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For developers, Automator's reach can be significantly expanded by incorporating your own custom AppleScript, Shell script, Python, or Ruby code into any workflow.
If you're a regular Automator user, you're probably aware that what you can do with Automator is limited by the actions that are available to you. However, for developers, Automator's reach can be significantly expanded by incorporating your own custom code into any workflow.
Run AppleScript Action
This action is included with Automator, and can be found in the Utilities category of actions. With it, you can integrate your own AppleScripts into any Automator workflow, giving you access to countless scriptable applications that may or may not have Automator actions of their own.
Run Shell ScriptAction
The Run Shell Script action, which is also included with Automator and found in the Utilities category of actions, gives you access to the power of UNIX from within your workflows.
Run Python ScriptAction
For developers who prefer Python, toxicsoftware.com's Run Python Script is just what the doctor ordered. You can find it here.
Run Ruby ScriptAction
Building upon the usefulness and success of the Run Python Script action, Jason Foreman has released the Run Ruby Script action, which you can download from his blog.
All this week, I'll be providing more tips for extending Automator, so be sure to check back each day for something new.
For more on Automator, check out my book Automator for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide, as well as my video podcast series Mac Automation Made Simple.