Hazel automates all types of file actions on the Mac

The automation of tasks is something that today is on everyone’s lips, but there are already some applications that can help us achieve this. One of them is Hazel for Mac and today we want to talk about it.

Hazel is a program that allows us to set up different types of automation with the files and folders stored on our computer with macOS.

Hazel automates all types of file actions on the Mac
Hazel automates all types of file actions on the Mac

Hazel’s possibilities are very broad, from performing simple actions such as moving a file from one folder to another if its name contains certain words, to running a javascript or uploading a file to a remote server when a new file meets certain requirements.

How do I set up Hazel to automate folders?

Hazel has a very clear interface that allows us to easily configure it.

Basically the software has three different parts that we will comment below.

1.- Folders

In this section we must tell Hazel which folders she should pay attention to . In other words, this is where we set up the folders we want to automate tasks with the files they contain.

To give a clear example, if we want that when there is a new file in our downloads folder it is automatically moved to the folder where we save the movies, we must add the downloads folder to the Folders section. Once this is done we can set up the automation rules (section 3) and have Hazel work with the files inside.

To add folders to this section we must open Hazel’s window and click on the + icon at the bottom of the Folders section . A new window will pop up to select the folder you want to add and you can include it in the list of directories that the software will “watch”.

2.- Rules

This is where we have to tell Hazel what we want her to do with the files contained in the folders that are in the Folders section.

In this section we can create all the rules we need for each folder. To continue with the previous example, we can tell you to move all the files that in your name contain the word “hdrip” to the movies folder or to move all the files with the mkv extension to the same folder (or to another one).

From this section we can create as many rules as we need for each directory. Simply select the directory in the Folders section and then click on the + icon at the bottom of the Rules box . This will bring up the New Rule window that we discussed in the next section. This is also the place where we can edit the rules or remove them if we don’t need them any more.

3.- New Rule

This is the third section that we are going to review and probably the most important one. From this section we can set up the different rules we want Hazel to run automatically on the folders she keeps “under surveillance” . That is, this is where you create the automations that the software will later run autonomously.

The possibilities are practically infinite and we must review them thoroughly to know all the possibilities of the program. Hazel responds to the scheme of “if the file meets these requirements, do this”. This means that we have to configure both parts, i.e. the requirements the file has to meet and the action the program has to take if a file meets them.

In the window of New Rule this is represented by two lines with drop-down menus:

  • The first one is where we must establish the requirements (for example: that the file has a certain name, that the name includes certain words, that it has a certain size, that it has certain tags, etc, etc…). If we need it in addition we can put more than one requirement together to better tune the automated actions.
  • The second part is where we set the shares. This is where we tell Hazel what to do when a file meets the requirements set out in the previous point. For example, we can tell her to move the file to another folder, to put a certain tag on it, to rename it, to open it, to execute an Automator action, etc, etc…

Once an action has been set up following the three points above, Hazel will go to work and whenever she detects that a file meets the requirements, she will perform the set action fully automatically . This way we can keep our files organized and get rid of tasks that might be tedious.

As we were saying, the possibilities are very great and it’s best that you check it out for yourself to know in depth all that it is capable of doing.

Automation is here to stay and Hazel is a great example

Without a doubt Hazel’s potential is tremendous . The possibilities are endless and surely all of us will be able to automate tasks that we perform on a recurring basis to practically forget about them and thus better optimize our time.

The software is priced at $32, which at the current exchange rate is about 28 euros. A pretty tight price for a program that will help us be more organized and, more importantly, productive. You can buy it through the website of its developers Noodlesoft.

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