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I have these two Applescript commands in which they both point to the same file

alias "Macintosh HD:Users:scott:Dropbox:Downloads:AppleScriptFinderGuide.pdf"
file  "Macintosh HD:Users:scott:Dropbox:Downloads:AppleScriptFinderGuide.pdf"

The alias command works just fine. However the file command does not as it reports this error: "Can’t get file "Macintosh HD:Users:scott:Dropbox:Downloads:AppleScriptFinderGuide.pdf"."

Any idea why the file command fails?

Thanks in advance, Scott

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shouldn't file get the path with slashes / instead of semi colon : ? – CousinCocaine Aug 3 '14 at 20:58
colons are used for Applescript paths. I know its very old skool well so is Applescript. – Scott Walter Aug 3 '14 at 23:19
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You are not referencing the file correctly.


tell application "Finder" to set myFile to file "Macintosh HD:Users:scott:Dropbox:Downloads:AppleScriptFinderGuide.pdf"
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It's not an alias or file command - these are object specifiers. AppleScript proper does not recognize a standard file object, although many applications such as the Finder do.

You can create a file URL object (similar to a file object) outside of an application context that most apps will recognize:

set myFile to "Macintosh HD:Users:scott:Dropbox:Downloads:AppleScriptFinderGuide.pdf" as «class furl»

tell application "Finder"
  reveal myFile
end tell

But in general I use aliases everywhere or plain-text HFS path strings, because these can be coerced to anything necessary without having to worry about quoting spaces or special characters.

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