I've been searching the internet for a solution to this. I would like to create an Automator workflow that will zip the selected files, name the zip the name of the Parent directory and save that zip in the current directory.

I can't seem to find a way to get the parent directory. I've kinda hit a wall here. Could anyone help me out?


2 Answers 2


In Automator:

  1. Add Get Selected Finder Items
  2. Add Run Applescript

Inssert this code for the Applescript:

on run {input, parameters}
 set pathList to {}
 repeat with itemNum from 1 to count of input
 tell application "System Events"
 copy POSIX path of (container of (item itemNum of input)) to end of pathList
 end tell
 end repeat
 return pathList
end run


2013-05-11 00:06:02 +0000: Get Selected Finder Items completed
2013-05-11 00:06:02 +0000: Conversion from Files/Folders to Files/Folders completed
2013-05-11 00:06:02 +0000: Run AppleScript completed
2013-05-11 00:06:02 +0000: Workflow completed

{"/Users/Desktop", "/Users/Desktop", "/Users/Desktop"}
  • Ok cool, I tried returning the first item in the last with return first text item of pathList and I'm getting a list back. My path as well as "/Library/NetBoot/NetbootSP0". How can I return just the path I want? Also is there a way I can just return the last directory in that path?
    – tastytoast
    May 11, 2013 at 2:04
  • @tastytoast - return item 1 of input to get the first item only instead of return pathList. It should be fairly obvious if you study the code sample I provided.
    – l'L'l
    May 11, 2013 at 3:47

You could use a Create Archive action and rename the resulting archive:

while [[ -e $name ]]; do
  name="$start $i.zip"
  let i++
mv "$1" "$name"
open -R "$name"

Or use a run shell shell script action like this:

for n in $(seq $(printf %s "$@" | tr -dc / | wc -c)); do
  uniq=$(printf %s\\n "$@" | cut -d / -f1-$n | uniq)
  [[ $uniq != *$'\n'* ]] && dir=$uniq || break

cd "${dir:-/}"
[[ $dir ]] && start=${dir##*/} || start=archive

while [[ -e $name ]]; do
  name="$start $i.zip"
  let i++

zip -r "$name" -- "${@#$dir/}"
open -R "$name"

If some files have extended attributes or ACLs, zip removes them. Archive Utility and the Create Archive action store them in the AppleDouble format.

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