Take Control of Automating Your Mac cover

Take Control Books recently released a freshly updated version 1.1 of my book Take Control of Automating Your Mac. The book was first published in June 2014, and the new version brings it up to date with changes in OS X 10.10 Yosemite and updated third-party software. (Anyone who bought the original version gets the update for free.) This is one of my favorite Take Control books, because it’s all about figuring out easier ways to do things—putting technology to work for you.

Mac automation may sound like a topic that would appeal only to heavy-duty geeks, but as I say in the book, everyone can benefit from time- and labor-saving shortcuts, and that’s all automation means. Whether you find a way to type three characters instead of 20, click twice instead of five times, or put something on a schedule that you’d otherwise have to deal with manually, simple forms of automation that save a few seconds here, a few seconds there can add up over time.

For those who want to delve deeper, I also discuss more conventional automation topics like using AppleScript, Automator, shell scripts, and macros. These sorts of tools can be used to write elaborate, sophisticated programs, but you can dip your toes in easily with my step-by-step instructions and then learn just as much as you need to solve your problems.

The book also includes coupons that let you save money on eight of my favorite Mac automation tools, including Stairways Software’s outstanding macro utility Keyboard Maestro, Objective Development’s LaunchBar, and Nisus Software’s Nisus Writer Pro, the latest incarnation of the word processor that persuaded me to start using a Mac in the first place.

You’ll hear these names again on Joe On Tech, because they’re great examples of accessible tools that can solve real problems and make your life better. But even if you have no money to spend on software, my book explains how you can do tons of automation with OS X’s built-in tools, and I highly recommend exploring them.

I spoke to Chuck Joiner about the updated book on MacVoices. Have a look (or listen):