Time Save Tip about Virtual Patches/Finder/Patch Descriptions

gtoledo3's picture

Virtual Patches are pretty handy, and I noticed this aspect that speeds up my workflow.

One thing that is really interesting to me about SL is all of the "clickable links" for associated example patches. This happens through the xml file that sets up that patch description, when it comes to built in patches.

In looking to see if the same function could be duplicated with Virtual Patches, I noticed something really obvious, that makes the "clickable link" a nice frill, but provides most of the exact same function.

When you load a virtual patch, it will automatically create a note about the path. If you highlight that and control+click, you will see options to Open or Reveal in Finder. Sweet! That makes it very easy to get access to your virtual file for editing with two clicks.


You can put the same kind of "paths" that you see automatically fill a virtual patch description, into the metadata Description info in qtz.

This means, it's easy to handle Virtual patches that have OTHER Virtual Patches in it.

For instance:

You load a patch named Link Test.qtz into your Virtual Patches.

The Patch Description automatically fills with "Path: /Users/georgetoledo/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Patches/Link Test.qtz" , after the patch loads, when you stop/restart qtz, as part of normal QC "stuff that happens".

Problem: However, suppose this patch has another Virtual Patch in it, that you may wish to change without loading "Link Test.qtz" to "see" what other Virtual Patches are present.

Solution: You can write the path for this patch in your qtz Description metadata, via the menu selection, Editor, Edit Information (eg. metadata). (You can also customize your QC toolbar to include the icon for Metadata by control+clicking the titlebar, and choosing Customize.)

"Path: /Users/georgetoledo/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Patches/Link Test Building Block Patch.qtz"

That allows you to access the "virtual patch" that is part of the other "virtual patch" simply by highlighting patch description fields, if you've taken the time to list file paths for these patches in your Description metadata.

This concept allows you to place other related links in your descriptions as well, for instantly opening or revealing via Finder.

This is tested solely in Snow Leopard. Hopefully, my description of how to do this makes sense, and is clear.