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Mac Automation Scripting Guide

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Prompting for Files or Folders

It’s generally good practice to avoid hard-coding file and folder paths in a script. Prompting the user to select files and folders makes for a more dynamic script that won’t break when paths change.

Prompting for a File

Use the Standard Additions scripting addition’s choose file command to prompt the user to select a file. Listing 26-1 and Listing 26-2 demonstrate how to use this command to display the simple file selection dialog with a custom prompt shown in Figure 26-1.

Figure 26-1Prompting for a file image: ../Art/choosefile_2x.png

APPLESCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-1AppleScript: Prompting for a file
  1. set theDocument to choose file with prompt "Please select a document to process:"
  2. --> Result: alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Documents:ImportantDoc.pages"

JAVASCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-2JavaScript: Prompting for a file
  1. var app = Application.currentApplication()
  2. app.includeStandardAdditions = true
  3. var document = app.chooseFile({
  4. withPrompt: "Please select a document to process:"
  5. })
  6. document
  7. // Result: Path("/Users/yourUserName/Documents/ImportantDoc.pages")

Prompting for a Specific Type of File

If your script requires specific types of files for processing, you can use the choose file command’s optional of type parameter to provide a list of acceptable types. Types may be specified as extension strings without the leading period (such as "jpg" or "png") or as uniform type identifiers (such as "public.image" or "com.apple.iwork.pages.sffpages"). Listing 26-3 and Listing 26-4 show how to prompt for an image.

APPLESCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-3AppleScript: Prompting for an image
  1. set theImage to choose file with prompt "Please select an image to process:" of type {"public.image"}
  2. --> Result: alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Pictures:IMG_0024.jpg"

JAVASCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-4JavaScript: Prompting for an image
  1. var app = Application.currentApplication()
  2. app.includeStandardAdditions = true
  3. var image = app.chooseFile({
  4. withPrompt: "Please select an image to process:",
  5. ofType: ["public.image"]
  6. })
  7. image
  8. // Result: Path("/Users/yourUserName/Pictures/IMG_0024.jpg")

Prompting for Multiple Files

To let the user choose more than one file, include the choose file command’s optional multiple selections allowed parameter. Listing 26-5 and Listing 26-6 display a prompt asking for multiple images, as shown in Figure 26-2.

Figure 26-2Prompting for multiple images image: ../Art/chooseimages_2x.png

APPLESCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-5AppleScript: Prompting for multiple images
  1. set theImages to choose file with prompt "Please select some images to process:" of type {"public.image"} with multiple selections allowed
  2. --> Result: {alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Pictures:IMG_0024.jpg", alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Pictures:IMG_0025.jpg", alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Pictures:IMG_0026.jpg"}

JAVASCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-6JavaScript: Prompting for multiple images
  1. var app = Application.currentApplication()
  2. app.includeStandardAdditions = true
  3. var images = app.chooseFile({
  4. withPrompt: "Please select some images to process:",
  5. ofType: ["public.image"],
  6. multipleSelectionsAllowed: true
  7. })
  8. images
  9. // Result: [Path("/Users/yourUserName/Pictures/IMG_0024.jpg"), Path("/Users/yourUserName/Pictures/IMG_0025.jpg"), Path("/Users/yourUserName/Pictures/IMG_0026.jpg")]

Prompting for a Folder

Use the Standard Additions scripting addition’s choose folder command to prompt the user to select a folder, such as an output folder or folder of images to process. Listing 26-7 and Listing 26-8 demonstrate how to use this command to display the simple folder selection dialog with a custom prompt shown in Figure 26-3.

Figure 26-3Prompting for a folder image: ../Art/choosefolder_2x.png

APPLESCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-7AppleScript: Prompting for a folder
  1. set theOutputFolder to choose folder with prompt "Please select an output folder:"
  2. --> Result: alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Desktop:"

JAVASCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-8JavaScript: Prompting for a folder
  1. var app = Application.currentApplication()
  2. app.includeStandardAdditions = true
  3. var outputFolder = app.chooseFolder({
  4. withPrompt: "Please select an output folder:"
  5. })
  6. outputFolder
  7. // Result: Path("/Users/yourUserName/Desktop")

Prompting for Multiple Folders

To let the user choose more than one folder, include the choose folder command’s optional multiple selections allowed parameter, as shown in Listing 26-9 and Listing 26-10.

APPLESCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-9AppleScript: Prompting for multiple folders
  1. set theFoldersToProcess to choose folder with prompt "Please select the folders containing images to process:" with multiple selections allowed
  2. --> Result: {alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Desktop:", alias "Macintosh HD:Users:yourUserName:Documents:"}

JAVASCRIPT

Open in Script Editor

Listing 26-10JavaScript: Prompting for multiple folders
  1. var app = Application.currentApplication()
  2. app.includeStandardAdditions = true
  3. var foldersToProcess = app.chooseFolder({
  4. withPrompt: "Please select an output folder:",
  5. multipleSelectionsAllowed: true
  6. })
  7. foldersToProcess
  8. // Result: [Path("/Users/yourUserName/Desktop"), Path("/Users/yourUserName/Documents")]