Hot Folders

You can configure Imposition Wizard to automatically process PDF files when you place them into a specific folder. Imposition Wizard supports command line processing, so all you need is to detect that the file is placed into a folder and then run Imposition Wizard for that file.

This tutorial shows how to do this on Mac OS.

Getting Ready

Create a folder on your desktop named “Jobs”, then go inside it and create two sub–folders named “In” and “Out”.

You can use your own folder locations and names, just make sure you modified the instructions provided below to reflect that. If something goes wrong, try returning to the names specified above and see if it works that way, then modify one thing at a time until you get it the way you need.

Now run Imposition Wizard and create a preset named “Hot Folder” that will be used to process the PDF files. Here you can read more about presets.


Mac OS comes with a special application called Automator that lets you automate boring things, including hot folders. Start Automator from your Applications folder or using the Launcher and select New Document to start. You should see this:

Selecting Folder Action in Automator

Select the Folder Action item and press the Choose button to create a hot folder automation. You will get a new automation workflow with the folder selection field at the top:

Blank hot folder automation workflow

Click that field, select Other… and point Automator to the “In” folder inside the “Jobs” folder on your desktop:

Automator is configured to monitor the hot folder

Now locate the Run Shell Script item in the left panel (you can type “Script” in the search field to narrow down the list) and drag it into the workflow:

Adding shell script to the Automator workflow

Then change the Pass input parameter in the top right corner of the shell script block to as arguments like below:

Changing code block to get input as arguments

Automator may add some code for you, you can safely remove that code. The idea here is that for every change of the monitored folder Automator will call the shell script in that block with the new files as arguments. Now all we need is to provide the script that will process the files with Imposition Wizard and put the result into the “Out” folder.

Here is the script:

for f in "$@"
    NAME=`basename "$f"`
    /Applications/Imposition\ Wizard\\ Wizard --impose --project="Hot Folder" "$f" "$HOME/Desktop/Jobs/Out/$NAME"

And here is what it looks like in Automator:

Hot folder imposition script in Automator

Now you can save your Automator workflow using File → Save… command from its main menu.

Make sure you named it properly, so you can easily understand what it does later. In this tutorial I will use “Hot Folder (In)” name for the workflow, so I can easily see it is a hot folder workflow related to the “In” folder.

Testing the Workflow

Once everything is done, you can copy a PDF file into the “In” folder and get the imposed file in the “Out” folder within a few seconds.

If something goes wrong, double–check you performed the steps above exactly as described. Any missing spaces in the preset names or a folder name typo may lead to errors. Unfortunately, Automator does not provide detailed error reports, so you can’t really tell what exactly doesn’t work, but if you repeat all the steps properly — it should work just fine from the very beginning.

Editing the Workflow

If the workflow works fine, you can safely close Automator and simply use the hot folder as intended. If you later decide to change anything you can access the workflow this way: right–click the “In” folder and select Services → Folder Actions Set-Up… from the popup menu. You might be asked to allow the software to access your folder, please do so. You should get this:

All the hot folders installed in the system

This window displays all the hot folders configured for your computer on the left, and all the workflows for a given folder on the right. Here you can manage hot folders, enable and disable them and do the same with workflows.

The screenshot above shows just one hot folder named “In” having just one workflow named “Hot Folder (In)” that we recently created. Select the workflow on the right and click the Edit Workflow button at the bottom to open the workflow in Automator for editing.

If you don’t need the workflow anymore, you can delete it using the Minus button at the bottom.

That’s It

Once you configured the hot folder and made sure it works, you can add more hot folders with different presets in a similar manner to automate most common imposition tasks.

More Imposition Wizard Tutorials




Imposition Parameters

Registration Marks

Command Line