I'm trying to create an AppleScript snippet that locates the current random wallpaper and reveals it in Finder. I have the following snippet which finds the current wallpaper's POSIX path as a string:

set plistFolderPath to path to preferences folder from user domain as string
set plistPath to plistFolderPath & "com.apple.desktop.plist"
tell application "System Events"
    tell property list file plistPath
        tell contents
            set thePath to value of property list item "NewChangePath" of property list item "default" of property list item "Background" & "/" & value of property list item "LastName" of property list item "default" of property list item "Background"
        end tell
    end tell
end tell

thePath is now a string in the form:

/Volumes/Archive/Widescreen wallpaper/12345_Name_2560x1440.jpg

(Note spaces)

I try to reveal this path in FInder, but everything I've tried results in an error:

tell application "Finder"
    reveal POSIX file of quoted form of thePath (* Error: "Can't get POSIX file of (blah)" *)
end tell

How do I reveal a pathname in Finder in AppleScript when all I have is its POSIX path?

2 Answers 2


I think your problem is that quoted form. Try something like this:

set thePath to POSIX file "/Volumes/Lion HD/Users/ngreenst/Desktop/image.jpg"
tell application "Finder" to reveal thePath

So, just reveal thePath

  • This works if I paste a path directly into the script as you did, but if I use reveal POSIX file thePath it returns a "Can't get POSIX file <path>" error. Oct 2, 2011 at 16:56
  • 1
    @BrantBobby That means that there's some problem with the path as you're receiving it. Try casting it as a string (set thePath to ... as string). If that doesn't work, I'll need to see exactly what the output is to help (I can't test; your script isn't working OMM) Oct 2, 2011 at 17:02
  • Ah, adding as string did the trick! I guess my assumption that thePath was already a string was wrong. Oct 2, 2011 at 17:04
set p to "/Applications/Utilities/AppleScript Editor.app"

# uses an existing window or makes a new window with your default settings
tell application "Finder"
    reopen # makes a new window if there are no open windows
    set target of window 1 to (POSIX file p as text)
end tell

# makes a new window that doesn't use your default bounds or view settings
tell application "Finder"
    reveal POSIX file p as text
    activate # focuses the window
end tell

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