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Organizing books in AppleScript

Once you start writing books that contain more than a smattering of lines, you 'll gain that runing bugs and redacting subdivisions is much easier if you organise your codification into subdivisions with descriptions. These descriptions are known as 'comments. ' To add a remark to an AppleScript, type two elans so the text of your description, followed by another two elans. When you compile the codification, the remarks are coloured grey and ignored when the book is run. If you need to, you can utilize noticing to forestall subdivisions of codification from being run – if you 're seeking to happen bugs, it 's more efficient to make that than cancel the codification and re-insert it subsequently.

Not the lone 1

AppleScript foremost appeared in System 7.1 in October 1993, as the first and finally canonical Open Scripting Architecture ( OSA ) scripting linguistic communication. The thought was that OSA would supply a low-level architecture for both inter- and intra-application scripting—in other words, a consistent, system-wide mechanism for multiple applications to pass on and interchange informations with each other, and for users to automatize undertakings within any scriptable application. Alternatively of each application making its ain incompatible macro linguistic communication, there’d be one cosmopolitan manner for Mac apps to be automated.

MS KnowledgeBase Articles

Word Q119887: AppleScript Example: MacScript and MacScript $ ( ) ( 6.0 ) Q125581: AppleScript Example: Count Command ( 6.0 ) Q125582: AppleScript Examples: Required Suite ( 4.0, 5.0, 5.1, 6.0 ) Q125583: AppleScript Example: Data Size Command ( 6.0 ) Q125580: WD6x: AppleScript Example: Close Command ( 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.1a ) Q126371: AppleScript Get Command Incorrectly Returns Hyphen ( 6.0 ) Q125584: Word Does Not Support Some AppleScript Core Event Suites ( 6.0 ) Q125585: AppleScript `` Run '' and `` Activate '' Produce Different Results ( 6.0 ) Q125579: Can non Suppress Print Dialog Box Using AppleScript ( 6.0 ) Q122499: Can non Include Some GX Printing Commands in WordBasic Macro ( 6.0 )

FoxPro Q149107: How to Return Valuess to AppleScript from FoxPro ( 3.0b ) Q152972: How to Pass Valuess from VFP Back to Calling AppleScript ( 3.0b ) Q108622: How to Use AppleScript Scripts to Return Valuess to FoxPro ( 2.5b, 3.0b ) Q117587: How to Pass Data from FoxPro to Another Application ( 2.5b, 2.5c ) Q152280: How To Name a Ocular FoxPro Application Using AppleScript ( 3.0b ) Q109613: How to Run Another Application from FoxPro for Macintosh ( 2.5b, 3.0b ) Q118779: Calling Microsoft Excel Macro from FoxPro for Macintosh ( 2.5b, 2.5c, 3.0b ) Q124643: How to Imitate Client-Server Apps w/Apple Events & FoxPro Mac ( 2.6a, 3.0b ) Q149633: How to Automatize a Word Mail Merge with Applescript ( 2.6a ) Q115815: How to Use the Backslash Character in AppleScript Script ( 2.5b, 2.5c, 3.0b ) Q109239: PRB: FoxPro Does Not React to Apple Events During READ ( 2.5b, 3.0b ) Q154981: PRB: AppleScript: `` Consequences '' are Not Implemented ( 3.0b ) Q151637: PRB: Ocular FoxPro Mac Can non Understand Apple Object Types ( 3.0b ) Q155890: PRB: FoxPro for Mac 's Setup Wizard Ca n't Copy Source Files ( 3.0b ) Q109483: Using AppleScript to Programmatically Convert PICT to BMP ( 2.5b, 3.0b )

17 Responses:

As noted above, nil in AppleScript makes sense except in visible radiation of relational questions. AE IPC and the AEOM is related to SQL, non OOP/COM/SOAP/CORBA. I do really high-end graphics mechanization in Adobe Illustrator ( utilizing Python3+appscript ) and can render a templated graphics in 20 seconds that would take an artworker 20 proceedingss to construct by manus. Mostly it 's cognizing your tools and how to utilize them effectively—it 's non that difficult and truly really elegant ( when it works right ) —the biggest job by far being Apple 's dismaying failure to explicate this material to anyone without lying about how it really works.

