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Automator action: Get File Path.action

What's an Automator action?

An Automator action is an element of an Automator workflow.

System Requirements etc.

System Requirements Mac OS X 10.5 or later (Snow Leopard compatible) *
Language Japanese, English
License Freeware
* Zap Resource Forks.action: Mac OS X 10.4 or later (Snow Leopard compatible)


To install an action

  1. Dobule click archive file (.zip file) to unarchive it if need.
  2. Launch Automator application, select "Import Actions" from Automator File menu, choose the action (.action file) to install. Or double click the action to install if your Mac OS X is Snow Leopard or later.

The action will be installed at the folder ~/Library/Automator and you can use it.

The system recognizes one as an Automator action when an action is located at following folders:

/System/Library/AutomatorSystem > Library > Automatoractions by Apple
/Library/AutomatorLibrary > Automatoractions by third party, all users can use
~/Library/AutomatorHome > Library > Automatoractions by third party, only user can use


To uninstall an action, remove the action from the Automator folder.

Actions List

Action Name Version Description
Get File Path.action 1.0 gets file/folder path with Unix/HFS/URL format
Touch Files.action 1.0 changes file/folder's time stamp
Zap Resource Forks.action 1.2 removes resource fork

How to use workflow for services on Snow Leopard

Apple removed support for contextual menu plugins in 64-bit Cocoa (from Leopard) and replaced it with services items on Snow Leopard (contextual menu contains services items). You can create a service item by Automator workflow.

There are sample workflows to be used as service item in the archives (items in the folder Sample Workflows > Snow Leopard > for Services).

Hereafter, I explain the usage of Automator services item with Get File Path.action and a sample workflow "Copy POSIX Path" as example. You should install Get File Path.action before following operation.

sample service workflow
Sample workflow: Copy POSIX Path

How to install

  1. Dobule click the workflow "Copy POSIX Path" to open.
  2. Select "Save as" from Automator File menu.
  3. Edit file name if you need, then, click Save button.

The workflow has been copied in the folder ~/Library/Services.

You can now use service item "Copy POSIX Path" from Services menu or contextual menu after selecting Finder items.

How to uninstall

  1. Remove the workflow "Copy POSIX Path" from the folder ~/Library/Services.

How to change to use or not to use service items

You can change to display or not services items in Services menu and contextual menu.
  1. Launch System Preferences and show Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Services pane.
  2. Turn on checkboxes to use services items.

How to customize a sample workflow

You can customize the workflow "Copy POSIX Path" such as copying quoted path and so on.
  1. Double click the workflow "Copy POSIX Path" in the folder ~/Library/Services to open.
  2. Change settings on the Get File Path action such as "enclose path with".
  3. Select Save from File menu.
  4. Close the workflow.

How to change action's settings on run-time

  1. Double click the workflow "Copy POSIX Path" in the folder ~/Library/Services to open.
  2. Click Options button lower side of the action, then turn on checkbox "Show this action when the workflow runs".
  3. Select Save from File menu.
  4. Close the workflow.

Now, the action is shown when the workflow runs. You have a chance to change the settings of the action, changing done, click "Continue" button. This settings change has not been saved.

Last updated: 2009-09-22

Copyright (c) 2009 MIKOZAWA Akira. All rights reserved. e-mail: