Place Selfie on the Clipboard

Sometimes a snapshot is the best way to convey just how you’re feeling. Here’s a workflow for quickly taking a selfie with your laptop’s camera, and placing it on the clipboard, ready to paste into any application. Piece of cake!

Create the Workflow

The first step is to create the Automator workflow.

DO THIS ►Launch Automator and create a new document using the standard Workflow template. Add the Take Video Snapshot and Run AppleScript actions to the workflow, and set their parameters as indicated in the callouts below:


 1  Image File Name • Enter a name for the image file that gets saved to disk. NOTE: by default, video snapshots are saved in TIFF format.

 2  Capture Location • Selet the folder in which to save the snapshot image file.

 3  Automatic Capture Option • Select this checkbox if you want the snapshot to be taken automatically. For this tutorial, this option is left unchecked, enabling the option to control when the picture is taken.

 4  AppleScript Script • A short AppleScript script that will read the saved image file and place the image data on the clipboard. Replace the default contents of the Run AppleScript action with this script.

NOTE: for your convenience, you can DOWNLOAD a completed version of the workflow file.

DO THIS ►Save the workflow as a standard workflow file to the Desktop, and then install it in the system-wide Script Menu by moving the workflow file into the Scripts folder in the your Library folder. NOTE: Step-by-step instructions for activating and using the Script Menu can be found here.

You are now ready to use your quick-snap workflow!

Running the Workflow

Once you’ve created the selfie workflow and installed it into the system-wide Script Menu, simply select the workflow title in the Script Menu to begin the process of placing a selfie on the clipboard.

The video snapshot window will appear in the center of your screen:


 1  Mode Tab • The mode buttons enable you to select the source of the image, whether default icons, previously taken snapshots, or taking a new snapshot. Choose Camera to activate your laptop’s camera for taking a new image.

 2  Image Preview • The live video feed from your camera will appear in this square view. Position yourself to take a great photo!

 3  Capture Button • Click the camera icon to begin the countdown to taking a video snapshot.


 4  Countdown • The countdown sequence will display over the bottom of the video view and beep as it takes the snapshot.


 5  Scaling Slider • Adjust this slider control to scale the image in the view. Moving the slider fully to the left (see below) will display the complete image which is in the proportions of your laptop screen. NOTE: you can position the image by dragging it within the view.


 6  Effects Button • Click this button to apply a special effect to the image.

 7  Done Button • Once you have completed the process of scaling, cropping, and adjusting the image, click the Done button to finish the process of saving the image to disk and placing it on the clipboard.

Once you’ve clicked the Done button, the snapshot is placed on the clipboard, ready for pasting into any application: