A macro view of the past
It’s ironic that after 25 years, I find myself returning to Mac macros. Way back in college I worked in the Carleton bookstore, which bought some new-fangled database software to run its billing/shipping/inventory. Since I was more Mac-savvy than most of the adult full-timers, I was in charge of creating a few macros to speed up some of the data entry. I don’t know how useful my initial experiments were. I hope I wasn’t to blame for all of the inventory miscounts we had – you’ve never seen so many “Quantity: -1” records in your life. It certainly couldn’t have had anything to do with the foolproof system we used: we would ring up the price of each book on the NCR cash register, complete the sale, and then write down the ISBN of each book on a pad of paper by the register. At the end the day, or during a lull, somebody would walk over to the Mac Classic and enter in the day’s ISBN numbers. I still say the best skill I acquired from my early days in retail was to use the numeric keypad.
So now I find myself back with an iMac, and an extended keyboard with a numeric keypad, finally returning to the concept of macros. Sure, macro programs have been around for a while, but I guess I’d become inured to the drudgery of repetitive data entry. No more.
So now I’m using Keyboard Maestro to create macros for repetitive tasks that need doing in DT. They probably are also possible if you know Applescript, but I don’t. I do know, however, how to press keys. As long as food pellets or power-ups are involved.
Most importantly, I realized that even though DT doesn’t provide a way to batch edit documents’ metadata, I could create a simple macro that would carry out the 10+ steps required to add the metadata for a single record: open Document Properties of selected record, wait .25 seconds, tab down 5 times to get to the Keyword metadata field, type in “note” (or a separate macro for “thought”, for “map”…), close the window, and go to the next record.
Now if I can only figure out how to do it for multiple selected records, some kind of macro loop.
We’re getting closer, people.