DotsSweep is a small desktop application that lets you delete invisible files in a folder of your selection. Actually, you can clean up multiple folders all at a time. Wait, if there are invisible files in a folder, what's the big deal? The question depends on how you use that folder. For example, if you use Xcode to develop iOS or Mac applications, that can cause a serious problem. Even when there is nothing wrong with the programming code, referencing files directly to an existing folder can prevent you from sending a binary to iTunes Connect with Organizer telling you that "The signature was invalid, contains disallowed entitlements..." In fact, those invisible files can give Xcode a totally wrong diagnosis. Also, if you have a folder that contains image files, importing it to other operating systems like Windows can make invisible files visible and make a mess.
Invisible files that we talk about here are not ones whose file names start with a period (.) but ones whose file names start with (._). These files are often found in an external volume (Compact Flash cards, SDHC cards...) that contain image files.
DotsSweep has a simple user interface. The initial release has just three toolbar buttons. Clicking on the middle toolbar button lets you select a folder. Once you select one, just click on the rightmost toolbar button to clean it up. Moreover, if you have several folders to clean up, you can just drag and drop them all onto the left side of the application window.
To start with, DotsSweep needs to know which folder you want to clean up. So click on the Open folder toolbar button. (See Screenshot 2-01.) You can also choose Open under File.
When you attempt to open a folder for the first itme, the application will point you to a sandbox-protected folder assigned to this application. So that's the default open-folder path. If you want to change it to a more accessible path like Desktop, open Preferences. You can click on the leftmost toolbar button or choose Preferences under DotsSweep to open Preferences. Next, switch to the Folders tab. Inside the only group box, there's a button labeled Select. (See Screenshot 2-03.) You can click on it to select a different open-folder path. (See Screenshot 2-04.)
Using a select-folder dialog is just one way of selecting a target folder. If you have one more folders to clean up that are readily accessible, then you can just drag and drop them directly onto the main application folder. (See Screenshot 2-05.)
When you select one or more folders, DotsSweep will list them by their names. The list to the right has two columns. The first column shows folder names while the second column indicates the numbers of invisible files. So you can easily tell whether or not listed folders contain invisible files to delete.
Note that DotsSweep will clean up all the folders listed in the table. If necessary, choose Remove Folder under Folder to remove the selected folder from the list. (See Screenshto 2-06.) If you do, you will be prompted for confirmation. (See Screenshto 2-07.) Similarly, you can choose Clear Folders to remove all folders from the list.
If you are interested in knowing the names of invisible files in a particular folder, first, select a folder in the list. Then choose Show Invisible As List under Folder. (See Screenshot 2-08.) And DotsSweep will just list them up. (See Screenshot 2-09.) Similarly, choose Show Invisible As Text to see the list of invisible files in an editible text format. (See Screenshot 2-10.) If you choose the latter command, you can additionally choose Print under File, to send the list to a printer. (See Screenshot 2-11.) Furthermore, if you want to save the list as PDF, choose Open PDF in Preview on the PDF drop-down menu.
If you are ready to clean up the folders that are listed in the table, simply, choose Sweep Folders under Folder. (See Screenshot 2-12.) You can also click on the rightmost toolbar button for the same purpose. If it's just the matter of two or three folders, DotsSweep will finish cleaning them up in a second or two. When complete, DotsSweep will tell you how many folders have been cleaned up. (See Screenshot 2-13.) If you want to make sure that they are cleaned up, you can just quit the application and then reload the same folders. This time, the numbers of invisible files should indicate 0s. (See Screenshot 2-14.)
Opening Preferences, you see there are a couple of checkboxes under the General settings. (See Screenshot 3-01.) If you check-click Don't blink 'Drag and drop one or more folders,' the application will not blink the said label on the main application window. In order to see changes, you must restart the applicaiton, though. And if you check-click Delete '.DS_Store' as well, the application will also delete the said invisible file in each folder. However, this file contains important pieces of information like the positions of files and color labels. So you shouldn't delete it unless you really have to.
There are many major and minor changes made to DotsSweep with Version 1.2. As you see in Screenshot 4-01, there are two push buttons under the folder list. By clicking on the Save button, the application will save a list of target folders in its sandbox folder. Consequently, when you launch the application next time, DotsSweep will load the list. If you periodically work on the same group of folders, you can just click on the Save button so that you can start up with the same list of folders when you start up the application next time. If you click on the Clear button, you will get to clear this folder list. When the application doesn't find any of the target folders when it starts up, it will skip missing folders.
Some other changes go as follows.