Alas, Apple 's clueless reply to coders ' loathing of AS 's obfuscatory Irish bull has been to double-down on said obfuscatory Irish bull, which is why their ScriptingBridge and JavaScript for Automation ( JXA ) bridges have won themselves even less fans than AS has. Appscript and SwiftAutomation remain the lone AE bridges good plenty to replace AS. I no longer supply support but feel free to give them a spin to see what AE IPC is like one time you take AS out of the image. It still has issues ( unequal specs, unequal physician, higher cost of development ) , but nil that could n't be fixed if Apple and third-party developers got solidly behind it. Ironically, its very-high-level query-driven rating theoretical account could now be a terrific spouse for Apple 's new very-high-level query-driven UI, Siri, right at a clip Apple urgently needs all the Echo- and Android-killing USPs it can put custodies on.

2. You can download a full 406 page.pdf manual for AppleScript off Apple 's proficient certification Web site for free. Or acquire a difficult transcript version here. It took me hours and hours to happen this manual. You ca n't happen it by making a hunt at Apple 's Web site, so make sure you bookmark the page. In most ways, I found this manual more helpful than books you can purchase in the shop, because the manner I learn things is to first acquire a general thought about what it 's all approximately. You get an thought of the range and nature of AppleScript merely by reading the tabular array of contents of this manual. However, I besides found it uncomplete or at least vague in many ways, and so I did stop up utilizing Applescript for Dummies, if you do n't mind all the unneeded words in the 'Dummies ' series. For illustration, the pdf manual does non advert the 'choose file ' bid, which opens a duologue box and allows you to take a file to open from it. You can happen these 'Scripting Additions ' which are n't documented by the Apple pdf File ( which I still have n't read cover to cover ) in your system extensions folder under 'Scripting Additions ' . Danny Goodman 's Applescript Handbook. has besides been recommended to me.

5. In order to command anything with Applescript, it has to be 'Scriptable ' . Some critical things which are n't scriptable through system 9.1 are the Find File or Sherlock bids and SimpleText. Besides applications vary as to how scriptable they are. Some applications, like FileMaker, do rather a good occupation of doing all its maps available to Applescript. Other applications implement the scripting severely. Sometimes you run bids that are supposed to be at that place and they 're merely non implemented. You can anticipate that the 'open ' bid you give to each application is implemented otherwise, and you can anticipate the bids to work otherwise. To happen out what applications are scriptable, you can travel to the Applescript Script Editor 's 'Open Dictionary ' bid. Find the application you are interested in. If it appears, the application is scriptable. If you select that application, a duologue box naming the bids available will open for each scriptable application.

6. Applescript is a full blown linguistic communication. It is interpreted. It is object oriented. You can make threading and figure manipulation. Because they try to do the sentence structure expression natural linguistic communication, and because of the 'record ' bid which is the first thing most people try, and because no Applescript certification comes with your computing machine, this may go through you by for awhile. For this ground, if you, for illustration, want to read informations from your electronic mail and import it into a database, you can merely read the e-mail and drop the informations straight in the right Fieldss utilizing the twine use maps in Applescript. You do n't hold to make the twine use within the applications themselves. Besides, do n't allow this natural languaging sap you. The sentence structure is merely every bit rigorous as in any other linguistic communication. You have to do certain you 've type checked decently. The syntax checker does n't look into type matching, evidently, because each application has its ain types. To look into the sentence structure of a plan, you punch the syntax button in the upper right manus corner of the papers window.

