Version 4.1

Part of the FileTyper 4.1 Package

by Daniel Azuma

August, 1993

Formatted in Helvetica using Microsoft Word, with printing set for the LaserWriter.


MakeAutoTyper is a companion utility for FileTyper and is distributed along with it. It provides a way to create custom "AutoTypers," small drag-and-drop applications that automatically make a certain change to files or folders.

This document is a supplemental document for the FileTyper docs explaining how to use MakeAutoTyper.

System Requirements

System 7 or later required. MakeAutoTyper is 32-bit clean and should work with all macs from the Mac Plus on.

Registration and Distribution

MakeAutoTyper is distributed as part of the FileTyper Package. When you register your copy of FileTyper, you're also automatically registered for MakeAutoTyper. See the file "FileTyper docs" for information on how to register your FileTyper package.

Any AutoTypers that you create can be distributed freely by themselves or bundled with free software, but may not be sold or bundled with anything that is sold without written permission.

If you want to distribute FileTyper or any AutoTypers with a shareware or commercial package of your own, please contact me at the address at the end of this document.

About AutoTypers

AutoTypers, introduced in version 3.0 of the FileTyper package, are small applications that automatically perform a specific change to all files dropped onto them that meet specific criteria. For example, an AutoTyper can take all the files dropped onto it, find the files of type "TEXT", and change the creator of those files to "MSWD". AutoTypers will work only under System 7 or later.

Included in the FileTyper 4.1 package is a folder called "Sample AutoTypers," which contains four AutoTypers that you can use to get started. They are: "TEXTtoMSWD", which changes the creator of text files to Microsoft Word; "GroupLock," which locks all files dropped onto it; "GroupUnlock," which unlocks all files dropped onto it; and "Vanish!", which sets the "invisible" flag of all files and folders dropped onto it.

AutoTypers that you create can be distributed freely, but may not be sold or bundled with anything that is sold without permission.

You can create and modify AutoTypers using the utility MakeAutoTyper. Simply open MakeAutoTyper and choose "New AutoTyper..." to create an AutoTyper, or choose "Open AutoTyper..." to edit an existing one. You can also drag an AutoTyper you wish to edit right onto the MakeAutoTyper icon. MakeAutoTyper will work only under System 7 or later.

Using MakeAutoTyper

This section shows how to create and edit your own custom AutoTypers using MakeAutoTyper.

This information has not changed between versions 4.0 and 4.1.

To create a new AutoTyper, choose "New AutoTyper..." Then you will be given the opportunity to customize your new AutoTyper. See the following paragraphs for information on how to customize an AutoTyper. Once you are done, click "Create" to create your AutoTyper, or "Cancel" to abort.

To customize an existing AutoTyper, choose "Open AutoTyper..." You will be presented with a dialog box. Some modifications were made in the structure of an AutoTyper with version 4.0. MakeAutoTyper 4.1 will convert earlier AutoTypers (3.0 to 3.2) to the new structure before opening them. The modifications are in the form of streamlining and new features in the AutoTyper code. Be aware that earlier versions of MakeAutoTyper will not open AutoTypers that have been converted.

Here is a list of each of the controls and what they do:

Balloon Help: Presents a dialog that lets you edit the balloon help string for the AutoTyper's Finder icon.

OK, Cancel: Save or discard your changes.

Edit Files, Edit Folders: Checking these boxes will enable the AutoTyper to affect files or folders, respectively. Unchecking these boxes will cause the AutoTyper to ignore files or folders, respectively. Whenever one of these boxes is checked, two configuration buttons will be available under it. They are:

Original Conditions...: This opens a dialog box, very similar to FileTyper's own dialog boxes, letting you set the original conditions for the file or folder. Only files or folders that meet these conditions will be affected by your AutoTyper. Active conditions are displayed normally, while inactive conditions are grayed out. You can make a condition active or inactive by option-clicking or by clicking "Enable All" or "Disable All" just as in FileTyper's dialog box.

For example, if you want your AutoTyper to affect only locked files of type "ttro" and ignore the rest, disable everything except the "locked" attribute and the "type" field, set the "locked" flag, and set the "type" field to "ttro". Disabling all the flags and fields means that there are no conditions, and so all files will be edited. To ignore all files or folders, clear the "Edit Files" or "Edit Folders" check box in the main dialog.

Do not confuse disabled flags with cleared flags. Disabled flags are grayed out and are ignored by your AutoTyper when it checks to see if it should open a particular file. Cleared flags are unchecked and tell your AutoTyper to open only those files whose flag is cleared.

