Public Relations

Yoink for Mac Usage Tip #8

The following explains how to add attachments directly from Mail.app into Yoink.
For more Usage Tips like this, click here.

Today, I received an eMail from Sandro G. asking me if there was a way to quickly add mail attachments from selected mails in Mail.app to Yoink.

The Problem

Sandro frequently adds attachments from mail messages in Mail.app to Yoink but says it can be cumbersome with lots of mails with a couple of attachments each.
I agree, having to select each mail message with an attachment, scrolling down and dragging each attachment to Yoink can take a lot of time.
Instead, he says, he’d like a way to just select the mail messages that contain the attachments, ideally press a keyboard shortcut and let Yoink do the rest, saving nerves and, most importantly of all, time.

The Solution

As with the “capture screenshots to Yoink”-problem, where Bogdan V. wanted to be able to take screenshots that automatically end up in Yoink, Automator seemed like a good solution for this.

I launched Automator and created a System Service – easily accomplished by creating a new project and selecting Service in the resulting dialog.
A system service is something you can either access through a contextual menu or by the applications Application menu -> Services, containing context-aware services, for example “Look up in Dictionary” or “New Email with Selection”.

Automator - New Project DialogAutomator’s New Project Dialog. Select Service and click on Choose.

The Automator Workflow

Automator - Finished workflowThe finished workflow.

Let’s go through it from the top. Specify the service to receive no input (as the other possible values don’t apply) and select Mail as the target application the Service should be available in.
Now we need three actions:

  1. Get Selected Mail Messages – creates a reference to the currently selected mails in Mail.app
  2. Get Attachments from Mail Messages – uses the references created before and saves their attachments to a folder, in this case the Default Mail downloads folder
  3. Open Finder Items – Action 2 passes the attachment files to this action, where we ask Yoink to open those files, resulting in them being added to Yoink’s files

Installation and Keyboard Shortcut

Once you save it, it should be automatically saved into your Services folder. If not, double-click the saved file and it should prompt you with this dialog – click Install and it should be installed correctly:
Automator - Service Installation
If you’d like a keyboard shortcut, it’s quickly done. Launch System Preferences, select Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Services, scroll to find the service and set up your shortcut:
Service - Keyboard Shortcut
Now you can access the service either through this keyboard shortcut or the Services menu in Mail.app’s Mail menu:
Service Installed in Mail

Automator Workflow Download

For your convenience, here’s the workflow ready for download.
Unzip, double-click to install. Set up the optional keyboard shortcut – done 🙂
If you have any feedback, questions or improvements, please be sure to get in touch – by mail or twitter – I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
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In an effort to bring some personality to my apps, website and blog and make them easily recognizable by “connecting” them visually I rolled out a minor re-”design” of my website and blog yesterday.

The Color Scheme

The entire color scheme is based off the Eternal Storms Software logo.
Up until now, neither the website nor this blog reflected those colors. As a matter of fact, the only place that had some of this personality was the iOS part of Transloader. In its “About” screen, you’d see this:

IMG 9025Screenshot of Transloader on iOS

It’s immediately recognizable – and not only by the logo.

The Website and Blog

It was about time I brought that over to the website, because it looked like this (please excuse the missing text and bezels, I took this from the Wayback Machine as I stupidly don’t keep old websites around):

Old eternalstorms.at websiteeternalstorms.at before the re-“design”

At the time, I had a good reason for it. I wanted the user to be able to see all my apps at once, without any distraction. But it lacks a certain “je-ne-sais-quoi”. It has no identity. You don’t know who it’s from. Heck, there’s not even a logo anywhere to be seen.

Lo and behold, the new website looks like this:

Untitledeternalstorms.at after the re-“design”

It’s probably not the best website you’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly an improvement over the old one.

The Apps

Now I can’t go in and make all my apps purple. That would look ludicrous (or would it?). But I still want to carry over some of this into my apps, and I believe the best place to do this is in the apps’ About windows. Currently, they look like this:

Briefly's old About WindowBriefly’s About window before the re-design

It has all the necessary information in there, but it could be more personal, more fun, if you will. Here’s what the new one will look like:

Briefly's new about windowBriefly’s About window after the re-design

It will roll out in all apps with future updates. The nice thing is that it’s very much a drop-in replacement for the standard about panel Apple’s providing in Cocoa. It takes all its information from the app’s Info.plist file and additional information (like twitter, Facebook, Acknowledgements, Credits) can be provided in a strings file which will then be used in the about panel. So I just drop it in, change some strings in the strings file and I’m done, I don’t need to touch the xib in Interface Builder. Perhaps I’ll do a blog post about it some other time.

App Store Screenshots

All this kind of raises the question – should I brand my App Store screenshots as well? I’m leaning toward “no”. Definitely no logo or slogan, though. That would just distract from the product. Perhaps I could color explanation text accordingly, or put them in colored overlays. Or create an Eternal Storms Software Desktop Background Image that will be present in all App Store screenshots, that would definitely be a more subtle way of doing it. I might try it out on an app and see how it does.

But in general, I am against branding of App Store Screenshots. They should present the app. A description of the company could always be put into the last paragraph of the App Store App description. That’s a nice place for it.

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