A Better AppleScript to Compress Files or Folders

A while ago, I created an AppleScript that allows you to compress files and folders by simply dropping them onto the applet. One of the readers left a comment asking for a way to achieve the following tasks:

  1. Select a folder from Finder.
  2. Store the folder name as “x”.
  3. Compress all files and sub-folders within the folder “x”, including their paths.
  4. Rename the resulting zip file as “x.zip”.
  5. Delete all the files that were used to create the zip file.

With the help of ChatGPT, I was able to come up with a solution to this challenge, which can be a great way to manage archives if you’re into that sort of thing.

I must admit that ChatGPT did a decent job in generating the AppleScript, but there were some bugs that I had to fix manually. Nevertheless, it’s both scary and exciting to have a tool that can generate usable code.

As always, you can run this script using FastScripts from your menu bar for quick and easy access.

-- choose files or folders to archive since AppleScript can't seem to allow both at once...
set archiveOption to button returned of (display dialog "Archive files or folders?" buttons {"Cancel", "Folders", "Files"} default button 3)

-- now let's choose what we want to archive...
if archiveOption is "Files" then
	set selectedItems to choose file with prompt "Select files you want to compress:" with multiple selections allowed
else if archiveOption is "Folders" then
	set selectedItems to choose folder with prompt "Select folders you want to compress:" with multiple selections allowed
else if archiveOption is "Cancel" then
end if

-- set the array of files or folders selected...
if the selectedItems is {} then
else if (selectedItems count) is equal to 1 then
	set thePathFilename to the quoted form of POSIX path of (selectedItems as string)
	set thePathFilename to {}
	repeat with i from 1 to (selectedItems count)
		copy (quoted form of POSIX path of (item i of selectedItems as string)) & space to end of thePathFilename
	end repeat
	set thePathFilename to thePathFilename as string
end if

-- coerce a date string for the archive name
set currentDate to current date
set yearStr to year of currentDate as string
set monthStr to (month of currentDate as integer) as string
if length of monthStr = 1 then set monthStr to "0" & monthStr
set dayStr to day of currentDate as string
if length of dayStr = 1 then set dayStr to "0" & dayStr
set currentDateStr to yearStr & "-" & monthStr & "-" & dayStr

-- next, let's name our archive, which defaults to "Archive" & the currentDateStr we just coerced
set archiveName to text returned of (display dialog "Enter a name for your archive:" default answer "Archive " & currentDateStr buttons {"Cancel", "OK"} default button 2)

-- then, let's choose where to save the archive and compress it with the shell "zip" command
set archiveFile to POSIX path of (choose folder with prompt "Choose a location to save the archive:")
do shell script "cd " & quoted form of archiveFile & " && zip -r " & quoted form of archiveName & ".zip " & thePathFilename

-- finally, let's delete the files we just archived if we decide we don't need them around anymore.
set deleteFiles to button returned of (display dialog "Do you want to delete the original files?" buttons {"Yes", "No"} default button 2)
set deleteOption to false
if deleteFiles is "Yes" then
	set deleteOption to true
end if
if deleteOption is equal to true then
	if selectedItems is not {} then
		set fileList to {}
		repeat with itemPath in selectedItems
			set end of fileList to quoted form of POSIX path of itemPath
		end repeat
		repeat with fileItem in fileList
			do shell script "rm " & fileItem
		end repeat
	end if
end if