Folder Actions…..Whhaaattt?

So I’ve been wondering about Folder Actions for a while now….they are actually quite neat, if you know what they do. This is a feature of the Finder that very few people use, yet it is so powerful. Folder actions allow you to perform an action to any file that is dropped into the folder. What you can do is only limited by what you can script, or what scripts you can find.

Start by creating a new folder and checking that folder actions are enabled by right-clicking (control-clicking) and selecting “Enable Folder Actions”. If it says “Disable Folder Actions” then you are all right, and don’t need to change anything.

Next, attach an action to the folder by again right-clicking (control-clicking) on the folder and choosing “Attach a Folder Action…”. A number of example scripts are located in Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts. The majority of these examples involve image manipulation and converting from one file format to another.

Selecting one of these format converting scripts will mean, for example, that all jpeg images dropped into the folder will be turned into tiff images.

However, as I mentioned at the start of this tip, this is only a taste of what you can do. Any applescript, automator workflow or shell script can be attached, and therefore the possibilities are endless!

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