Not looking for a hand out but looking for key points to follow

The path to learning Automator has its difficulties for me…Especially finding the right action to use. I do get confused by the descriptions, some do not make any sense to me.

An example is, I would like to create a workflow that has three windows :
Left Hand would be a web page
Right Top would be a finder window
Right Bottom would be a finder Window

I struggle with this…Can someone please give me some key points to follow, like a generalized plan to get me started.

Many thanks in advance
Ron from Canada

Automator generally has a lot of limitations when you start getting into automation. Most advanced use of it is driven by scripting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything in Automator for window management (positioning app windows on a particular screen), which is what I think you are referring to. AppleScript isn’t much help there, and while there may be Automator plugins that might allow this, I’m going to suggest a different approach.

If I’ve interpreted things correctly, there are a lot of apps out there that will help you do this. Some are dedicated window management apps. Some are automation apps which happen to allow window management.

There are a number mentioned in this article.

The ones towards the bottom are the ones that will allow you to do more. You may even have one of them already.

You can even get a workflow for Alfred that can do this.

If I’ve misinterpreted the aim of your request, please do elaborate further :slight_smile:

I have KM and was successful in creating that workflow…But was hoping to fully use Automator even if I need to learn Scripting to do this. I do admire Users like yourself, Dr Drang and I am sure there are many others, who have a skillset that I admire.

Shell Script, Apple Script and Java…I need to get deeper in the learning curve… Is one better than the other? Does it all depend on the application/task involved?


Well, therein lies the sort of question that has come up many times.

Shell scripting ranges from common basics to massive expanse as there are various flavours (of shell) and hundreds, if not thousands of tools, available for the command line.

AppleScript is a scripting language, just like Python, or Go, or numerous others.

Java is a full on programming language, but I suspect what you actually meant was JavaScript; which is different again, but you will see come up lots in these forums.

There is often overlap between tolls, platforms and languages. But at the same time, specific tasks are certainly easier in some than in others.

For starting out, I would suggest learning some shell scripting. It will open up a lot of opportunities and even a small amount can make a big difference. You can use it inside Keyboard Maestro, inside Automator and inside AppleScript, if and when the time comes.

As you need to do more things, learn more. But, avoid people’s usual problem of trying to do everything at once. Build up the solutions and build up your tools one step at a time.

When you find something that is difficult to do in shell script and you feel like it is becoming too difficult or you have come to an impasse, start casting your sights farther afield. What you have learned is cumulative and what you learn for one tool you will often find at least some similarities to in other tools. Things like variables, loops, and logical conditions are practically universal.

Hope that helps.

Very well said and understood…Hence I begin my journey