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Old 11-22-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Good ol' batch files

I have button making software. It insists on naming the buttons the way it wants to. And I wanted to run test after test with different designs.That would be a lot of renaming. I looked into software that renames files but was not impressed. Then I remembered batch files. This is a list of file operations that Windows is to perform. So now in a split second I can rename the whole set and delete extra files the software creates.

I wonder if batch files are still a bread and butter topic in in books about Windows. Or for that matter, the Unix equivalent in Mac manuals.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
Unix equivalent in Mac manuals.
Not in the regular Mac manuals but you can buy specific books or find online info on using the Terminal application on the Mac. Also almost all command line Unix/Linux info works. i.e. OSX is a real and complete Unix underneath.

   
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #3
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My guess is that anyone who needed BAT files in DOS would have moved to Visual Basic Scripting or PowerShell in Windows; both are far more flexible/powerful.

But I still have a couple of BAT files in daily use.

I use the Windows scheduler to run a daily BAT that uses XCOPY to copy any modified files on a couple PCs to a drive on the server and another simiilar one that's scheduled to run a bit later on the server, to copy all of the updated files off to an external drive.

I have an operation I need to perform fairly often that involves two Win Explorer windows open to certain folders. A bat file automatically opens them both for me.

Then there's E.BAT which opens my preferred editor of the moment and loads any file also mentioned on the command line.

There's life in the old bat yet.

   
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:23 AM   #4
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I wonder if batch files are still a bread and butter topic in in books about Windows. Or for that matter, the Unix equivalent in Mac manuals.
Yes! The whole point of computers is to AVOID doing repetitive tasks yourself! If you're doing a repetitive task -- you're doing it wrong!

OS X has not only all the Unix trimmings -- shell scripting, perl, and any other language you care to name: image manipulation -- resizing, changing color profiles; conversion to different file formats; file renaming; text processing; ad infinitum, all on the command line.

And then there's also Apple's own AppleScript and Automator. Together, all these are phenomenal.

Automator allows non-programmers the ability to build blocks of tasks graphically. The workflow can then be saved as a "Service" (accessible from the Apple menu when a suitable file/folder to be processed is selected); or as an "Action". You can link a Folder to an Action, so that any file dropped into that folder will have the action performed on it.
You can also create "droplets" -- apps that process files when they are dropped on the app.

Most OS X apps (including Creative Suite) are AppleScriptable, so you can create scripts that perform commands in the Finder, then using Photoshop, then some other app.

There are millions of examples of Unix shell scripts on the web and countless books on the subject, as well as on AppleScript.

For instance, I have two AppleScripts that I regularly run.

One checks all incoming mail. If it is an automated email from my web shop, the text is taken, manipulated into the right order (stripping fieldnames), and then pasted into InDesign to create an invoice.

The second one runs when a PDF file is saved in a particular folder. If the PDF is more than 2 pages, then the page size is checked, and my Imposition software is called to run one of two preset imposition schemes, depending on the size of the PDF page.
The imposed PDF is saved to another folder.
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