I’ve been building up a press list to market my apps. But building a press list involves a lot of tedious Googling, copy and pasting, and Twitter searching—this is frustrating, mindless work.
The good news is that we can automate a lot of the process with a dead-simple AppleScript.
If we have a web page open, we can use this script to add the author’s name, the page title, and the URL to our clipboard. Then we can perform a search on Twitter for that person, so we can grab their Twitter details while we’re at it. All of this in a couple of clicks.
Open Script Editor on your Mac (open Applications, then open Utilities, then Script Editor). You’ll see something like this when it’s open.
Then paste the following snippet in the top section
tell application "Safari" set theURL to URL of current tab of window 1 set theTitle to name of current tab of window 1 display dialog "Name" default answer "" set personName to text returned of result set searchPhrase to personName & " " & "site:twitter.com" set searchQuery to my searchAndReplace(searchPhrase, " ", "+") do shell script "open http://www.google.com/search?q=" & searchQuery set the clipboard to personName & ", " & theTitle & ", " & theURL & ", " end tell on searchAndReplace(myString, oldText, newText) set AppleScript's text item delimiters to oldText set myList to text items of myString set AppleScript's text item delimiters to newText set myString to myList as string set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "" return myString end searchAndReplace
Adding more fields, like an email address or a notes column, is super simple. All you need to do is add a couple of lines below
set personName to text returned of result.
display dialog "Email" default answer "" set email to text returned of result
And then on the last line of the
tell application "Safari" block, append
& email & ", " at the end.
set the clipboard to personName & ", " & theTitle & ", " & theURL & ", " & email & ", "
Save the script. Where you should save it depends on what you like. I generally save my scripts to
/Users/matthewpalmer/Library/Scripts/ so that I can use something like FastScripts for easy access to my scripts from the menu bar.
Now we can use our script.
Open a web page you want to add, say matthewpalmer.net. Click the Play icon in the menu bar of our script window.
The next thing you’ll see is a small dialog box appear. Enter the person’s name into the box.
After that, a new tab containing a search for that person on Twitter will appear.
Then switch to your text editor, or wherever you’re keeping your press list, and hit Command+V to paste the text.
Matthew Palmer, Matthew Palmer — Web and iOS developer and designer., http://matthewpalmer.net/,
Then just type in the right Twitter username in the last column, and we’re done.
Matthew Palmer, Matthew Palmer — Web and iOS developer and designer., http://matthewpalmer.net/, _matthewpalmer
And if switching to your text editor with the keyboard is too much, you can add the following code on the line above the first
end tell statement.
tell application "Sublime Text 2" to activate
Remember to replace ‘Sublime Text 2’ with your text editor.
If you have any questions, contact me on Twitter.