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10.4: Finder selections and Automator action targets System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you use the Automator action 'Get Selected Finder Items' in your workflow, when you actually use the workflow, make sure the item you wish to affect is actually highlighted before you run the action!

I innocently opened a folder in column view and then right-clicked on an item within it and selected an Automator workflow, believing it would function on the item I right-clicked on. Well, it wasn't so much a folder I had selected as a hard-drive. I was attempting to run the tar Automator script on a folder. I noticed, however that it was taking a very long time to compress the item I thought I had selected. I stopped the workflow and checked my /Volumes folder, and found out that the workflow had been operating on my hard drive, as opposed to the item I had selected.

With so many cool Automator workflows showing up here and elsewhere, I thought it should be made known exact what a "Selected Finder Item" was.

[robg adds: This also bit me when I first started using Automator -- to the Finder, there's a difference between the currently selected item and the item you just control-clicked. To make sure things work as expected, click the item first, then control-click on that same object and choose your Automator action.]
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10.4: Finder selections and Automator action targets | 3 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Finder selections and Automator action targets
Authored by: Arlo on Oct 19, '05 08:28:28AM

You can avoid this problem by NOT having the "Get Selected Finder Items" in a contextual-menu workflow; it's unnecessary, as I have obsessively pointed out in this space :)

"Better Living Through Macintosh Scripting"

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10.4: Finder selections and Automator action targets
Authored by: airdrummer on Oct 20, '05 04:11:46AM

and the items selected are not neccessarily in the order displayed, either, not even name-alphabetic...probably in inode order.

i assume the list can be sorted in the until i learn automator (great site, btw:-) i'll stick 2 shell scripting;-}

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10.4: Finder selections and Automator action targets
Authored by: matiasnu on Nov 29, '08 12:51:56PM

This applies to 10.5 too. Is there ANY way of detecting a context menu clicked item in Automator as opposed to an item that first has been selected and then context menu clicked?

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