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How to Automate Windows Tasks Simply

/, Tech Tips/How to Automate Windows Tasks Simply


Have you ever gotten tired of repeating the same task over and over again? Now there is a FREE solution that will allow any PC user to automate their tasks quickly and simply.

Actions is a Java app that aims to bring the same automation tools to Windows as Mac users get from the Automator tool. The idea is that, through a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can create a workflow of actions that can edit files or performs various common tasks. For example, you can batch rotate a bunch of pictures, or rename a large collection of files according to specific rules. Actions works in almost exactly the same way as Automator—so brush up on your anatomy of a workflow and check out the example below to see how it works. This program is designed to give you simple computer help so that anyone can use it. Let us know how it works for you, and as always please send us your questions if you need support.

Batch Rotate Photos

Download Actions from here.

Here are some more things that Actions can do for you:

Resizing images en-masse: say by asking the user to point to a folder, then prompting the user for a theme name, then resizing all of the images found inside as per a standard resolution and renaming them using the theme name given plus a numbered sequence appended to it.
Cropping images en-masse: similar to the example above, but instead of resizing say you want to crop a large list of images as per certain coordinates. Can be easily performed in Actions.
Renaming files as per certain rules: by asking the user to point to a folder, then renaming all of the files within it according to predefined rules. I actually built this one because I needed it and it works beautifully.
Opening a web page and downloading all images: while filtering out all non image URLs.
Etc. It’s really up to your imagination; these are just a few by way of illustration.

Here are more notes on this program:

Easy to learn: the learning curve is comparatively small. I was able to create fairly involved tasks just by playing around with the program, without reading any instructions or watching any videos. The program itself will instantly suggest remedies to broken workflows (although these are not always what you might want or intend).
Drag and drop: to add actions or to re-arrange them, etc. Very user friendly and goes a long way towards making this application accessible and easy to learn.
Executable files: can be easily created. These will launch and perform the task that you created right from the desktop. Unfortunately, you will still need the Actions application itself installed on your machine (it will not run independently). Note that these aren’t “real” executables but rather have the extension “.wexe”.
Can run command line executables: with parameters. This implies that given the right command line executable you can add any action to the program. For example, if you have an exec that can convert video files you can integrate video conversion into your Actions workflows.
Can send mouse clicks and keystrokes: if you need them (yes, if you must have the macro functionality and look and feel, you can).
Developers can author their own actions: in Java, if they so choose.

By: Whitson Gordon

By | 2018-03-14T19:49:19+00:00 October 22nd, 2010|All Posts, Tech Tips|0 Comments

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