Dropbox Automator Sends Emails, Converts PDFs, Downsizes Files & More

Bakari Chavanu 09-01-2012

dropbox automatorFor many computer users, Dropbox is the quintessential online storage and file sharing service for accessing files between computer devices. I use Dropbox more than I use the Documents folder on my Mac. It works equally well for automatically syncing changes (using symbolic links Use Automator to Create Symbolic Links to Dropbox on Mac Read More ) you make to applications like TextExpander and 1Password on your different computers.


Well now, if you’re heavy user of Dropbox like I am, you might be interested in a new online service, Dropbox Automator, that can automatically perform all sorts of tasks when you add files to your designated Dropbox folders.

The developers at have created an online application that automatically performs tasks on files added to a Dropbox folder, such as converting text files to PDF (or PDF to text), emailing a file to a designated recipient, renaming or encrypting/decrypting files, or sending information to your Twitter or Facebook timeline. (See entire list below.)

These types of folder automations are typically done with applications like Apple’s AppleScript What Is AppleScript? Writing Your First Mac Automation Script AppleScript can help you automate repetitive tasks on your Mac. Here's an overview and how to write your first AppleScript script. Read More , Automator, or Hazel, but now they can be performed with Dropbox online, without any knowledge or use of computer coding. It takes several minutes to set up, but you gain all that back when it begins performing actions for you.

Setting Up Dropbox Automations

To get started with Dropbox Automator, click this link to go over to the site and login into your Dropbox account. Dropbox Automator will of course need to access your account in order to do it’s thing on folders you designate.

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Next, select a folder (or create a new folder in your Dropbox account) to attach an action to.

dropbox automator files

If the number of folders in your Dropbox account is like mine, you will need to scroll down to the end of the page to click the “Next” button, which will take you to the “Choose an action” page of the  application. This is where you select one of a few dozen actions to attach to your selected folder. This is the entire list:

dropbox automator files


So for example, you may choose the email action which when set up will automatically send a file you drop in your designated folder to the email box of your preselected recipient.

dropbox automator files

automator for dropbox

After you add an automation, scroll to top of the page and select “finished?” or select to add another action to attach to the folder. When you’re finished, Dropbox Automator will confirm the automation you have set up on your designated folder.


automator for dropbox

When Dropbox Automator runs an action, it typically creates two folders in the designated folder–a “processed” folder for the files that actions were performed upon, and a “result” folder for processed copies of the original files.


automator for dropbox



Dropbox Automator Account

You can also sign up and create an account on to view all its free and paid actions. You can select actions as favorites, view a history of the actions performed on your designated Dropbox folder(s), as well upload files directly to your account to have them processed.

Dropbox Automator Sends Emails, Converts PDFs, Downsizes Files & More screenshot1823

So far, all the listed actions are free except the “Send postcard with your photo” action, which requires the purchase of credits to use.

Dropbox Automator Sends Emails, Converts PDFs, Downsizes Files & More wappwolf credits

With Dropbox Automator account, you can perform actions from other sources, including direct upload, your Google Docs account, and other websites.

Dropbox Automator Sends Emails, Converts PDFs, Downsizes Files & More wappwolf 11

Wappwolf App

Wappwolf also has its own iPhone and iPad app for file and document handling, from your Dropbox account or other sources.

dropbox automator

I tried several Dropbox Automator actions and most worked as described; however, the send to the Twitter action never seemed to work for me.

Let us know how well Dropbox Automator works for you. And for other Dropbox related hacks and tutorials, check our list of articles here.

Related topics: Cloud Computing, Cloud Storage, Computer Automation, Dropbox, File Conversion, PDF.

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  1. Bakari Chavanu
    January 15, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kaly
    January 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, will check it out.

  3. Joshua Clarke
    January 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    This is a lot like ifttt ( But if you're like me, you're hesitant to give a third party access to the products and services you use daily (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Same with this site. It's all about who you trust.

    • Craig Snyder
      January 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Was going to say, this sounds much like a Dropbox-specific version of ifttt: //

      • Joshua Clarke
        January 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        Yep, that's exactly what it is. I don't think it'll take off very well, with ifttt already so popular.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 15, 2012 at 2:34 am

      Yep, I discovered the ifttt site after I posted this article. They do look very similar.