Change to...: This button brings up another dialog box very similar to FileTyper's dialog box. Use this dialog to define what you want the files specified in "Original Conditions" changed to. Remember, to disable or re-enable a flag or field, option-clock or click "Enable All" or "Disable All." For example, to change the file type to "TEXT" and unlock the files, disable everything except for the "type" field and the "locked" flag, set the type field to "TEXT", and clear the "locked" flag. Disabling all the flags and fields means that no changes will be made.

Again, don't confuse a disabled flag with a cleared flag.

Folder dropping opens...: This controls how an AutoTyper responds to a folder drop from the Finder. You can set it to open just the folder itself, the folder and its immediate contents (those visible just inside the folder), or the folder and its full contents (all files and folders contained within the folder, even those within subfolders).

Note that the way this is handled is slightly different from 3.0, in that, when you open folder contents, the parent folder is still opened, and, when you perform a full content search, folders as well as files are opened. To turn the folders back off, you can just disable folder editing.

Display results: If this option is checked, the AutoTyper will give a "summary report" once it is done changing the files. The report will show how many files and folders were scanned and how many were actually edited.

For more examples on how to configure AutoTypers, you can take a look at the sample AutoTypers provided.

Memory considerations

This information has not changed between versions 4.0 and 4.1.

AutoTypers' memory requirements have been greatly reduced in version 4.x. The 60 kilobytes that AutoTypers are pre-configured to use should be enough for all except the most extreme cases. You shouldn't need to allocate more memory using the Finder's Get Info command unless you have problems dragging several hundred (or thousand) files onto an AutoTyper. If an AutoTyper complains about an error ID = -108, it's a sign that you're running out of memory.

The absolute upper limit on the number of files or folders that could be opened has been eliminated in version 4.x. The number of items that can be edited is now only limited by the amount of memory available.

If You're Having Problems...

AutoDoubler users: An incompatibility with some early (buggy) versions of AutoDoubler, can prevent AutoTypers from changing types and creators. A beta tester reported this problem with several 1.0.x versions of AutoDoubler, and it may occur with other versions as well. Because AutoDoubler also seems to prevent ResEdit's type and creator function from working, I believe this is a bug in AutoDoubler. If this gives you problems, you'll have to expand the file before using an AutoTyper on it. I have no information on AutoDoubler 2.0.

Super Boomerang users: Super Boomerang 3.0.x appears to have problems with MakeAutoTyper. I have received reports that version 3.0.2 causes the Save New AutoTyper As... dialog to behave strangely, and Open AutoTyper sometimes crashes. It turned out that Super Boomerang 3.0.x was incompatible with certain System 7-oriented applications, one of which is MakeAutoTyper. If this is giving you problems, update to version 4.0.1 or later of Super Boomerang.

If drag-and-drop won't work: Desktop files have been a problem with Apple's System software since who-knows-when. Under System 7, screwed-up desktop files can prevent MakeAutoTyper's and AutoTypers' (as well as other programs') drag-and-drop from functioning.

If MakeAutoTyper or your AutoTypers fail to accept drag-and-drops, try rebuilding the desktop. You can do this restarting and holding down the command and option keys until the dialog box appears.

Note that because floppy disks don't use the new System 7 desktop files, drag-and-drop will not work at all if an AutoTyper (or any "drop-box" application) is on a floppy.


MakeAutoTyper and FileTyper are "power user's" tools. They are very powerful if used wisely, but can damage your files if misused. Make changes to Finder information only if you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing. The programmer, Daniel Azuma, makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the reliability of this product, and accepts no responsibility for any damages caused by use or misuse of these utility.

Version 4.1 Release Notes

Version 4.1 is essentially the same as version 4.0. It is distributed with FileTyer 4.1:

Version History

3.0 - 3/28/92: This was the first version of MakeAutoTyper released.

3.1 - 4/10/92: Changed the configure dialog slightly to match changes in FileTyper 3.1's Preferences dialog; altered handling of folder contents slightly to match similar changes to FileTyper 3.1; fixed "GroupUnlock."

3.2 - 5/16/92: Fixed bug that often caused drag and drop to fail on newly created AutoTyper, usually making it necessary to rebuild the desktop.

4.0 - 2/28/93: Altered look of interface; added "Same As..." button and pop-up menus to MakeAutoTyper; improved error handling in AutoTypers; added summary report feature; removed limit on number of files; removed memory limits.

4.1 - 8/20/93: No changes.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, comments, or (aaargh!) bug reports, feel free to contact me at

Daniel Azuma

1449 Belleville Way

Sunnyvale, CA 94087-3807


Unfortunately, I have no e-mail address, so you'll have to use plain old snail mail. (Sorry)

One more thing: PLEASE do not call me at home unless you have a problem that absolutely ABSOLUTELY cannot wait. I omitted my phone number from this document for a reason.