How to use Automator's services and folder action workflows

I recently offered a video that explained how to construct simple Automator workflows that you triggered via applications and iCal calendar events. This week I continue my Automator primer by demonstrating how to build two other kinds of workflows—services and folder actions. In the first part of the video you’ll learn how to create a new to-do item with a simple key combination. In the latter portion, I’ll show you how to convert images to black and white simply by dragging them to a folder.

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Two useful Automator workflows

Automator—OS X’s automation utility—gets overlooked far more than it should. It’s not terribly difficult to use and it can ease the burden of performing repetitive tasks. In this week’s video I cobble together a couple of simple Automator workflows—one for easily compressing files and folder and adding them to email messages and another for creating an automatic backup routine between two volumes.

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Set parental controls on your Mac

It's pretty easy these days to keep your kids out of anything nefarious on the Web or regulate their computer time: In fact, you don't even need an extra program for it—you can do it right from your Mac's System Preferences app. In this week's Macworld Video, we'll walk you through setting up an account with parental controls, and just what controls are available to you.

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Seven iPad keyboard tricks

As more and more of us use the iPad for regular business chores, we're spending more and more time with its virtual, onscreen keyboard. That keyboard works pretty well as it is, but there are some tricks that every iPad user should know about that makes iPad keyboard input more efficient.

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Set up Google Calendar, Contacts on your iPad

Even though iOS 5 introduced iCloud syncing for contacts and calendars, there are plenty of people who’ve already invested time and energy storing that info at another service, such as Google Contacts and Google Calendar. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to set up those services to sync nicely with your iOS devices.

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