AXUIElement.h Reference

Declared in
AXUIElement.h

Overview

Assistive applications use the functions defined in this header file to communicate with and control accessible applications running in Mac OS X.

Each accessible user interface element in an application is represented by an AXUIElementRef, which is a CFTypeRef. AXUIElementRefs (like all CFTypeRefs) can be used with all the Core Foundation polymorphic functions, such as CFRetain, CFRelease, and CFEqual.

All functions defined in this header file return kAXErrorSuccess on success. If there is some sort of system memory failure, such as the failure to allocate an object, all functions can return kAXErrorFailure. In the unlikely event that some process does not fully support the accessibility API, a function can return kAXErrorNotImplemented.

In addition, some functions can return the following error codes:

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The passed-in AXUIElementRef is invalid. All functions that include an AXUIElementRef parameter can return this error code.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

At least one of the arguments is illegal (for example, NIL passed in for a pointer).

kAXErrorCannotComplete

There is a problem with messaging (such as when messaging to the server fails or when the accessible application is unresponsive or waiting for user input). All functions that perform messaging can return this error code.

kAXErrorAPIDisabled

The accessibility API is disabled. All functions that perform messaging can return this error code.

For more information on the definition and use of accessibility objects and on Mac OS X accessibility support in general, see Accessibility Overview for OS X.

Included Headers

  • <AvailabilityMacros.h>

  • <CoreFoundation/CoreFoundation.h>

  • <ApplicationServices/ApplicationServices.h>

Functions by Task

See the Overview section above for header-level documentation.

Notification API

Miscellaneous

Functions

AXAPIEnabled

Returns whether the accessibility API is enabled.

extern Boolean AXAPIEnabled (
   void) ;
Return Value

Returns TRUE if the accessibility API is currently enabled, otherwise FALSE.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
  • Deprecated in OS X v10.9.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXIsProcessTrusted

Returns whether the current process is a trusted accessibility client.

extern Boolean AXIsProcessTrusted (
   void) ;
Return Value

Returns TRUE if the current process is a trusted accessibility client, FALSE if it is not.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXIsProcessTrustedWithOptions

Returns whether the current process is a trusted accessibility client.

extern Boolean AXIsProcessTrustedWithOptions (
   CFDictionaryRef options) ;
Parameters
options

A dictionary of options, or NULL to specify no options. The following options are available:

KEY: kAXTrustedCheckOptionPrompt VALUE: ACFBooleanRef indicating whether the user will be informed if the current process is untrusted. This could be used, for example, on application startup to always warn a user if accessibility is not enabled for the current process. Prompting occurs asynchronously and does not affect the return value.

Return Value

Returns TRUE if the current process is a trusted accessibility client, FALSE if it is not.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.9 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXMakeProcessTrusted

Attempts to make the process represented by the specified path a trusted accessibility client.

extern AXError AXMakeProcessTrusted (
   CFStringRef executablePath) ;
Parameters
executablePath

The path to the executable of the process to make trusted.

Return Value

An AXError that indicates success or failure.

Discussion

Use this function to make a process a trusted accessibility client. Note: The caller must be running as root to successfully call this function. In addition, the caller should relaunch the process after this function returns successfully for the trusted status to take effect.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
  • Deprecated in OS X v10.9.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverAddNotification

Registers the specified observer to receive notifications from the specified accessibility object.

extern AXError AXObserverAddNotification (
   AXObserverRef observer,
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef notification,
   void *refcon);
Parameters
observer

The observer object created from a call to AXObserverCreate.

element

The accessibility object for which to observe notifications.

notification

The name of the notification to observe.

refcon

Application-defined data passed to the callback when it is called.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXObserverAddNotification may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorInvalidUIElementObserver

The observer is not a valid AXObserverRef type.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value or the length of the notification name is greater than 1024.

kAXErrorNotificationUnsupported

The accessibility object does not support notifications (note that the system-wide accessibility object does not support notifications).

kAXErrorNotificationAlreadyRegistered

The notification has already been registered.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorFailure

There is some sort of system memory failure.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverCreate

Creates a new observer that can receive notifications from the specified application.

extern AXError AXObserverCreate (
   pid_t application,
   AXObserverCallback callback,
   AXObserverRef *outObserver);
Parameters
application

The process ID of the application.

callback

The callback function.

outObserver

On return, an AXObserverRef representing the observer object.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXObserverCreate may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorFailure

There is some sort of system memory failure.

