I had some old (we’re talking Apple IIGS era old) files that I wanted to keep around, and I wanted Spotlight to show them if there was a valid hit. Many of the file formats I cannot read anymore, but even a raw dump of the file could at least reveal the information I needed. What I could not find online was a way to write Spotlight-findable data from the command line. My idea was to run the strings command and embed that as a comment. I finally figured it out on my own, and it involves embedding AppleScript in a shell script via osascript.
Without further ado, here is the bash function that I keep in my .bash_profile file (along with this handy function for assigning Finder labels).
[bash]# Assign a finder comment to a file
if [ $# -lt 2 ]; then
echo “USAGE: findercomment file comment [words can continue]”
echo “Sets the Finder comment for a file.”
echo “Example: findercomment stevejobs.jpg this one will be worth money some day”
osascript – “$@” << EOF
on run argv
set text item delimiters of AppleScript to " "
set theComment to (items 2 through end of argv) as string
set theFile to POSIX file (item 1 of argv) as alias
tell application "Finder"
set comment of theFile to theComment
With that function defined, I was able to recurse through a directory, run strings to extract words, and assign the words as a Finder comment to the files.
[bash]find . | while read F; do
findercomment “$F” “$COMMENTS”
There’s probably an extra step I could take to filter the output of strings against a dictionary, but I left it as is. Enjoy.
Nice. Works perfectly (in my case, the goal was but the filename in a Finder Comment in order to change the name and keep track of the initial one.
Thanks a lot.
Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking the time and
actual effort to generate a great article… but what can
I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get anything
Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you can be
a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog
and will come back someday. I want to encourage one
to continue your great work, have a nice morning!