Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2009 5:03 PM by K Shaffer
Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi everyone

I'm an automator newbe trying to create a workflow that will find image files on my desktop and move them to the trash. Simple enough right. I thought so too.

I have a folder on my desktop (named images). When ever i download images off the web or synch my camera, their default destination is the desktop. I manually sort them. The ones i need go into the folder and the other ones will go to the trash. The workflow I have created is supposed to move the images left on the desktop into the trash. It goes something like this

S1: Finder - Find Files
Where : Desktop
Kind: is Image
S2: Finder - Get Specified Finder Items
S3: Finder - Move Items to Trash

The problem is that this workflow will move the images that are stored in the images folder (located in the desktop) to the trash as well. I want it to move images that are only on the desktop, not on desktop folders.

Is there any automator action/parameter that will allow me to specify this limit. What can I do?

Thanks In Advance

iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (10,605 points)
    Since the "Desktop" is a named location, you may have to
    have the automator put the discard images into another
    folder first and not use the word "Desktop" since it is like
    a folder. In fact, each user account has a Desktop folder.

    So, you need to add some steps and not use Desktop name
    in the process if you do not want to include anything in or
    on the full Desktop. Selective named folders would be the
    path to make for this to happen. A 'Discard Images' folder is
    is another name for a location in the Desktop (folder) of your
    user account, for example. Desktop is too vague, too inclusive.

    You could also put a set of folders on the hard drive itself,
    the root level, if you are the only user in the computer, and
    direct Automator to move sort save & trash, revolving them.

    Good luck & happy computing!
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the reply K Shaffer

    I too figured that having automator look for files in the desktop folder would be too broad of a paramete, but i'm not sure what you mean by using Selective folders to do the trick. Are you suggesting I create a folder to drop images in and have my workflow trash those files? If so it would defeat the purpose of automating the job for me ;D. If I'm supposed to have the automator do this, this still won't fix the underlying problem that causes all images from all folders on the desktop to be moved.

    I'm also not sure what you mean by "A 'Discard Images' folder is another name for a location in the Desktop (folder) of your user account...". If this folder exists, im not finding it anywhere with finder.

    sorry,I'm a newbe and can be very thick sometimes
  • Andrew99 Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)
    Weißtitan wrote:
    I have a folder on my desktop (named images)...


    You might consider moving the Images folder to some other location on your hard drive and keep only an alias of it on your desktop. Add images you wish to save to the Images folder by dragging and dropping them into the Images folder alias on the desktop.

    Then try the following workflow:

    1) *Find Finder Items* -- Where: Desktop; Whose: Kind --> Is --> Image

    2) *Move to Trash*

    If all goes well, only those images left on the desktop will be trashed, while those added earlier to the original Images folder will remain unmoved. Good luck.
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I See how this can amend the problem, but it's not a fix. Moving my images folder to somewhere that is not the desktop would too inconvenient for me, and to create an alias of it superfluous. I need things to remain simple and clean.

    I have tinkered with the automator app a bit more but have yet to find a solution.

    thanks for replying though
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Andrew99

    I Have done what you asked and it indeed worked. By moving the images folder to the documents folder and creating an alias in the desktop, the workflow apparently identifies it and it's contents as not being in the desktop, thus leaving my files where they are. but like I said, I'm hoping for a more simple (Mac-like) solution involving no aliases.

    This will have to do for now though

    thanks for the tip
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)
    Just askin', so don't shoot!

    Are you aare that every file kept on/in the Desktop uses 2 to 3 times the resources of keeping the file elsewhere?
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Really

    I did not know, how so?

    lol "don't shoot!"
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)
    Any file on the Desktop, (ie. in the Desktop folder, uses Quartz, Transparencies, etc., and consumes more CPU, more RAM, more VRAM... on top of the normal requirements!

    The less files you keep on the Desktop, the Faster/Bigger your Mac will be!

    Some that are unaware, copy a thousand files or so to the Desktop Folder & render their Mac unusable, might take weeks for it to boot to a painfully slow/unresponsive Desktop after that!!!
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I see

    so say I move all my folders from the desktop to say, the documents folder, and then create aliases for them. Will the aliases and its contents overconsume as well (thus defeating the purpose of moving the folders in the first place)? Will the simple act of moving say, 10GB worth of folders reduce over consumption of resources enough to cause a perceivable increase in speed? Interesting
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (10,605 points)
    As an identified User, your account would already be focused on putting your saved content to
    the Documents/images folder in your account. The Desktop is just another folder in your account.
    An alias in one folder to re-direct content flow to another, is also something that Automator can
    deal with, if you tell it to do so; instead of finding surprise in having everything in a ballpark end
    up in the county library, one has to tell Automator to use certain containers and routes.

    I've used aliases to folders on the desktop since OS7.x days, but at least in OS 9.2.2 & before
    the actual Desktop (finder) was a full application that managed the System. Not so in OS X.

    You should be able to have Automator sort images without the desktop, except for the human
    element, ie: where you probably want to see what each one is and where it may be going.

    Depending on how you use your account in OS X, the paths available to you in Automator
    and how (in general) your items get saved and found, will vary. I try to not use the Document
    folder in my User account, instead I make folders and direct items manually. However, this
    is counter-intuitive for the OS X file management and so there would be an easier way if I
    were to automate any processes on my agenda.

    For computers with more than one active user and created content authorship being assigned
    to user accounts and privileges, the need to use the user's account to facilitate automated
    processes should make for a more direct flow of items to locations within each account. Shared
    items have a different permission or privilege level, for example; but that does not matter so
    much if only one user is also the Admin for the system and he/she has only one or two accounts.

    There is a missing level of understanding, it appears, in this path; and since I do not use the
    user account to the fullest extent, I am not one to point out a more efficient way to do the
    task(s) you are doing in your system. But to discover and use the integrated path to make the
    best use of how the system is supposed to work, may be a faster overall method of automation.
    (My previous use of OS 9.2.2 and before, with full manual control and admin access universally,
    hinders my open-mindedness about how much OS X could do for me.)

    In my computer, since my other user account is also controlled by me, I have folders of items,
    such as images from two digital cameras; I can access this content from both accounts even
    though the secondary account may not have privilege to change an image. I could duplicate
    it and then act on it in the second account; but not have equal access to the original unless I
    were logged-in as the first user. And in my case, I manually move images from my cameras
    to specific folders, where new by-date created images are stored, reviewed, edited & trashed.
    {Not using iPhoto to do this, I have no issues with the source content being mixed up.}

    These same kinds of things can also affect how you use your Mac even if you do not think that
    way about account use and traffic through Automator; but you can work outside of the user
    account limitations when you are the Admin, yet some workflow aspects may suffer as a result.

    Good luck & happy computing!
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)
    10GB... I do think so, but OSX likes lots of RAM, lots of Free space on the HD, but Dashboard, Spotlight, Bonjour & a few other things all conspire to drag OSX down to performance less than 32 MHz CPUs!

    Well, a Folder on the Desktop only consumes one unit of waste so to speak, not the things in it until you open it, yet it's best to do like SJ, just use 5 Apple Apps & only keep the "Where's the Corporate Jet now" Folder/APP on the Desktop!

    LOL, running a Browser, Text Edit, Console & not much else on 10.5.5 uses 70.16 GB of VM!?
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    K Shaffer

    Moving images to and from different accounts is all interesting, but I almost feel that your response is to a different question altogether. I have no desire to move any of my images to other accounts in my computer, but simply to trash those that are cluttering up desktop space.

    " instead I make folders and direct items manually. However, this
    is counter-intuitive for the OS X file management and so there would be an easier way if I
    were to automate any processes on my agenda."

    This is my though precisely. I take a lot of pictures and do a lot of photo editing so needless to say for every 1 photo I save there will be about 10 photos to trash. Automating this process (since I have to do this quite frequently) will be a time saver, where it not for my little problem.

    "You should be able to have Automator sort images without the desktop, except for the human
    element, ie: where you probably want to see what each one is and where it may be going."

    The whole point of automation is to remove the human element and have OS X do this instead. Having my workflow ask me to sort those images that must be trashed vs. those that do not is counter intuitive.

    "For computers with more than one active user and created content authorship being assigned................. much if only one user is also the Admin for the system and he/she has only one or two accounts."

    There will never be a time in which my computer will have two open accounts at the same time, furthermore, my workflow is intended to work for only the current account. Asking automator to accessing the "Desktop" folder will prompt it to find files in the current desktop folder (ie, the folder with the active user account). I also have no content stored in my "shared" folder. (Actually Im not even sure I understand this whole paragraph and everything that follows it, its a bit above me, so will digress from replying to them)

    Im beginning to think that there isn't a way to confine/limit the automator search feature in the way i want it to, which would mean i will probably have to use aliases (however ungracefully) to move forward.

    thanks for for your help though
  • Weißtitan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    "things all conspire to drag OSX down to performance less than 32 MHz CPUs!"

    lol why do I feel like I've been there. (because i have :D)

    So in short, move things away from the desktop to avoid over using resources. Sigh, hard work indeed.

    "running a Browser, Text Edit, Console & not much else on 10.5.5 uses 70.16 GB of VM!?"

    wait 70GB (thats gigabites). That's Insane!!!... I don't even think I have 70GB left in my hard disk.
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,070 points)
    wait 70GB (thats gigabites). That's Insane!!!... I don't even think I have 70GB left in my hard disk.




    Don't worry, it just is telling you that if it really had it druthers...

    LOL... insane... I don't think you want to know about 10.6.x/64 bit goodness then!

    So in short, move things away from the desktop to avoid over using resources. Sigh, hard work indeed.


    Naw, it's easy, just Thimk Different, this isn't an OS you can do what you want to with anymore.

    PS. I'm simply amazed at how much faster Dial-up is with a Quad/G5/2.5GHz/10GB RAM is over a Dual/G4/1.42/2GB RAM booting from the exact same 500 GB HD is... well it doesn't match a G3/266Mhz Beige with 256MB RAM running OS9, but such is the cost of "progress'!
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