Automator bug in Rename Finder Items

This post was published more than a few years ago (on 2007-06-15) and may contain inaccurate technical information, outmoded thoughts, or cringe takes. Proceed at your own risk.

I've been building a backup workflow in Automator for my daily Final Cut Pro editing projects, and I ran into a little glitch. If I use the Rename Finder Items action in a workflow, then try to put another action after it that references the now-renamed file, I get errors which seem to indicate that Rename Finder Items is not passing the renamed file reference on to the next action, but instead the original reference that was passed into it.

For instance, if I rename my file once (say, to add the creation date, so it's now "filename_date.ext"), and then pass it to a 2nd instance of Rename Finder Items to add the creation time, I get the error, "Applescript Error: Finder got an error: Can't get creation date of alias "[filename.ext]". (-1728)". If instead I pass it to the Open Finder Items action, it just fails silently.

I'm wondering if, since there's an Applescript error, if that means the action is just an Applescript that I could open up and fix myself.
UPDATE: You can find all the built-in Automator actions under /System/Library/Automator, and you can even show the .action package contents to reveal Contents/Resources/Scripts, but both of the scripts in there are saved as "run-only." Is there any way to decompile a run-only AppleScript?

I suppose I could just write my own to rename it the way I want, all in one go, but I was hoping not to put so much effort into something that will help me be more lazy. 😉

3 thoughts on “Automator bug in Rename Finder Items”

  1. Dave Denson

    I ran into this problem after turning on FileVault. Un-vaulting my home directory fixed this problem.

    Somebody should probably tell Apple about this issue…

  2. i found a solution to this: just add the action “get selected finder items” after the renaming action(s) and it will do without an error.

  3. That doesn’t work for me. Sure, it runs without error, but it renames whatever was the last thing I selected in the Finder, and not the new Archive that I want it to rename. Also, none of the files or folders I’m working with are FileVault’d, so I doubt that’s the issue for me.

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