Need Some Hazel Help Please


Can’t figure out what I’m missing here…the rules check out, but nothing happens.

Trying to sort ocr’ed PDF’s of emails into a specific folder, and have Hazel create a sub folder for each date (the first date found in the PDF).

What am I missing?

Looking at your criteria, the first two criteria look fine since those are likely to be inherent properties of a document. The Color Label criteria is fishy. Are you applying that label as a way to trigger Hazel? Otherwise unless an item matches ALL THREE criteria, nothing will happen. So that means if you have an item that meets the first two criteria, but isn’t labelled blue by you, hazel will not act on it.

You can use the “Preview” button in the top right on a file you know should meet your criteria to see which step is failing.

I don’t think I’ve used “sort into subfolder”, but have you used the Preview function with a file you think is matching to make sure the rules are in fact matching? “Contain match” is super powerful, but it can be tricky based on the accuracy of the OCR.


The rules all check out, and yet…no joy.

Okay, so it’s not an issue with criteria, it must be some action that’s causing you grief.

I think the next troubleshooting steps I would take would be to start with just the first action (the rename), and try a matching file with that one action. If that rename works, then add the Move action and try again with a matching file. If that works, ad the Sort Into Subfolder action, and so on.

You should also check the log after trying to run the rule. (“View Log” from the title bar icon).

A couple of thoughts:

  1. custom date: make sure the file rename includes minutes and seconds so it is not trying to move the file into a folder with an existing file of the same name/date.
  2. make sure destination folder is available. I have hazel file documents into a an encrypted disk image and if the disk isn’t mounted the rules will not run - and no real error message is generated.

Good luck!

Good thought about the specificity of the custom date.

Still not sure why some of this isn’t working…I used to have this all figured out.