7. Most applications that are scriptable either supply sample books when you install the application ( for illustration Filemaker ) , or have topographic points on the Web where they provide sample sample books. I found sample books to be even more of import larning Applescript than larning C, because so much depends on larning how each application implements the bids. It 's non plenty to larn how Apple 's Finder commands work. You have to larn how the bids for each application you are traveling usage work. Often the lone manner to truly understand how a given application opens a file or sends e-mail is to read a sample book, because it 's non documented in any other manner. You can non larn this without looking at sample books supplied with each application.

8. It 's truly good to cognize the applications you are accessing with Applescript rather good. For illustration, I was non cognizant that I could direct mail straight from FileMaker 4.0, so I spent a long clip seeking to calculate out how to travel the information from FileMaker back to Eudora so I could email it. Had I but seen the 'send mail ' bid mentioned ( merely ) under 'Miscellaneous bids ' on page 5-11 of the chapter on scripting in the FileMaker manual, I would hold saved myself hours and hours. This sort of issue is much more prevailing in Applescript, I find, than in programming other linguistic communications. It 's like cognizing the full Macintosh tool chest before you try writing an application or cognizing all the constitutional maps before seeking to compose in C. Otherwise, you repeat things that are already done, and you do them in a manner that 's non natural to the flow.

12 hours: seeking for equal certification. You ca n't happen Applescript books in New Hampshire, and I did n't desire to order blindly over the Internet. I drove an hr to Barnes and Noble, who carried merely Applescript for Dummies. But I did n't experience like I got an immediate overview of the linguistic communication from this book. It seemed like the text was written as if that I did n't truly desire to larn Applescript, so I went looking for something else. I did n't even cognize until I had spent considerable clip on the Web and had e-mailed several people that Apple provided an Applescript manual in pdf format that you can merely download off the Web. This besides is n't mentioned in any Applescript books I have come across, of class, beecause it 's non in their involvement to allow you cognize you can acquire certification for free. And even after I eventually ascertained that such a papers existed, no one knew where this manual was really located on the Web, nor did anyone I talked to at Apple proficient support know. I spoke on 3 different occasions with 7 different people, and most of them had no thought even what I was speaking about. I assumed this pdf manual to be reasonably comprehensive, and it took me some clip to recognize that basic functionality, like 'choose file ' were non even made reference of in this manual, because they are 'Scripting Additions ' and non considered portion of Applescript proper. So I had to read Applescript for Dummies every bit good.

8-10 hours: blundering around because I did n't conceive the undertaking right. I did n't recognize that Filemaker can direct e-mail straight. The Filemaker manual merely had one line on page 5-11, 'send mail ' , which if you included in an ordinary Filemaker book did nil at all that I could see. There was no information whatever in the Filemaker manual that in order to acquire 'send mail ' to work, you have to download and put in shareware circuit boards or hook up to Internet Config. I surmised that 'send mail ' did nil, merely like the 'Page Number ' scripting bid - which I had had old experience with - does nil, at least harmonizing to Filemaker proficient support staff.

4-5 hours: Trying to acquire Eudora to open an e-mail through Applescript, a undertaking which I eventually abandoned when I realized Filemaker could direct e-mail. The job seems to be that Eudora merely wants to open text files. The electronic mail could merely every bit good be a text file, so that was non so bad. But Applescript assumes that if you want to open a text file, even when you are stating Eudora, you want to utilize SimpleText, which is n't even scriptable. Since SimpleText is n't scriptable, I evidently could n't utilize it to open the text file even had I wanted to. Every Macintosh file has assigned to it a file type, such as 'TEXT ' or 'HTML ' and a Godhead, which is supposed to bespeak which application the file belongs to. Eudora, alternatively of delegating its ain Godhead, assigns a generic Godhead to text files that it creates. In order to seek to coerce Eudora to open the text file, I tried, for illustration, coercing the Godhead of the text file e-mails I wanted to open to be specifically Eudora 's Godhead. I did this by utilizing Macintosh Programmer 's Workshops 's ( MPW -- Apple 's ain package development environment ) 'set file ' Shell books bid with the -c option. This was certainly above and beyond the call of responsibility. But that still did n't work. I tried 'choose file ' , of class. I tried merely 'open ' inside and outside a Tell Eudora statement. I tried a batch of things, and I still do n't cognize how to acquire Eudora to open an e-mail through Applescript. If you are merely opening an electronic mail in Eudora without seeking to hold Applescript make it for you, of class, it 's fiddling. The Applescript 'Open ' bid for Eudora hence does non work like the Applescript 'Open ' bid for many other applications.

