Automatic slimming and sending of PDFs

Lex Friedman
29 October, 2011
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I have a workflow where I print a file to my desktop as a PDF and then open it, apply a quartz filter to reduce its size, save the file again and finally email it. It would be great to just automate the whole thing from the original Print dialogue box. Is that possible?

Jed Kelley

It is with Automator. Launch Automator (/Applications) and, in the template chooser that appears, select Print Plugin and click Choose. In the workflow, add these actions: Apply Quartz Filter To PDF Documents (found under the PDF heading), New Mail Message and Add Attachments To Front Message (both found under the Mail heading).

In the Apply Quartz Filter to PDF Documents action, choose Reduce File Size from the Filter pop-up menu. In the New Mail Message feel free to fill in any of the empty fields – To, Cc, Bcc, Subject and Message – as well as choose the account you’d like to

send these messages from. Save your workflow and give it an intuitive name. When you next want to do this kind of thing, open your PDF file in Preview, choose File > Print and, from the PDF menu in the Print dialogue box, choose your Smush And Send workflow. As promised, that workflow will reduce the file’s size, create a new mail message and attach your slimmer PDF file to it.

If you wanted to skip the whole printing rigmarole, you could simply create an Application workflow that contained these steps: Copy Finder Items, Apply Quartz Filter to PDF Documents, New Mail Message and Add Attachments to Front Message. Save it to the Desktop and when you want to smush and send a PDF file just drop it on top of this application.

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