I read in MacWorld about Folder Actions, essentially scripts that automatically run when a file is put in a folder. The primary example used in the article was notifications that a file was put in a particular folder (which might be useful if I use Dropbox more to collect assignments) but what caught my eye was the convert-to-.jpg function.

I’m a big fan of Grab, Apple’s screen shot utility. I know there’s screen shot functionality in a keystroke (which I never took the time to learn) and I’m sure there are other free screen shot applications out there, but Grab is here, it’s installed, it’s free, and I know it. The frustrating aspect of Grab, though, is that it defaults to .tiff files (Apple, any explanation?), which some sites (WordPress included) don’t support. So the screenshots here were taken with Grab but then converted to .jpgs with Preview (which itself is onerous because of Preview’s inexplicable loss of the ‘Save as…’ command; again, Apple, feel free to explain…). But with folder actions, I’ve now made a folder that I called Photo Conversion with the action set that any .tiff that is put in that folder is automatically copied and converted as a .jpg. Here are the steps (from MacWorld):

  1. Find the folder you want to set an action for (though this first step can technically be done with any folder).
  2. Right click on it (control-click or two finger click).
  3. In the menu, choose Services / Folder Actions Set-up (or Folder Actions Set-up will be in the menu itself)
  4. The folder you chose will automatically be added to the list of folders-with-actions and you will see a menu of scripts.
  5. Choose the script you want and close the windows.
  6. Your folder now has that action.

I’ve included a screen shot of the folder here, but this will save a lot of time when using Grab.