1 hr: seeking to calculate out how to name a subprogram from within a Tell bid. This is the disadvantage of experiencing so rushed you do n't merely read all the certification carefully cover to cover. All manuals tell you about the my bid, of class. But when the call to a subprogram suddenly does n't work, you do n't cognize where to look. No mark comes up stating ' '' he job is the 'tell ' bid. Use my. '' Your first idea may be that possibly you 've spelled something incorrect. Possibly you 've sent the incorrect parametric quantities to the subprogram. their type may be incorrect. You can pass ages looking in all the incorrect topographic points. But if you suspect what the job is, you can look it up in 4 proceedingss or less. You do n't lose clip looking it up. You lose clip thinking what to look up. I had ne'er programmed in a linguistic communication that had anything like a 'my ' bid, so I had no thought that I was even losing anything.

Typically, what you do is this. You create a animal trainer ( subprogram ) utilizing the on bid. The first thing inside the animal trainer is typically a clump of belongings statements which define the information you are truly interested in acquiring, be it a username or a list of booklets or whatever. Following the belongingss list is typically a book bid which defines a book object. Between the book and terminal book, you find a twine of animal trainers ( sub-routines ) defined by on statements which define the functionality of the book. If the book object is for parsing an incoming electronic mail, it might hold animal trainers that get the e-mail address, reformat the organic structure of the text. who knows what you may necessitate to make with the electronic mail. One of these animal trainers ( typically the first ) is called init, and it initializes the book object typically by puting the belongingss utilizing the other animal trainers inside the book. Finally, after the terminal of the book object, but before stoping the animal trainer, you call that init subprogram. You call script object bids inside a Tell statement as if it were an application.

Finally, you have the construct of 'inheritance ' in object-oriented scheduling. This is a manner to simplify and salvage a batch of coding in bigger applications. Imagine one time once more that you are importing electronic mails. You need to acquire the 'sender ' from every e-mail regardless, but depending on the transmitter, you process the electronic mails in different ways. Some e-mails you store in a specific booklet. Others you parse and enter into a Filemaker database, and so on. Since you have to acquire the transmitter irrespective, you can specify a book object at the highest degree that merely gets the transmitter. That 's called the parent. Then you define more specific book objects which have the functionality of the parent and so some. One kid of the basic get-email book object that merely cheques for the transmitter will hold an extra animal trainer to salvage the e-mail to disk and another will parse the electronic mail and import it into Filemaker. Languages like JAVA use this wild. One parent modus operandi draws a circle of a specific size and a specific location on the screen. Its kids use the parent to pull the circle and so they color it, make full it in, etc.. You define a parent like this:

AppleScript: Print day-to-day iCal docket

Making the ScriptOpen Script Editor.app ( it can be found in /Applications/AppleScript ) . When you have the application opened, type ( or copy / paste ) the full AppleScript below. state application `` iCal '' position calendar at ( my ( current day of the month ) ) exchange position to twenty-four hours see activate state application `` System Events '' keystroke `` P '' utilizing command down hold 1 -- ( seconds ) keystroke return hold 2 -- ( seconds ) keystroke return terminal Tell quitend tellWhen you are finished, your book should look similar to the one below.Saving the scriptYou can salvage this book as an application by snaping File > Save As, and taking `` Application '' from the `` File Format '' drop-down box. Type a name and location for your book to be saved and so snap the `` Save '' button. Runing the scriptTo run this book, you can double-click on the application that you merely created or you can drag it into the dock for easy clicking ( or right-click on the icon in the dock and choose `` Open at Login '' to hold your book run when you login to your history ) . When the book runs, it will open iCal, set the position to the current day of the month, and will so publish the current position. Normally, this would take a twosome proceedingss to make by manus, but you can now hold an iCal docket rapidly printed off. Extra notes This book assumes that you are utilizing either Mac OS X `` Tiger '' ( version 10.4 ) or `` Leopard '' ( version 10.5 ) . I have yet to prove this on 10.3 or below, but it may work on older versions of Mac OS X. In order to utilize this book, you must enable `` GUI Scripting. '' To make this, unfastened `` AppleScript Utility '' in the /Applications/AppleScript directory. Then look into the `` Enable GUI Scripting '' checkbox.


