Hey Mac users: here’s a really cool use for Folder Actions, which are built into Mac OS X.
Let’s say you want to leave a message for someone who will be opening a folder — perhaps instructions on what to do with its contents. Do this:
- Type your message into the Comments field in the folder’s Get Info window (File> Get Info).
- Control-click the folder and from the contextual menu that appears, choose Attach a Folder Action…
- Navigate to Macintosh/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts
- Choose “open – show comments in dialog.scpt“
From then on, whenever someone double-clicks that folder, the text you typed into its Comments field will pop up in a dialog box, along with options to Clear the comments, Open the comments field for editing, or dismiss the dialog box.
These are all just AppleScripts. Try the others in that folder: Alert when a new item is added to the folder; Add an icon to images placed into the folder; Change an image’s file format or orientation; Copy an image’s metadata into its Comments field; and others. Or, write your own script and use it!
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.