I have a very simple automator action consisting on a shell script that should be executed in a selected folder in the finder. When I execute the action I get the message: "The action "Run Shell Script" encountered an error".

Obviously this is too generic. Is there an easy way to see a more precise error message that give me a clue of what the problem is about ?


Enable the Automator Log

Automator's Log panel should display more detailed error information. You can show it by clicking the Log item in the View menu (or pressing ⌥⌘L).

Log Panel

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    but I am not executing the action in the Automator editor with the 'Run' button, but directly in the Finder. There is no way to see the error if the action is executed in the Finder ?, otherwise how can I execute it in the automator editor if the action takes a parameter a selected folder ? – Sergio Oct 30 '12 at 22:17
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    Yes, you can run it in the Automator editor and the "Selected Finder Items" action just uses whatever is selected in the frontmost Finder window, even if that's not the active window. – robmathers Oct 30 '12 at 22:34
  • At 2016-01-07 on MacOSX 10.10 using this method for testing scripts that rely on "Selected Folder Items" does not work on my device. – Keith John Hutchison Jan 6 '16 at 20:04
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    You can fake having items selected in Finder by introducing Get Specified Finder Items as the first step of your workflow. Pick a few sample items and push Run. – duozmo Jan 13 '16 at 23:04

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