Why does Mac Automator always give me an error when used with the Grab app?

Trahern T August 13, 2013

I am trying to set up a “watch me do” automator task, in which I open “grab”, click “capture”, click “window”, click “choose window”, and finally I click on the window I want captured.

Even though the process plays back properly, and the window is captured through automation the program gives me an error stating “watch me do failed – 1 error” / “the action encountered and error”.

Because of the error message I can not complete any other recorded automation tasks after the screen grab is completed.

I am running OSX 10.7.5

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

  1. Hovsep A
    August 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    perhaps to Make a new empty workflow and Add a Run Applescript action

    Mac Automation: Creating Watch Me Do workflows

  2. Jan F
    August 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Open the workflow in Automator and click run at the top. It will show you at which automator step the workflow failed and when you click "Results" it should show you what went wrong.

    Please keep in mind that Automator is not the best choice for GUI automator.
    Automator requires all buttons and windows being at the EXACT position they were when you recorded it.

    If for example the "grab" button was at the bottom left and is now on the right hand side of the screen the workflow will fail!

    For such complex automation you will have to dive into AppleScript and UI automation.

    • Jan F
      August 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

      I meant the capture button

      Basically automator doesn't move the curser to the button labeled "capture" but it moves the mouse to position X/Y on the screen and clicks!

      If the window with the capture button is somewhere else on the screen automator will basically click into the empty space and the workflow will fail.