AppleScript is chiefly a scripting linguistic communication developed by Apple to make Inter-Application Communication ( IAC ) utilizing AppleEvents. AppleScript is related to, but different from, AppleEvents. AppleEvents is designed to interchange informations between and command other applications in order to automatize insistent undertakings. AppleScript has some limited processing abilities of its ain, in add-on to directing and having AppleEvents to applications. AppleScript can make basic computations and complex text processing, and is extensile, leting the usage of scripting add-ons that add new maps to the linguistic communication. Chiefly, nevertheless, AppleScript relies on the functionality of applications and procedures to manage complex undertakings. As a structured bid linguistic communication, AppleScript can be compared to Unix shells, the Microsoft Windows Script Host, or IBM REXX in its functionality, but it is alone from all three. Essential to its functionality is the fact that Macintosh applications publish `` lexicons '' of addressable objects and operations.


In the late 1980s Apple considered utilizing HyperCard 's HyperTalk scripting linguistic communication as the standard linguistic communication across the company and within its authoritative Mac OS runing system, and for interprocess communicating between Apple and non-Apple merchandises. The AppleScript undertaking was an effort to consolidate a proliferation of scripting linguistic communications created and maintained by different groups and merchandises at Apple. HyperTalk could be used by novitiates to plan a HyperCard stack. Apple applied scientists recognized that a similar, but more object-oriented scripting linguistic communication could be designed to be used with any application, and the AppleScript undertaking was born as a spin-off of a research attempt to overhaul the Macintosh as a whole and eventually became portion of System 7.

After some uncertainness about the hereafter of AppleScript on Apple 's following coevals OS, the move to Mac OS X ( around 2002 ) and its Cocoa frameworks greatly increased the utility and flexibleness of AppleScript. Cocoa applications allow application developers to implement basic scriptability for their apps with minimum attempt, broadening the figure of applications that are straight scriptable. At the same clip, the displacement to the Unix underpinnings and AppleScript 's ability to run Unix commands straight allowed AppleScripts much greater control over the operating system itself. AppleScript Studio, released with Mac OS X 10.2 as portion of Xcode, and subsequently AppleScriptObjC model, released in Mac OS X 10.6, allows users to construct native Cocoa applications utilizing AppleScript.

In October 2016, longtime AppleScript merchandise director and mechanization evangelist Sal Soghoian left Apple when his place was eliminated `` for concern grounds '' . Veterans in the Mac community by and large responded with concern, oppugning Apple 's commitment to the developer community and pro users. Apple senior frailty president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi 's responded to an electronic mail stating that `` We have every purpose to go on our support for the great mechanization engineerings in macOS! `` , though The Mac Observer felt it did small to pacify skepticism about the hereafter of Apple mechanization in general and AppleScript in peculiar. For the clip being, AppleScript remains one constituent of macOS Automation engineerings, along with Services, Automator, and Shell scripting.

