AutomatorMac OS X comes with an app called Automator, that lets you string actions together to make simple programmes. It allows, for example, resizing 100 photos in one go. Or, as in the example below, taking a group of PDFs, and turning them into a single document that is saved on your Desktop.

As a practical example, we will look at the second idea above: combining PDFs. To try this, follow the steps below.

  • Download the this ZIP file, and save it to your computer.
  • Find the saved file and double click on it, which will uncompress and reveal a file called Combine PDFs.workflow.
  • Double click on Combine PDFs.workflow and it will open in Automator
  • Then, in Finder local your PDF files and highlight them all:

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  • Now, in Automator, click on the Run button in the top left:

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  • It will process, and depending on the size and number of your files, a new PDF will appear on your Desktop within seconds.

If you investigate the lists of actions on the left hand side of the Automator window, you will see that it can do lots and lots of other things too. In addition, this great list of 10 Automator Uses goes into quite some detail.