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Decrease the size of Automator applications Apps
If you are one of those people that are crazy about the last little extra kilobyte of space on your hard drive, then this is the tip for you. Most people know that in Automator, you can save your project as a workflow or as an application (assuming you're not making it a plug-in). Applications work with a double-click, but workflows must be opened and run from Automator, which takes both time and CPU. Applications, however, take up more drive space than workflows. Here's how to get the best of both worlds.

In the Save As dialog in Automator, save your project as an Application. Back in the Finder, Control-click on the newly-creatd application and pick Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Open the Contents folder, and inside there is a file called document.wflow. Drag this file to your desired destination and delete the original application. Now you have a small file -- like a workflow -- but one that can be run with a double-click, like an application.

[robg adds: I tried this, and it worked as described. My simple two-step workflow was 384KB when saved as an application, but only 12KB when I extracted the workflow. There are probably a few downsides to this approach, though I'm not sure what they might be -- so comment away!]
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Decrease the size of Automator applications | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: barskey on Apr 17, '08 08:03:50AM

40GB is the smallest size HD Apple shipped in a Mac since 2006. Even if you still have a 40GB drive and you repeat this process for 1000 workflows, you would save less than 1% of your total drive space (they save 372K per workflow).

If you have a more recent computer, your HD is more in the range of 120GB to 500GB. With a 120GB drive, if you repeated this process for 1000 workflows, you would be saving about 0.3% of your total drive space.

So I guess I'm saying that unless you really, really, really need that extra 372K, I wouldn't worry about it too much.



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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: lihtox on Apr 17, '08 08:33:21AM

The comment says up front that it's only for "crazy" people--i.e. obsessive types. And telling an obsessive not to worry about something isn't very productive. :)

It's an interesting fact, anyway; I wonder what's taking up all that extra space. Maybe the "package" mechanism?



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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: merlyn on Apr 17, '08 10:17:48AM
What we need is something that would automate this extraction of the workflow from the app. Yeah, that'd save time. Yeah. Some sort of automator.

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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: fxt on Apr 17, '08 11:50:26AM

goodness, no - that would cost another precious 12kb!



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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: gjw on Apr 29, '08 03:29:51PM

In the test workflow I just created, it's overwhelmingly localized resources that support things like the menu-bar progress indicator.



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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: gjw on Apr 29, '08 03:33:10PM

And if you have an older iBook, your HD may be as small as 15 or 10 GB and non-trivial to upgrade. Meanwhile, the test workflow I created has over 800k of localized resources. Get rid of the unused resources from 4-5 of those and I have enough space for an extra song in iTunes.



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One Disadvantage
Authored by: bed124 on Apr 17, '08 02:17:06PM

It appears that you lose the ability to do "drag 'n drop" (assuming your Automator-generated application had that capability, originally).



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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: rab777hp on Apr 17, '08 04:23:03PM

I am the person who submitted this hint. I understand that you may laugh at me, but I thought it was interesting. Also in show package contents to save more space you can also delete a folder called quicklook because it is for workflows not applications, you can also delete a file called pkginfo and in resources delete all languages but english because the application in in an unalterable english state. Also, if you change the icon of the app to one of your choice, you can delete the icns file that is there as well.




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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: gxw on Apr 17, '08 05:49:12PM

Odd, last automater app i created does not have a show package contents option. the workflow reads as 128k and the app reads as 64k. created the app in 10.5.2



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Decrease the size of Automator applications
Authored by: nickv2002 on Apr 17, '08 11:50:15PM

One downside seems to be that Automator does not want to open the resulting document.wflow file, so you can't really do further editing or inspection of the workflow.

You can, however, open up the file in a text editor or (if you've installed the Developer Tools) Property List Editor as it seems to basically be plist formated XML file. I wouldn't make any edits to this document for fear of messing something up but it does serve as a way to tell what the script will do if you're willing to piece together the parts.



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