Monday, February 18, 2008

Windows watch folder - automate tasks - PhotoShop - Droplet

Someone asked me how to automate a process that involved printing any image added to a given folder and then deleting it. This was something that we used when I was in the printing business and is quite common on Macs but this needed to be accomplished on a Windows PC.

I found and downloaded folder watching software called Total Folder Monitor. This software allows you to specify actions based on specific changes to a defined folder. I set up a test folder and 2 actions; launch a PhotoShop 'Droplet' and delete the file any time a file was added. A PhotoShop Droplet is a small application that will launch PhotoShop if needed and then perform PhotoShop actions per your instructions. My Droplet's action was only to scale, print and close the active image.

After some testing, I discovered that you can use a command line version of a droplet and wild card the target file; my example:
C:\test.exe C:\test\*.jpg

The command line code is entered into Total Folder Monitor. So, anytime an image is added to C:\test\, the following sequence of events is activated.

1. Total Folder Monitor launches PhotoShop Droplet
2. Droplet performs PhotoShop Action
3. Total Folder Monitor deletes the file
4. Total Folder Monitor waits for next file

Have fun with it.


1. Keiffer said...

More posts of this quality. Not the usual c***, plseae

2. Eloise said...

This is a really intelligent way to answer the quetsion.

3. stu shapiro said...

Firstly, thank you for posting this! I went with your process and its a good work around. Assuming test.exe is your droplet above. I did the same process and it seems it only runs the droplet on one file. if you had to click click click and more than one file landed in the folder before the droplet task completed, TFM would del the other files before they were processed? that command line seems to only run the droplet on the first image in the folder... assuming more landed int he folder there would be a problem. otherwise its awesome! maybe you can help. i test and run the task and it works great. but when its just running and watching it seems it doesnt react when a new file is put in the folder. only when i hit the run the first time, or as i said, hit test. did you have that issue by any chance? Thanks again stu

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