Hot Folder action needed - please***


I am working - trying to set up a hotfolder that will run the following…

i have a pdf from some artwork and want to place this file in - The “in” Folder… but when i make amends to the artwork - i.e stage2 - i will then recreate another pdf …

i want to then put the new pdf into the “in” folder again and then get a script to move the original PDF into an “out” folder…

Now when i make stage3 amends i want to repeat the process with the exception of that when a PDF is moved into the “out” folder and there is already a PDF with the same name then add a prefix of (.1.pdf)

so file name…

stage 1

test.pdf - goes into “in” folder -

stage 2

test.pdf - goes into “in” folder - test.pdf already in the “in” folder gets moved to the “out” folder.


test.pdf - goes into “in” folder - test.pdf already in the “in” folder gets moved to the “out” folder and retains file name but just adds prefix .1.pdf
final file name would look like test.1.pdf and so on

and process to be repeated -

any ideas of where to start - i have had alook on this site but cannot find something relevant!!!



p.s i hope this makes some sense to somebody…:rolleyes:

Why not use the finders built-in color labels and smart folders to work out what stage they are in.

You can do some decent stuff and might not be as confusing as the workflow you are trying to automate.


What do you want? Do you want to develop this script for you? Use finder commands to move files and check files if exist. If file exist in “IN” folder first move it to OUT folder and then move it to IN folder. And for .1.pdf you will have to use some counter.

Or please let us know exactly what you want to do, so that we can suggest you some better way.



hi yes it is mainly to fix some of the problems i am having with lastest stage PDF’s… - and the current folder structure is shit to be honest!!!

Hopefully by doing this the “in” folder will have all the latest PDF’s in - and once the job is approved they will be backed up only the files that are in the “in” folder…

but the “out” folder will be there as a reference to all the stages that had amends on…

i hope this makes more sense - i would be grateful if you any solutions - bit of a pain at the moment…




You can’t just drop a file with the same name onto a folder containing the duplicate and have a folder action move it after the fact – you’ll get a request to replace it and you want to save it. The workaround is that you have a drop box with the folder action attached which checks whether a file of the same name is in your InBox. If it is, it moves the file in the InBox to the OutBox, adding a suitable (not already there) integer starting with 1 to it’s base name, and then moving the drop box file to the InBox folder. None of that is hard to do, but before embarking on it, have I understood the logic you intend? At the end of the day, there’ll be one copy of each PDF in the InBox folder without an integer attached (test.pdf) and the OutBox will contain test-1.pdf, test-2.pdf, etc.


hi adam i think that is best work around i wasn’t sure if it was even possible…

the folder “in” will have many files dropped into it - but this script will only apply to those that have the same file name…

i hoe i made some sense…

thanks for your fast repsonce…

any ideas would be much appreciated…

thanks again


This is easiest to do if all three folders are on the same volume (or partition) of your hard disk because the Finder will only copy files to another volume, it won’t move them there so you have to check that it got there and then delete the original. Suppose we have three folders: DropBox (with the action), InBox, OldVersions.

Your DropBox script will have to check that the dropped items are in fact files because you don’t specify what to do with a folder. It will then get the current contents of the InBox and compare the filenames there with the dropped files taken one at a time.

Now the problem: when someone is working on test-2.pdf, presumably obtained by duplicatiing it from the InBox (but they could have simply removed it) the OldVersions box will (or should) contain test-1.pdf (the first mod), and test.pdf (the original). Are we assuming then that the modifier will not change the name of test-2, but will simply drop it back? If he had removed the version he modded, there will be no record of version 2 and the name will stay the same.

You haven’t explained the process you intend well enough to know how to deal with this. When a new pdf is dropped on the DropBox, should it automatically go to the InBox, AND the OldVersions box? What you’re really asking for here is version control and there are much better ways to do that than what we’re talking about.

Give this a bunch of thought.