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Fetch Icon Fetch Help > Using Fetch > Setting up a watch folder

You can set up a watch folder — a folder on your Macintosh to which you can move or save files and have them automatically uploaded — with Fetch's Automator support and a feature of Mac OS X called folder actions.

Folder actions are scripts or Automator workflows that automatically run every time files are added to a folder. Note that they are only run when a new file or folder is put in the folder; they do not run when a file that is already in the folder is edited or changed.

If all you want is an icon to drag files to in order to upload them, you should probably create and use a droplet shortcut instead; they are easier to set up than a watch folder.

if you're not familiar with Automator, you may want to first read the "Automator overview" section of the introduction to using Automator with Fetch help topic. You can skip the step-by-step examples in that topic, since different step-by-step instructions applicable to creating watch folders are described below.

Setting up a watch folder with Automator is slightly different depending which version of Mac OS X you are using. Follow the appropriate directions below.

Mac OS X 10.6 and later:

  1. Create the folder you want to use as a watch folder, if you haven't already.
  2. Open Automator (located in your Applications folder).
  3. When you're asked to "Choose a template for your workflow," click the Folder Action icon, then the Choose button to create a new Folder Action workflow.
  4. At the top of the new workflow window, click the Folder Action receives files and folders added to menu, choose Other, and select the folder you want to watch.
  5. Click the Internet icon in the Library list on the left-hand side of the workflow window.
  6. Drag an Upload Files action from the Action list to the workflow area. (You may have to scroll the list to find the Upload Files action.)
  7. In the Upload Files action, enter the connection information for the server and remote folder (if any) you want files to upload to, or choose a recent connection or shortcut from the pop-up menus.
  8. Go to the File menu, and choose Save.
  9. Enter a name for the folder action plug-in that will let you recognize it later, such as "Upload to name-of-my-server," and click Save.

Mac OS X 10.5:

  1. Create the folder you want to use as a watch folder, if you haven't already.
  2. Open Automator (located in your Applications folder).
  3. When prompted, click the Choose button to create a new "custom" workflow. A new workflow window should open automatically. If it does not, choose File > New.
  4. In the new workflow window, click the Internet icon in the Library list.
  5. Drag an Upload Files action from the Action list to the workflow area. (You may have to scroll the list to find the Upload Files action.)
  6. In the Upload Files action, enter the connection information for the server and remote folder (if any) you want files to upload to, or choose a recent connection or shortcut from the pop-up menus.
  7. Finally, save the workflow as an folder action plugin. Go to the File menu, and choose Save As Plug-in.
  8. In the Save Plug-in As field, enter a name for the workflow, such as "Upload to name-of-my-server."
  9. Click the Plug-in for menu, and choose Folder Actions.
  10. Click the Attached to Folder menu, choose Other, and select the folder you want to watch.
  11. Click the Save button.

Now when you drag or save files to that folder, Fetch will open and upload them. There may be a slight delay between adding a file to the folder and the upload beginning; this is normal.

If the connection to the server requires a password, you will be prompted for it when Fetch connects to upload your file. If you do not want to be prompted for the password, you should save the password for the connection in your keychain.

Other Fetch Automator actions let you rename, delete, move, or set permissions of items on a server. If you want, you can add more actions to perform these tasks after the Upload Files action, but remember that any action in the workflow will be applied to every file added to the watch folder.

For more information about each Fetch Automator action, see the Automator actions help topic.

For more examples of things you can do with Automator and Fetch, see the more examples of using Automator With Fetch help topic.