04 December 2008

Copy files to...

I may have missed something but I have yet to find an easy way to copy a set of files to an arbitrary place on my disk.

I think Windows people have this. They right-click on a file and they have a "send to" item so that they can copy the file(s) to any place they want.

I've been playing with Automator recently so I just spent an hour or so to create a "Copy Files To..." Automator application that I also saved as a Finder plug-in.

I've put the application into the File section of the Google group "attached" to this blog. I think you can open it in Automator (I created it on OSX 10.5.5) and use "File > Save As Plugin" to install it as a Finder contextual menu (in which case it will be saved under ~/Library/Workflows/Applications).

The application works like this:

1) You select items in the Finder
2) You call the application, either with Spotlight or with the context menu (bottom item: "More" > "Automator" > "Copy Files To...")
3) You select/create the destination (a folder)
4) The selected files are copied - and are not allowed to overwrite existing files
5) The destination folder opens

It looks like Automator applications are relatively slow to launch so for a small application like that I am not sure this is the best technology...

I am reading a tutorial book to Applescript (Applescript Studioでゼンマイびゅんびゅん!!) and I'm sure I'll be able to write an equivalent thing directly in Applescript in a few days, if work allows for that...


Thank you for the replies on the Google Group and comments here where OnMyCommand, but also Applescript solutions and also, simply, Cmd+C/Cmd+V inside Finder were suggested.

Automator applications, by the way they seem to be implemented, seem to be most useful when they are used a number of times in a row. WHen they are used once in a while, it seems that the time they load into memory (?) kinds of defeat the purpose of creating a simple action.

I still have a hard time figuring out what Automator can be best used for, since obviously, most file management tricks will be executed much faster from the Terminal...