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Folder actions have returned in 10.2 Desktop
Back from the grave with Spring Loaded Folders comes Folder Action Scripts!

In case you don't remember (Classic was so long ago), Folder Actions allowed you to execute AppleScripts when opening, closing, moving, adding items to and/or removing items from folders. These scripts can be useful for simple password protection and to prevent items from accidentally being deleted.

Folder Actions are now hidden under the Scripts Menu now (those Contextual Menus are getting more useless everyday - someone needs to write a Contextual Menu Plug-In to put Folder Actions back where they belong). Choose Folder Actions then Enable Folder Actions from the Scripts Menu to turn them on. Everything else seems self-explanatory, now that you know where the Folder Actions commands are.

See Apple's Folder Actions Documentation for more info and some sample scripts.
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Folder actions have returned in 10.2 | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: BlueGus on Sep 11, '02 03:36:21PM

One of the problems with folder actions in OS 9 is that they didn't work when the folder was closed. In OS X, they do.

I have a folder named, amazingly, Downloads, where all my internet downloads go. In that folder I have sub-folders for Images, Video, Audio, Disk Images, etc. Instead of sorting through ALL the files to organize the Downloads folder, I just attached a Folder Action to do it for me! When I download something, it automatically gets filed to the right folder. And, like I said, it doesn't matter if the folder is open or not.

Plus with OS X, you can access the command line through AppleScript so you can use that as well.

One Caveat: Once you enable folder actions, when you logout or restart, you need to re-enable them. You can simply add this to your login items.

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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: bluehz on Nov 27, '02 07:35:52PM

Any way to have folder actions work recursively within folders? In other words act on folders within the folder you have applied the action too?

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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: iRoid on Feb 24, '03 07:07:31AM

I was looking around for such a script for my own downloads folder since I am applescript impaired. I tried (unsuccessfully) to write a script to move new downloads into the appropriate sub folder, only to discover my code forced every file to be placed into a single folder. Along with that came my own frustration from having to relocate all of those files back into their proper places (ARRRGGG!). Would it be possible for you to post or email me a copy of your own script to play with?

Thanks for any help!


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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: prassa on Mar 12, '04 07:22:21PM

How did you enable folder actions at logout or restart ? How can you add this action to login items ? It's possible on Panther ?

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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: sjk on Mar 13, '04 09:19:48PM

Folder Actions are reenabled automatically on Panther. Not sure if they activate at login and are active on folders after logout. Can't test it right now. All I know for sure is one I set up for DEVONthink a few months ago has worked ever since without doing anything more and I've rebooted a dozen times since then.

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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: sjk on Mar 13, '04 09:26:34PM

By the way, configuring Folder Actions is much easier in Panther from the contextual menu with any folder(s) selected. In fact, one I tried setting up a few days ago didn't work using the old script menu method described in this hint but this morning I remembered the new way and that worked perfectly.

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Folder Actions are back!
Authored by: proinsias on Jan 18, '05 09:19:30PM

If you go to /Volumes/MainDisk/Library/Scripts/Folder Actions/, where MainDisk is where OS X is installed, you will find a file called "Enable Folder Actions.scpt". Open this in Script Editor and save it as an Application, checking the Run-Only button, and unchecking the SplashScreen button. Then add this application to your login items. Voila!

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