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  1. Computer Skills
  2. Workflow
Computers

Automating the iPhone With Workflow IV

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

 Workflow is an iOS app that brings powerful automation features to the iPhone by connecting different apps and actions. So far in this series I’ve covered:

This tutorial will be building on the things covered in the previous tutorials so it’s important that you’re either familiar with Workflow or have read them before you continue. 

In this tutorial I'll examine one of Workflow’s best features: automated photo editing. You can crop, resize, combine and do more with images. Seeing as the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world, these features are particularly useful.

An Example Workflow

In this tutorial I'll build a general purpose image editing/uploading workflow. Using control flow, I’ll have one workflow do many different things. It’ll accept an image and then allow simple adjustments to be made, has the option to resize it to a variety of different sizes, apply a watermark, upload it to the social network sites of my choosing and save it to the Camera Roll. 

This sort of action really demonstrates how different tasks can be easily accomplished with one workflow.

Building the Workflow

Before starting, you need to create a simple watermark. You can see mine below. The simplest thing is to create a PNG file with your name. 

Ideally, you want the background to be transparent. Save the image to the iPhone you’re using and create a new album called Watermarks. Add the image to the album. 

watermark
My watermark.

Once the watermark is set up, get started on the workflow. Create a new Normal workflow give it a name such as Photo Processing.

Pull in the watermark so it’s available to use later. Add a Find Photos action. Add a filter and set it to the album Watermarks

adding watermark
Pulling in the watermark.

Next, pull in the actual image for editing. 

Add a Select Photos action. Also add an Edit Image action. They’re both in the Photos & Videos category.

adding and editing
The adding and editing actions. 

Next to resize the image. Add a Choose From Menu action. It’s in the Scripting category.

Add an appropriate Prompt and the number of resize options you want. I’m going with 1200px and 600px. I’m also adding Don’t option in case I don’t want to change the resolution.

control flow
The first control flow action. 

Under the first option, add a Resize Image action. Set the Width to the appropriate value. Repeat the process for the other menu options. Leave the Don’t one blank.

resizing
The resizing options.

Add the Watermark. I want the option to add one or not, depending on where I’m sharing it so I'll add another Choose From Menu action. The two options should be Yes and No.

control flow watermark
The control flow action for adding a watermark.

Under the Yes option, add an Overlay Image action. 

For the Variable, use the Magic Variables option to select the first Photos variable. Ensure Show Image Editor is ticked as this will allow you to reposition, resize and change the opacity of the watermark. 

water mark adding
The action to add the watermark.

Leave the No option blank. Now is a good time to test the workflow to ensure it is working correctly. Run it and select a test image. If everything works, keep going. 

If not, troubleshoot and ensure you’ve followed the steps correctly. 

succesful test
The successful test. 

The workflow is working perfectly so an action needs to be performed on the final image. The first thing to do is save it so add a Save to Photo Album action. You can pick an Album or just leave them save to the Camera Roll.

saving
Saving the image.

Finally, add some more Choose from Menu actions with Yes/No options. Add one of these for each social network you use. I’be added one for Facebook and one for Instagram.

control flow social
Social media control flow.

Under Yes on the post to Facebook option, add a Post on Facebook action. Under Yes on the post to Instagram option, add a Post on Instagram action. 

You’ll find both under Sharing. Once again, leave the No options blank.

action
The workflow in action.

And that’s it. The workflow is done, run it to make sure everything works okay. As you can see, there are a lot of options within it. You can edit an image, add a watermark and post it to Facebook, or just resize it and save it to the phone.

Wrapping Up

Workflow is really powerful and one of the best ways to take control of your iPhone.

Without Workflow, the steps in this action would have involved a few different apps, multiple saved copies of the photo and so on. With Workflow, it’s a simple one-click solution to most photo processing needs.

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