Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts

As a followup to my earlier post about how to create a macOS Service (or a Text Expander snippet) to quickly append a text file using Hazel, Automator and Shell Scripts, here’s a way to instead prepend text to a text file using the same tools.

prepend text automator screenshot

Why would you want to do this?

My core interest in setting this up is for plain-text journaling. In a way, I am cobbling together the functionality I find extraordinarily useful in the iOS app Drafts for use on macOS.

I like to capture ideas, thoughts, errands, links, apps, articles, tasks and todos quickly, and I use a plain-text document system I’ve put together over the years. These automation setups remove friction in doing so, which make it more likely I will maintain the behavior.

With this setup and the companion append text automation setup, I can hit a keyboard combo, have a small window pop up where I type what I want to capture, hit OK and the automation goes and appends it to the right .txt file, in the right location, behind the scenes.

I will be writing about my plain-text journaling system in a future post. For now, read on to learn how to set this journaling automation up for yourself.

Continue reading “Prepend Text File with Automator & Shell Scripts”

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Alphabetical Keyboard Characters in OS X

mac-os-x-finder-keyboard-character-file-name-sorting

If you, like me, use the weird symbols on your keyboard to help you sort files in the Finder, then you’ll be happy to find that I went through the trouble of not only naming a folder full of folders with top-row keyboard characters so you can see exactly how they sort, and then naming those folders so you know what key commands will produce them, but I also made it downloadable so you can just use it yourself. I put this folder on my Desktop for quick reference.

See here for a web table for every last keyboard character in alphabetical order.

Enjoy.

Secure Input & Photoshop’s Hand Tool Spacebar Shortcut

If you are a fellow Photoshop user, and have experienced an unexplained loss of accessing the Hand tool using the spacebar keyboard shortcut, this  may have been caused if you are running password manager software 1Password and have used the “Hide” menu option.

I would have never found this had it not been for the warning on TextExpander‘s menubar icon, and the resulting blog post they published regarding TextExpander and Secure Input.

Quitting 1Password and relaunching it fixed the issue for me, so I can only assume it was indeed the culprit.

Continue reading “Secure Input & Photoshop’s Hand Tool Spacebar Shortcut”

The Apple Artist Podcast #15

I just posted our 15th podcast over at The Apple Artist. If you’re a digital artist working on a Mac, this is for you. Joined by my Mac artist friends Krishna Sadasivam and Tracy Bishop. We discuss the popular Cintiq alternative Yiynova MSP19u and the brand new Manga Studio 5. As usual, filled with other tips, app suggestions and other geeky stuff. I’ve even been told that PC artists find it helpful!

More Yiynova MSP19u & Manga Studio 5 – The Apple Artist Podcast #15 – The Apple Artist.

Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts

I love the Drafts app for the iPhone, and I love automating stuff. The downside to using Drafts is that the workflows I’ve set up aren’t possible with any software on the Mac. I cobbled together some methods to achieve at least the one most common task I have, appending info to a master plain-text log file on Dropbox. Here’s how I did it.

[UPDATE 2017-12-30: here’s the companion article on prepending text files]

Continue reading “Append Text File With Hazel, Automator & Shell Scripts”

Automatically Create a Specific Folder Structure with Automator & Hazel

Here’s a method using Automator and Hazel to automatically create a specific folder structure within a folder. I use this for client projects, since they are always the same. With this setup, I just add a new folder to my “Clients” folder, and all the standard sub-folders I need added are auto-created by Hazel, via Automator.  Continue reading “Automatically Create a Specific Folder Structure with Automator & Hazel”