Blog Post

Our Girl Hazel Receives an Update

hazel title logo

The lovely and talented Hazel received an update (to version 2.3) yesterday. Paul Kim of Noodlesoft announced the update on his developer blog, and highlights an update to the already useful App Sweep feature and the built-in script editor, among other improvements. This upgrade, as well as one more prior to the fall release of Snow Leopard (OS 10.6), are free with an existing license.

If you’re not hip to this versatile file management work flow application, you should really give it a whirl using the 14-day free trial. (It’s $21.95 if you decide to keep using it and buy a license.) Just like the fictitious maid that Hazel is surely named after, this application can be configured to tidy up all of your files and folders automatically, leaving you a neat and organized file system to work in. The utility is sort of a cross between Folder Actions and Automator workflows — but built in a way that allows even a novice to achieve powerful results.

To put Hazel to work, just select a folder, and create whatever rules you want. For example, I’ve selected my Desktop folder, and created a rule that moves any application (with extension .app) to the Applications folder. That way as I download something to test, it’s automatically put in its place. I can even add a step to the rule to apply a label color to the application, so I can easily identify it while perusing the Applications directory. Then, a Hazel rule applied to the Applications directory can remove the label after two weeks, assuming I like the app and plan to keep it installed. This is pretty lightweight fare for Hazel, but you get the idea.

As mentioned above, this 2.3 update adds to the App Sweep feature, which ensures that all of an application’s files are removed from your system if you decide to trash an app. The new feature supports multiple user accounts on a computer, which will prompt the other users to allow Hazel to delete their user files for an application that’s been deleted by a different user. In our home, we each have our own Macs, but I could see where this would come in handy for shared computing environments.

I consider Hazel one of those must-have utilities for my Mac — and it works so well, I usually forget she’s even there at all! (If there’s a better mark of a great application, I don’t know what it is.) If you’re not letting Hazel clean up after you already, give her a try for yourself.

6 Responses to “Our Girl Hazel Receives an Update”

  1. Hazel is great- I use it to keep my different file types in the correct places. When I add a movie to my external drive I can have hazel create an alias and put it in the movies folder of my user so that Front Row can find it.

    One thing I’m not sure if I’m crazy or what – I’ve had hazel 2.2 for a while and have always had the app sweep feature. I’m not so sure thats new.

    • App Sweep isn’t new by itself. A feature was added to App Sweep that now alerts other users on a single machine, that someone else has deleted an application on that machine, and asks the other user accounts if they’d like their profile settings files (for that deleted app) to also be deleted. Clear as mud? :)

  2. I’m a big fan of Hazel and I use it tidy almost everything from the Trash to the NetNewsWire Downloads to the Mail Downloads, to the files from the “Temp” folder to moving the old downloads to “Temp” to cleaning out old Movies.

    • Agreed. In combination with Tags Hazel is unbeatable! Now, whenever a file finds its way onto my desktop, Hazel automatically moves it into an “in progress” folder which I can open with a short cut. It also adds the date and time it was created to the file name.

      When I tag an item with legal it goes into a legal archive. Tag it with promo and it’s whisked away into a promotions folder. Photoshop files are automatically placed in an art subfolder within pictures. And priority level tags add color-coded labels so now, when one of my items turns red I am visually reminded that it requires immediate action.

      The possibilities are infinite with this application. If you’re into GTD than this is for you. I wonder if Merlin Mann uses it :)