I am trying to create an Automator action for a workflow I often need for web publishing:

  1. Select some images inside Aperture
  2. Export two copies of the original image with different resizing settings applied (say, a 1000 px version for viewing and a 150 px thumbnail)
  3. Rename the exported copies, prompting me for a file name

I have not yet found a possibility to actually duplicate input files and then work with one of the duplicates in finder. Using the following sequence of actions results in the error message "could not access the needed files":

  1. Select Finder objects
  2. Scale images (to 1000 px)
  3. Duplicate Finder objects (the idea is that the duplicate should remain at 1000 px and the subsequent edits only affect the copy)
  4. Scale images (to thumbnail size)

Any ideas what's wrong here? I suspect that the duplicate action doesn't return any file handles to the next one, but I could be wrong.

1 Answer 1


This workflow seems to have worked for me, is this what you did?

Automator Workflow Window

  • Thanks a lot, this works for me, too. It's not exactly what I tried; I was attempting to replace the original image by its 1000 px version, and hence used the "duplicate finder items" where you use "copy finder items". Also, I used a second call to "scale" instead of "create thumbnail" as 128 px seem a bit small to me. Anyway, your approach has its advantages too, and I'll just accept it as an answer. If, some time later, someone finds this thread: I suppose handling duplicates is best left to scripts.
    – jstarek
    Feb 3, 2011 at 13:21

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