Make (in)visible Applescripts

John Gruber’s latest fireball discusses invisibility in Mac OS X. He rightly comments that using the SetFile command line utility (which is bundled with the Developer Tools) is probably not that convenient when dealing with the visibility of items in the Finder.

For simple cases, however, I find the use of programs like “Super Get Info” to be overkill to an extent. Many years ago, I wrote two Applescripts for the exact purpose of using SetFile in a user-friendly way in the Finder.

The first, Make-invisible.scpt, is pretty simple; just select the items you want made invisible and run the script.

The second, Make-visible.scpt, obviously can’t be used by first selecting the invisible items! On run, it will display a list of currently invisible items in the frontmost folder window, from which you can select items to make visible.

To use these, you’ll want to use either the system-wide Applescript menu bar, Red Sweater Software’s FastScripts, Waffle Software’s ThisService, or something else again.

So, there it is.

One thing I just noticed is that the admin privileges no longer work;

do shell script … with administrator privileges

is failing with

Finder got an error: A privilege violation occurred.

Uh, isn’t that the sort of thing with administrator privileges is supposed to avoid? Oh well — I don’t have time to debug this (in my experience, Applescript support from Apple products tends to be a minefield of poorly tested functionality literally riddled with bugs) so if anyone can help with this I’d be greatly appreciative.

Update: this error comes about because the do shell script (with admin privileges) is situated inside the tell application "Finder" scope. Please find new versions of the scripts that fix this error in the links above.