Using automator, I know how to "Launch an App". I would like to know how to "Launch an App in a specific way".

The app I want to launch, acts differently depending how its launched. If one:

  1. clicks the dock icon.. then gives you a menu to select file etc..
  2. drop the file onto the dock item.. then automatically performs an action

Using automator, I want to Launch this App, option 2) Any ideas?


  • You want to use an if/else statement for this. Automator itself has no such capability, but you can use Applescript or Shell scripting for this. – CousinCocaine May 2 '15 at 7:38
  • Thankyou @CousinCocaine. I could find how to in Shell yet. For applescript I found the basic open command (which is also available in automator). e.g. "To launch an app (using a command), you'd have to do something like the following: 'open /Applications/Transmission.app'. However, what is syntax to make the .app launch as the .app currently launches from the dock? – sea May 2 '15 at 20:17
  • OPTION: Create a Droplet using AppleScript. (macosxautomation.com/applescript/sbrt/sbrt-10.html) Droplets are specialized AppleScript applets which are designed to process items dragged onto them. Their icon contains a downward pointing arrow indicating their status as a droplet. Droplets are written in a specific manner using the on open handler. The following examples can be used as templates for easily creating your own droplets. Complete set of pre-formed script droplet templates (macosxautomation.com/applescript/pkg/droplet-templates.zip) – sea May 5 '15 at 12:48
  • this should be an answer. – CousinCocaine May 5 '15 at 15:12
  • For me, It is an option only at this stage requiring investigation and testing. Droplet is better in code of the original App. So next is to work out for Apps I purchased can I see the objects they are calling to write such a script or must the App be open source. – sea May 5 '15 at 20:27

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