Organizing the Fastscripts Menu
  • I have some questions (or maybe feature requests) regarding the Fastscripts menu:

    1. There are now about 30 Apple script folders that display in the menu. With my own folders the list now often goes off the bottom of the screen. Since I seldom use most of the Apple script folders, I'd like to get them off the list. Is there a way to create an "Apple" meta-folder for these scripts ... or something?

    2. In order to easily find the Applications script folder in the midst of all the Apple folders, I renamed it "*Applications". This nicely moved it to the top of the list. However, at that point the list of scripts for the selected application disappeared -- I guess because Fastscripts looks for "Applications" specifically. Is there a way to tell it to use "*Applications" instead?

    Or, just as good, is there a way to force the Applications folder to be at the top of the list?

    (I work around this by duplicating "Applications" as "*Applications", but this makes for extra work everytime I edit a script." I tried making an alias of Applications -- it appeared in the list but showed no contents.)

    3. For some applications I have a lot of scripts. Instead of listing all of the scripts for the selected application, is there a way to just make that application's script folder appear where the list scripts appear now?

    (I can work around this by putting all the scripts in a folder inside the Application's script folder, but the result is kind of clunky.)

    4. If the name of a scripts folder does not exactly match the name of the applications, including the case of the letters, the scripts will not appear when the application is selected. There's nothing wrong with this, but it might be nice if Fastscripts could disregard case so that, for example, "iTunes" and "itunes" were equally acceptable.

    5. Finally, I have a number of scripts that work in multiple applications. To see them in a particular application, I have to copy them to multiple application script folders. It would probably be too much to expect Fastscripts to map one script to multiple applications, but it would be nice to have a "Favorites" (or some such) list right under "Recent Scripts".

    I hope this didn't sound too much like a list of complaints. I *really* like this program and use it constantly. These are just the bits that hang me up. Thanks.
  • What would really solve rdillman's problem, mine, and probably others would be the ability to rearrange the contents of the FastScripts menu exactly as I wanted it. I would like to be able to display folders only at the top level, and the contents of those folders in hierarchical menus.
  • Thanks Richard, for your thoughtful list of suggestions. I am always looking for ways to improve the user experience of FastScripts. I will respond to each of the issues you raise by your numbering:

    1. I'm planning a feature for a future release that will allow you to enable/disable the "Library Scripts" from Apple. In the mean time you can get them out of the menu by either renaming the folder to something other than "/Library/Scripts" or else go into /Library/Scripts and move all those folders into a single folder "AppleScripts" or something.

    2. Interesting issue! First of all, I think you should know that as of FastScripts 2.2.5, you can use "BBEdit" style sorting tags at the beginning of scripts and folders. So, to move "Applications" to the top of the menu, you might rename it to 00)Applications. The idea is that any two characters followed by a ")" at the beginning of a folder name are used for sorting but stripped out in the menu display. That said, FastScripts requires scripts to be located specifically in the "Applications" folder to maintain compatibility with Apple, and to avoid uncertainty if there are more than one folder [e.g. 00)Applications and 01)Applications]. I'll have to think about the best way to address this issue. I like the idea of the Alias to the folder. I will look into whether I can make the Aliases show the script contents as expected.

    3. What you can do is just make a folder (or several) inside the Application's scripts folder. For instance, for Safari I have a folder inside called "Favorite URLs" which contains all the web pages I have Safari-specific keyboard shortcuts for. FastScripts allows you to put as many levels deep as you want inside the App-specific folders.

    4. The issue of exactly matching is very tricky. This is the main reason I added the "Create [AppName] Folder" items in the FastScripts submenu, because for some applications, the "true" name of the application is not even what the user sees! I'm hesitant to add any "looseness" in this area, because for all I know some user out there may end up with two applications that have names that only differ by case. It would be best to get in the habit of letting FastScripts create the folder for you.

    5. Although you discovered that the support for Aliases to *folders* is a bit unimpressive, I can vouch for FastScripts' ability to recognize aliases to scripts. I use this functionality myself to accomplish something like what you're describing. For instance, if I have a script that is useful in general but I want to have it in an Application-specific folder as well, I'll keep the original in the main script tree but drag an alias to every App-specific folder I want it to show up in. Do you think this might help?

    I'm hesitant to add a special "Favorites" items since you can more or less achieve this now by putting a folder called 00)Favorites in your scripts folder.

    Thanks a lot for your thoughtful feedback, and thanks for sharing it here where others are able to participate.

    Daniel
  • NovaScotian: I have a pending enhancement request that users should be allowed to dictate: "Folders always appear above scripts". In the mean time, you can achieve this by manually changing the names of all of your folders such that they include sorting tags in them [e.g. "00)My Scripts)"].

    Of course, as Richard noticed, this doesn't really work with the "Applications" folder.
  • -- 3. What you can do is just make a folder (or several) inside the Application's scripts folder.
    -- 5. I'll keep the original in the main script tree but drag an alias to every App-specific folder I want it to show up in

    Daniel -

    Thanks for your fast response. These two, in particular will be very helpful to me.
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