page and follow instructions for drag and drop installation.
Then, browse around MacScripter for awhile. You’ll find other scripts that sound intriguing and the process for using the scripts is about the same. Download. Drag and drop (or double click). And use.
On to Automator. I’m just now getting in to Automator as more and more Automator ‘applications’ show up on the Apple site and other sites devoted to Automator. As I gain more comfort at creating and using Automator, I’ll publish a report, complete with samples of what you can do, why it’s cool, and why you should check it out.
While I don’t create AppleScripts, I’m no longer afraid to try them out and use them. I expect the same to take place with Automator, though, so far, they’re easier to create than AppleScripts.
update Here’s another set that I found more than spongeworthy. Click Here for Backup QuickPicks Pack. This is a set of eight Quick Pick plug-ins for Backup 3.0 (need to be a .Mac member) which also backs up Automator Actions, Dashboard Widgets, and other googies.