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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run System 10.4
Tiger only hintI've set up a number of Automator workflows as iCal plugins, but it annoys me that when the alarm triggers, the plugin shows up in the Dock as an application and, worse yet, the focus switches to the plugin.

The solution is simple: Go to the ~/Library -> Workflows -> Applications -> iCal folder, choose the Automator plugin that you want to remain hidden while it runs, control-click on it, and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Inside the Contents folder, open up Info.plist, and change LSUIElement from No to Yes (if using Property List Editor) -- or change the line after the LSUIElement key line to <true/> (if using a text editor). Save Info.plist.

Now when the alarm triggers, the Automator plugin will run in the background, without a Dock icon or a menu bar, and the focus will remain on the application you're using.

Three things to note:
  1. You might have to move the plug-in out of the iCal folder and back in for this to work. Tiger caches the LSUIElement info; moving the app forces Tiger to renew the cache.
  2. You probably do not want to do this with any iCal plugin that has dialogs or requires user interaction! This works best for maintenance actions, automated downloads, and that sort of thing.
  3. Third, this will work with any Automator workflow that is saved as an application, not just with iCal plugins.
[robg adds: I tested this on a simple plug-in, and it works as described.]
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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: fiddler on Nov 17, '05 08:57:53AM

Hi, I tried doing this with an Automator app (saved as an application to a directory under ~), edited the plist value with a text editor, but it has not worked for me; it still displays the menu bar item. I tried moving it out of the folder and back in, but this does not seem to work for me.

Any suggestions on what might be preventing it from working? It's for an app that takes a screenshot and attaches it to a new mail message, so being able to hide that ugly stop sign would be ideal.



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: Arlo on Nov 17, '05 09:14:01AM

I tested this as well, and it isn't working.

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www.automatorworld.com
"Better Living Through Macintosh Scripting"



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: Arlo on Nov 17, '05 09:19:48AM

Nevermind, the cache clearing was key. It works well.

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www.automatorworld.com
"Better Living Through Macintosh Scripting"



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: fiddler on Nov 17, '05 10:34:32AM

Can you elaborate on how to clear the cache?



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: fiddler on Nov 17, '05 11:40:00AM

Er, never mind. I appear to have misunderstood this hint entirely...



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: ij00mini on Nov 17, '05 05:48:26PM

odd, I found this folder under " 'HD'/ApplicationSupport/Apple/Automator/"...

not where you guys said i would be. Any ideas as to why?



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: blacklighter on Feb 09, '06 08:38:32AM

I've tried clearing the cache, i've tried doing everything. But still it doesn't work. It's really sucky when I put the application workflow as startup and it run just like that whenever I login.



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10.4: Hide Automator applications when they run
Authored by: Hes Nikke on Oct 08, '06 02:28:26PM

There is also [code]LSBackgroundOnly[/code] which is even more thorough. it also appears to get around the caching issue - or at least for me...

BTW, this hint doesn't just apply to Automater applications, but every OS X app!

just a tip.

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vacuums do not suck. they merely provide an absence that allows other objects to take the place of what becomes absent.



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