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Troubleshooting Automator: Stepping Through a Workflow

Posted December 11, 2008

Topics: Apple, Operating Systems

Sometimes, the answer to a problem in Automator is to slowly check each and every step of your workflow, one by one, to look for errors.  You can do this by stepping through your workflow, rather than running it all at once.

Sometimes, the answer to a problem in Automator is to slowly check each and every step of your workflow, one by one, to look for errors.  You can do this by stepping through your workflow, rather than running it all at once.

To step through a workflow, choose Workflow > Step from the menu bar.  When you do this, Automator will run the first action, and then pause.  You can then take some time to evaluate the result of the action, and ensure it’s what you’re expecting.  When you’re ready to proceed, choose Workflow > Step to run the next action.


If you find yourself stepping through workflows regularly, consider adding a step button to Automator’s toolbar.  Just choose View > Customize Toolbar from the menu bar.  Then, drag the Step icon to the desired location in the toolbar.


Check back tomorrow for another Automator troubleshooting tip!

For more on Automator, check out my book Automator for Automator for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide, as well as my video podcast series Mac Automation Made Simple.

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