An Efficient Fonts and Hazel Workflow

Hazel and Fonts

I have always had a problem with fonts. I love to have them, I love to look at them, but most of all I love to collect them. I recently started a project and needed a font that I didn’t have. Off I went to find it. Luckily, it wasn’t very far away, only at Google Font’s. Then I started seeing more free font giveaways in my RSS feed. That’s when I discovered my real problem, collecting the fonts in my Downloads folder.

I knew I had a problem when I first noticed that I was repeating the same steps over each week when a new font came out. Hazel to the rescue.

I set up this little workflow to look at the .zip files in my Downloads folder, identify where they came from, unzip, extract, and sort the contents.

The workflow takes care of everything for me. Now, when I see the fonts I just click download and the rest is handled for me, the way computers should work. The one caveat is if the fonts source URL is not in the Hazel script I have to add it. But that is not repeat a step now is it.

 Titles of the four rules that make this work


Four rules to manage fonts with hazel
The titles of the four rules that make this a handy workflow.


Source URLs

The first thing Hazel needs to do is unzip the file…if it came from the right source. I have only a few source URLs now but as I find the fonts I want to download I will add those specific URLs to the rule. I could probably front load them now but why? I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Unzip files with Hazel based on file type and file source.
The unzip rule. I based my search and find criteria on type of file (archive) and whether it came from a specific source.

Look at what was unzipped

Now that Hazel has unzipped the correct files, she needs to do something with them. This rule looks for file extensions matching common font file extensions. Before she is done, Hazel renames the parent folder of the font files. This is important to remember. The rename will be used later.

Hazel finds and moves any files with font extensions
Hazel renames the parent folder

Again, I am sure I am missing some extensions and I can always go back and add them. This list is a little more finite then the previous list of URLs so maybe I should take a look at Wikipedia and just add them now.

Time to move

Hazel moves only the font files to my specified fonts folder. This is a pretty standard Hazel operation. Notice a nice notification at the end of the move, too!


Don’t forget the trash

An important part of automation is the trash management. In this workflow, I added a delete-- to the beginning of the file in the previous step. Now, Hazel sees that delete-- and deletes that folder. Otherwise the trash would remain.

Trash Files Appended with delete--
Trash Files Appended with delete-


As with many things, this is a work in progress. I still have yet to find every URL that I may find a font from. But, I think it is a solid, time-saving workflow. I hope you get a lot of utility out of it. The one thing I wish it could do is track the time I save by not having to perform each step manually.