Basic constructs

AppleScript was designed to be used as an accessible end-user scripting linguistic communication, offering users an intelligent mechanism to command applications, and to entree and modify informations and paperss. AppleScript uses Apple Events: a set of standardised informations formats that the Macintosh operating system uses to direct information to applications. Apple Events let a book to work with multiple applications at the same time, go throughing informations between them so that complex undertakings can be accomplished without human interaction. For illustration, an AppleScript to make a simple web gallery might make the following:

An application 's AppleScript elements are seeable in the application 's Scripting Dictionary ( distributed as portion of the application ) , which can be viewed in any book editor. Elementss are by and large grouped into suites, harmonizing to loose functional relationships between them. There are two basic sorts of elements present in any suite: Classs and Commands. Classs are scriptable objects - for illustration, a text redacting application will about surely have categories for Windows, Documents, and Texts - and these categories will hold belongingss that can be changed ( window size, papers background colour, text fount size, etc. ) , and may incorporate other categories ( a window will incorporate one or more paperss, a papers will incorporate text, a text object will incorporate paragraphs and words and characters ) . Commands, by contrast, are instructions that can be given to scriptable objects. The general format for a block of AppleScript is to state a scriptable object to run a bid.

Natural linguistic communication metaphor

Whereas AppleEvents are a manner to direct messages into applications, AppleScript is a peculiar linguistic communication designed to direct Apple Events. In maintaining with the Mac OS tradition of ease-of-use, the AppleScript linguistic communication is designed on the natural linguistic communication metaphor, merely as the graphical user interface is designed on the desktop metaphor. A well-written AppleScript should be clear plenty to be read and understood by anyone, and easy edited. The linguistic communication is based mostly on HyperCard 's HyperTalk linguistic communication, extended to mention non merely to the HyperCard universe of cards and stacks, but besides theoretically to any papers. To this terminal, the AppleScript squad introduced the AppleEvent Object Model ( AEOM ) , which specifies the objects any peculiar application `` knows '' .

By and large, AEOM defines a figure of objects—like `` papers '' or `` paragraph '' —and corresponding actions—like `` cut '' and `` close '' . The system besides defines ways to mention to belongingss of objects, so one can mention to the `` 3rd paragraph of the papers 'Good Day ' '' , or the `` colour of the last word of the forepart window '' . AEOM uses an application lexicon to tie in the Apple Events with human-readable footings, leting the translation back and Forth between human-readable AppleScript and bytecode Apple Events. To detect what elements of a plan are scriptable, lexicons for supported applications may be viewed. ( In the Xcode and Script Editor applications, this is under File → Open Dictionary. )

Open Scripting Architecture

An of import facet of the AppleScript execution is the Open Scripting Architecture ( OSA ) . Apple provides OSA for third-party scripting/automation merchandises such as QuicKeys and UserLand Frontier, to work on an equal position with AppleScript. AppleScript was implemented as a scripting constituent, and the basic eyeglasses for interfacing such constituents to the OSA were public, leting other developers to add their ain scripting constituents to the system. Public client APIs for lading, salvaging and roll uping books would work the same for all such constituents, which besides meant that applets and droplets could keep books in any of those scripting linguistic communications.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the OSA is `` scripting add-ons '' , or OSAX for Open Scripting Architecture eXtension, which were based on HyperCard 's External Commands. Scripting Additions are libraries that allow coders to widen the map of AppleScript. Commands included as Scripting Additions are available system broad, and are non dependent on an application. macOS includes a aggregation of scripting add-ons referred to as Standard Additions, which extends the map of AppleScript with a assortment of new bids, including user interaction duologues, reading and writing files, file system commands, day of the month maps, text and mathematical operations.

Learning AppleScript

- Hi, I 'm Scott Simpson, and welcome to Up and Running with AppleScript. AppleScript is a scripting linguistic communication that 's built into Mac OS X, and it allows you to command other applications on your system to make some reasonably utile things. In this class, I 'll present you to the sentence structure of AppleScript, which is a small different from what you might be used to if you 're familiar with other programming linguistic communications. We 'll get down out easy with the rudimentss, and throughout the class we 'll acquire our pess wet with AppleScript by constructing a small application that takes some images and sets copyright metadata for them, or if you have Photoshop installed, sets the metadata, and adds a text water line on the image itself.

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