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Apple Automator batch pdf creation from images in subfolders (no sound)

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Published on Nov 23, 2015

Batch create PDFs from images based in separate subfolders. The Dispense Items Incrementally action can be downloaded here: http://automator.us/leopard/downloads... Works for OSX Yosemite.

Adobe can batch generate PDFs, but it can’t take several folders and general PDFs based on those in a batch. For example, Folder 1 has 25 images and Folder 2 has 30 images. You can create a PDF using Adobe by dragging those 25 images into Adobe, but depending on the amount of folders you have, it can be very time consuming. This application also generates PDFs a lot faster than Adobe. We have noticed Adobe will resize images incorrectly and sporadically throughout a generated PDF. The cause is unknown, but no other PDF generator does this.

This application is not capable of naming the PDFs based on their source folder or a list. They will all be returned with the same name, but in their respective folders. The actions required to create this application will seem odd, but these help automator place the PDFs appropriately. Automator’s default save to is just one directory, but this forces it to save to the source directory via the value of variable action.

REQUIREMENTS:
⁃ Mac OS X, comes with Automator
⁃ actioninstaller.zip must be extracted and installed on the Mac to include an action not native to Mac OS X

STEPS:
⁃ Unpack the actioninstaller.zip
⁃ Run the Install Automator Action package from the zip
⁃ Open Automator
⁃ Add task in this order
⁃ Get Selected Finder Items - any item selected in a Finder Window will have the action run against it. This will be where one selects all of the folders and sub folders you want PDFs made from
⁃ Dispense Items Incrementally
⁃ Set Value of Variable - this action essentially treats each next folder as it’s own in the workflow and forces the save output to function to save to the source directory. Click the dropdown box and click create new. Name this whatever you want, the name does not affect anything. Variables are added to the Variable window in automator. The Log window at the bottom of automator is the default view, just click the next icon below the Log window to find the variable window.
⁃ Get Folder Contents - be surety check the repeat for each subfolder found box
⁃ New PDF from Images - in the Save Output To box, drag the variable you created from the variables window at the bottom into the Save Output to. Change the output file name to whatever you want. You will have to rename it anyway once the process is finished. Check the Size Each Page to Fit radio button.
⁃ Loop - set to loop automatically and change the minutes selection to times. Based on the number of subfolders you have will determine the stop after amount. 5 folders equals stop after 5 times.
⁃ Save the application for future use.
⁃ Select the subfolders you want.
⁃ Go back to Automator and hit Run.
⁃ Each folder should have a PDF in it with the same output file name you created.
⁃ Rename PDFs to fit your needs.

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