Using Hazel to Manage App Screenshots

Hazel App

Hazel

I’ve been frustrated trying to manage app screenshots for years. I typically just dump all of them in a folder and go through when I need them. I decided to make Hazel rules to at least sort them into folders by device. It’s saved me some frustration, so I thought I would share how I did it.

As a side note, Hazel is an indispensable tool that is worth buying. I use it for countless file automation tasks. There is a free 14 day trial, so at least give it a try if you haven’t before.

 

In the folder you save your screenshots to, create a folder for each device.

Hazel ScreenShot Rule

 

Then set Hazel up to handle the files.

Hazel

these are the rules on the main folder

 

Set the rule to make sure the filetype is png and the correct pixel height and/or width.

Hazel

 

I’ve only been using with the simulator so far, but I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work with device screenshots that you dump in the folder. All you have to do is save your screenshots from the simulator and when you are all done, all your screenshots will be organized by device for easy upload to iTunes Connect or to import into Photoshop or Sketch.

Here’s Apples documentation regarding device screenshot sizes. Scroll down to see screenshot requirements for iTunes Connect, which is what the device and simulator will save.


Automation Tips for Indie Developers

When you are a one man show, you have to automate everything you can. If you do a task more than once, spend a minute to see if you can automate it. I have three apps that I use extensively for automation.

TextExpander

First, I use TextExpander from Smile Software to answer support emails. TextExpander has tons of features, but I mostly use it for canned responses to common support questions. You type in an abbreviation and it expands to the full text.

An example:

I type: “;addv”

I get: “Thanks for the feedback. Adding voice to the calls is the most requested feature and I hope to add to the app soon.”

I type: “;pleaserev”

I get: “If you like my app, please take the time to give it a nice review. It really helps.”

TextExpander Automation

I also make a snippet for links to the app store for each of my apps. I type ;fflink for the link to my fake phone call app. If you get a lot of similar support emails, you will use TextExpander all the time. Be careful not to respond with only canned text. It’s important to connect with your audience, so be sure to personalize your response if time allows. Although a bit clunky, their iOS app makes it easier to respond to support emails on your iPhone or iPad. I use TextExpander along with Clips for this.

Keyboard Maestro

Next, Keyboard Maestro allows you to assign hotkeys to a command or series of commands. You could assign Control+Option+Command+X to open Xcode, xScope, Spectrum or any other app you use during development. There are tons of other uses as it allows you to simulate a mouse click, pick a menu action to execute, or execute a series of keyboard presses. This can be handy for scraping data from a web site or formatting an XML file. It works well with Applescript, so you can automate just about anything.

Hazel

Finally, no Mac user should be without Hazel from Noodlesoft. Hazel allows you to assign actions to folders. Save or drop a file in a folder configured with Hazel and any rules in Hazel will be applied to that file. You can move, delete, rename, upload, reveal in Finder, etc. I often use it for cleanup of older files and moving specific file types to new locations. Pro tip: Use Hazel together to execute actions on files synced through Dropbox on a remote Mac.

Hazel Automation

 

Final Thoughts

If you love automation, check out Brett Terpstra’s site. He is an automation ninja. Visit David Spark’s site, macsparky too. Good stuff on Hazel and TextExpander there.

Also, don’t forget Automator, Apple’s automation tool that comes with every Mac. I find myself using it for quick automations such as image resizing.

If you have a cool automation tip, let me know. I would love to feature it on the site.