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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views Desktop
Leopard provides a facility for making a folder's view stick to a folder. This is accomplished by choosing View » Show View Options, and clicking the 'Always open in ...' checkbox to retain the currently-selected view for that folder. Unfortunately, setting up folders to do this is cumbersome, because you have to do this for each individual folder. This tip describes a way to get it done very easily for large numbers of folders. (If you'd like to know more about why I like to do this, read the my explanation at the end of this hint.)

It's easy to create a convenient set of Automater workflows that will set the view of one or more folders simultaneously to a given view in such a way as to have that view stick to the selected folders. I created a workflow for each of the four Finder views, named appropriately as Iconview, Listview, Columnview, and Flowview. These are installed into my AppleScript menu, and then used to change selected multiple folders with one click. Read on to learn how to create these workflows.

First, if you don't see a Script Menu in your menu bar, you need to turn this feature on. You do it by running AppleScript Utility, which is located in the AppleScript folder in Applications. Just click the 'Show Script in menu bar' checkbox and quit.

Start Automator and choose Custom. Select Files and Folders in the left column, then drag Get Selected Finder Items to the right side. Drag Set Folder Views to the right so it connects after Get Selected Finder Items. Set the view from the menu at the top of the action box to 'Icon View' for the first workflow. Also be sure 'Apply window properties' and 'Apply Changes to Sub-folders' checkboxes are not checked -- these will have undesirable consequences if they are checked, especially the latter which can lead to something that is very difficult to undo.

The workflow is done. Now save it using Save As Plug-in... from the File menu. Type Iconview for the workflow name, and then set 'Plug-in for' to Script Menu and click Save. You will now have Iconview in your Script Menu.

If you would like to also have a contextual menu for the workflow in the Finder, you can use Save As Plug-in a second time. The name will still be there from last time. Now set 'Plug-in for' to 'Finder' and click Save. I don't particularly like the contextual menu, because it appears two levels down in the menu under More » Automator.

Repeat the same procedure to make workflows for each of the four views by changing only the view menu of the workflow to the desired view, and saving the workflow using the appropriate name for that view. The quickest way to do this is keep the Automator workflow open after saving it, and just change the view and re-save using the new name. You can create all of these this way in about a minute. You're done.

Now select a group of folders, either on your desktop or in a Finder window. The Finder window can be in any view. It doesn't matter. Just select all the folders you want to set to a given view. Then go to the script menu and select the desired view workflow. You should see a brief message flash in your menu bar, and in about one or two seconds your selected folders will have been set to always open in the selected view. Enjoy!

Why I do this: Why would you want to do this? Although Leopard provides control over folder views by allowing the user to set the default view globally, it changes the default views of folders when opening them to be generally whatever view is currently being used. There are disadvantages to all this dull consistency.

I much prefer to have certain folders open in certain views; for example small picture folders in Icon view and large ones in Coverflow view. Sometimes it's nice to have top level folders that don't have too many items in icon view, but lots of big folders work well in column view. I find it really nice to navigate around and have folder views change automatically to the most appropriate for each folder. They won't change if you single-click on them in column view, which is good because you may be navigating around in that view and wouldn't want it to change.

In that case, you can double-click on the folder to have it open in its preferred view. It works amazingly well if you just remember not to use the backup arrow in the browser toolbar because that seems to ignore the preferred view. I actually removed it from my toolbar so I won't accidentally use it. Instead turn on and use the Path Bar to go up to a higher level folder, or set up and use the Path menu in your toolbar, or simply type Command-Up Arrow to move to the parent folder. Using any of these methods the preset view for each folder is always applied.
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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views | 7 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views
Authored by: MartiNZ on Nov 19, '07 10:11:06AM

Good stuff. The new view settings in Finder are a bit annoying compared to their predecessors, with no obvious global setting, but an actually applied global setting, and I often find that switching one window's view means all windows start opening in said view - not nearly as intuitive as in Tiger, say.

What I want to do is a bit different. The default window size in Finder is ridiculously small, regardless of view settings - and this appears to be one thing that Automator can't set with that folder views workflow! Anyone know of a way to do this outside of opening every possible path and dragging out a size? :)

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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views
Authored by: rmanke on Nov 19, '07 12:10:57PM

This is a good Hint, but it shouldn't have been necessary. Tiger worked fine! Why did they change it? Each folder should remember its view settings!

Apple, please put it back the way it was!

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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views
Authored by: defaria101 on Nov 20, '07 12:53:57AM

How to install two hard drives with own windows XP-P OS

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back-arrow bug
Authored by: Hal Itosis on Nov 20, '07 08:45:17PM
> It works amazingly well if you just remember
> not to use the backup arrow in the browser toolbar
> because that seems to ignore the preferred view.

Thanks for posting this hint.

It calls attention to what I have dubbed: "the back-arrow bug".
That is clearly a bug... and too few folk are squawking about it.

Sure hope the next Leopard update will squash it.


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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views
Authored by: tpierry on Nov 21, '07 09:27:53PM

Since submitting this hint, I have discovered an issue you will need to be aware of if you use it. If you apply one of these view setting workflows with only a single folder selected, and that folder is not directly on the desktop, the view will not stick. The view will be changed temporarily, but the 'always open in ...' view option will not be applied to that folder. This is not really much of a problem, since setting only a single folder at a time can be easily done by bringing up view options and clicking the checkbox, but if you are unaware of this peculiar quirk you will be confused when it fails to work as expected.

The intent of these workflows is to facilitate applying sticky views to multiple folders at a time. Used for that purpose, they work as described.

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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views
Authored by: demiphonic on May 13, '09 05:34:25PM

Stupid question but:

How do I disable or turn off these Apple script commands so that everything is back to default?

Related problem: I believe (guessing here) that this script could be affecting the 10.5.6 to 10.5.7 update.
Why? Apple's site says:
"You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you've modified the operating system through other means. (This does not apply to normal application software installation.)"

Therefore I believe this Apple script (among other system changes) caused my download to stall & receive a message saying that:
‘Apple signature did not match & that the package contents may have been tampered with between Apple & myself.'

I can only assume that those system changes affected my update. So how do I turn off those custom Apple scripts you showed us?

Other system changes I made (just for reference):
Changed the Dock & Application Indicator Lights with the "killall Dock" Terminal command.
Changed all Folder colours from default blue to Tan with FolderTeint.
Installed iTunes plug-in "I Love Stars"

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10.5: Use Automator to create 'sticky' folder views
Authored by: tpierry on Jun 17, '09 07:53:07PM

Since the mechanism to install user Applescripts like this one is blessed by Apple, I don't think this could be the cause of whatever problems you encountered in updating your OS X system software. I have this installed on my system and had no such problems in updating to 10.5.7. However, if you want to remove it and any other user installed Applescripts just navigate to the Library folder in your home folder and drag the "Scripts" folder to the trash. Be sure you are doing this in your home folder and not in the Library folder at the top level of your boot drive.

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