Add special effects to
pictures with Automator in Word 2011
Home and Student Edition does not have
Automator does not work with Microsoft Office Home and
does this Automator Workflow do?
You choose one or more picture or image files in Finder and then
the Automator Workflow applies a custom Quartz Composition
Filter to the picture(s).
The output is to a new document in Microsoft Word 2011.
What is a Quartz Composition
You choose from a variety
of filter types - from simple filters to fancy ones such as
Motion Blur. These filters work incredibly fast because they are
built into the Mac operating system. Microsoft Word doesn't support
these filters directly in the interface, but it does support
them via Automator. Give it a try! You'll be pleasantly
surprised at how easy it is to make the Automator Workflow and
how robust the Quartz filters are.
How do I make this Automator
Making something like this used to take developers weeks or
months. You'll do it in a matter of minutes! Just follow these
steps (See Figure 1):
- Open the Automator
application (Double-click the Automator.app in the
- When the program opens, a dialog displays "Choose a
template for your workflow" with "workflow" selected by
default. "Workflow" is what we want, so all you have to do is click the Choose button.
- In the list of Actions
in the left column, in the Library category choose Files and Folders.
- Drag the action, "Ask
for Finder Items" to the empty pane on the right. It
might take a couple tries before this works. Drag slowly.
- In the "Ask for Finder Items" action, click the check box for Allow
- In the list of Actions
in the left column, in the
Library category choose Photos.
- Drag "Apply Quartz
Composition Filter to Image Files" to the pane on the right.
Position the action underneath "Filter Finder Items." You'll
be presented a dialog box that says "This action will change
the image files passed into it. Would you like to add a Copy
Finder items action so that the copies are changed and your
originals are preserved?" Click
the Add button. The default file location is the
Desktop, but you can click the pop-up next to To and choose
any folder you want.
- Click the Options
button near the bottom of the "Apply Quartz
Composition Filter to Image Files" action, and then click the check box for "Show
this action when the workflow runs."
- In the list of Actions in the left column, in the Library category
- Drag "Create New Word
Document" to the pane on the right and position it
under the "Apply Quartz Composition Filter to Image Files"
Now save the Automator
action twice: once as an automator workflow that you can open
and edit in the Automator application, and also as an
application itself, which you can run from within Microsoft
Word. To save this workflow as an Automator Workflow:
To save this Automator
Action as an application that Microsoft Word can use:
- In Automator, choose File
> Save As.
- In the Save As field, give
the action a name, such as Apply Quartz Filter to Word.workflow
- Use the default file format,
"workflow" and then click the Save button.
- In Automator, choose File > Save As.
- In the Save As field, give the action a name, such as Pics with
Quartz to Word.app
- Change the file format to "Application" and then click
the Save button. Tip: Make a folder for your Automator
How do I use this workflow application?
Double-click on the Automator
Action application file you saved, then:
Click here for more Automator Actions.
Choose a Finder Item dialog opens. Choose an image or picture
file and then click the Choose button. Hold the Command key down to
pick multiple pictures.
Apply Quartz Composition Filter to Image Files dialog opens.
Under the sample picture there's a button. Click it and choose
a filter from the large list of filters.
filters offer additional control settings, which you can use
to customize the filter.
you're done picking and adjusting the filter settings, click
the Continue button.
rendered pictures will be put into a Microsoft Word
document for you. Copies of the edited pictures will be saved to
the desktop (default) or to the folder you chose in Step