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Running an Automator Workflow

If a line starts with an ampersand (&), it will be run as an Automator workflow. These should be created in Automator as a Workflow, and saved with the .workflow extension.

Note that all Workflows for Bunch must have a variable named “Bunch” defined. See the end of this section for instructions on adding a variable to a Workflow.

In your Bunch, you can specify a full path to a Workflow like this:

& ~/Dropbox/MyWorkflow.workflow

…but if the workflow is in the same folder as your Bunches, you can just list its filename, with or without .workflow. For example, if my Bunch folder contained Do Something.workflow, I could use a line in my Bunch with simply:

& Do Something

If you want to keep a subfolder of Workflows in your Bunch folder, just reference them with a relative path, e.g.

& workflows/Do Something

You can pass variables to a workflow the way you pass files to an application in Bunch, using hyphens below the line that calls the workflow, one variable per line:

& Do Something
- variable1 = Contents of var 1

The spacing around the = doesn’t matter, as long as there is a single key and a value. Additional = in the line will be included in the variable value.

To use these in Automator they must exist in the workflow (if you pass a variable that doesn’t exist, the workflow will not run). Simply open the variables palette in Automator, right click, and select “New Variable”. Make the variable name exactly the same (case sensitive) as the variable you’re passing from Bunch. Now when the workflow is run, that variable will be populated automatically by the lines in your Bunch.

The variable “Bunch” is automatically populated with the name of the opened Bunch, but you have to add an empty varaible with this title or Bunch will get an error when it tries to populate it. In combination with “Run Shell Script” actions, this and your custom variables can be used to run different actions based the arguments provided, allowing re-use of the same workflow in multiple Bunches.

See the Bunch and Timing post for details.