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random posts about nerdy stuff

Convert to JPG with Automator


I used the built in CMD+Shift+3 (or 4) to create screenshots for many reasons, and I love that OS X saves these as .png by default. The quality is great and the file size is decent. However, if I sent a .png file to someone via email, they might not necessarily recognize the file extension and not know how to open it... I know, it's dirt simple IMO, but some are simply less savvy ;)

So, the solution I came up with is put a "Convert to JPG" action into my contextual menu so I don't have to do it all in Photoshop or Fireworks.

Convert to JPG in contextual menu in OS X Tiger

It was really simple to do with the built in Automator functions, and my "workflow" showed up in the contextual menu when I put it into my Workflows folder in ~/Users/[computer name]/Documents/Workflows.

Automator actions to convert a file to JPG

Now, I can make a screenshot and use it uncompressed in graphics work as a .png, or I can quickly convert it into a jpg to send via email or whatever. If this sounds like a better solution than permanently changing your screenshot format (in the Terminal: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg) then download the workflow from the link below, or open Automator and try build it yourself.

Download Automator Workflow