Discussion

When an observed notification is received, it is passed to AXObserverCallback.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverCreateWithInfoCallback

Creates a new observer that can receive notifications with an information dictionary from the specified application.

extern AXError AXObserverCreateWithInfoCallback (
   pid_t application,
   AXObserverCallbackWithInfo callback,
   AXObserverRef *outObserver);
Parameters
application

The process ID of the application.

callback

The callback function.

outObserver

On return, an AXObserverRef representing the observer object.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXObserverCreateWithInfoCallback may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorFailure

There is some sort of system memory failure.

Discussion

When an observed notification is received, it is passed to AXObserverCallbackWithInfo.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.9 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverGetRunLoopSource

Returns the observer's run loop source.

extern CFRunLoopSourceRef AXObserverGetRunLoopSource (
   AXObserverRef observer);
Parameters
observer

The observer object (created from a call to AXObserverCreate) for which to get the run loop source.

Return Value

Returns the CFRunLoopSourceRef of the observer; NIL if you pass NIL in observer.

Discussion

The observer must be added to a run loop before it can receive notifications. Note that releasing the AXObserverRef automatically removes the run loop source from the run loop (you can also do this explicitly by calling CFRunLoopRemoveSource).

AXObserverGetRunLoopSource might be used in code in this way:

 
 CFRunLoopAddSource(CFRunLoopGetCurrent(), AXObserverGetRunLoopSource(observer), kCFRunLoopDefaultMode);
 
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverGetTypeID

Returns the unique type identifier for the AXObserverRef type.

CFTypeID AXObserverGetTypeID (
   void);
Return Value

Returns the CFTypeID of the AXObserverRef type.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverRemoveNotification

Removes the specified notification from the list of notifications the observer wants to receive from the accessibility object.

extern AXError AXObserverRemoveNotification (
   AXObserverRef observer,
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef notification);
Parameters
observer

The observer object created from a call to AXObserverCreate.

element

The accessibility object for which this observer observes notifications.

notification

The name of the notification to remove from the list of observed notifications.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXObserverRemoveNotification may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorInvalidUIElementObserver

The observer is not a valid AXObserverRef type.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value or the length of the notification name is greater than 1024.

kAXErrorNotificationUnsupported

The accessibility object does not support notifications (note that the system-wide accessibility object does not support notifications).

kAXErrorNotificationNotRegistered

This observer has not registered for any notifications.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorFailure

There is some sort of system memory failure.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyActionDescription

Returns a localized description of the specified accessibility object's action.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyActionDescription (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef action,
   CFStringRef *description);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

action

The action to be described.

description

On return, a string containing the description of the action.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyActionDescription may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorActionUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified action (you will also receive this error if you pass in the system-wide accessibility object).

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyActionNames

Returns a list of all the actions the specified accessibility object can perform.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyActionNames (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFArrayRef *names);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

names

On return, an array of actions the accessibility object can perform (empty if the accessibility object supports no actions).

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyActionNames may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or both of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorFailure

There was some sort of system memory failure.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyAttributeNames

Returns a list of all the attributes supported by the specified accessibility object.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyAttributeNames (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFArrayRef *names);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

names

On return, an array containing the accessibility object's attribute names.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyAttributeNames may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified attribute.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or both of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorFailure

There was a system memory failure.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyAttributeValue

Returns the value of an accessibility object's attribute.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyAttributeValue (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef attribute,
   CFTypeRef *value);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

attribute

The attribute name.

value

On return, the value associated with the specified attribute.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyAttributeValue may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified attribute.

kAXErrorNoValue

The specified attribute does not have a value.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyAttributeValues

Returns an array of attribute values for the accessibility object's attribute, starting at the specified index.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyAttributeValues (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef attribute,
   CFIndex index,
   CFIndex maxValues,
   CFArrayRef *values);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

attribute

The attribute name.

index

The index into the array.

maxValues

The maximum number of values you want (this may be more or less than the number of values associated with the attribute).

values

On return, the attribute values you requested. If maxValues is greater than the number of values associated with the attribute, the values array will contain values found between index and the end of the attribute's array, inclusive.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyAttributeValues may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

The attribute's value is not array, the index or maxValues arguments are outside the array's range, or one of the other arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorNoValue

The specified attribute does not have a value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

This function is useful for dealing with large arrays, for example, a table view with a large number of children.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyElementAtPosition

Returns the accessibility object at the specified position in top-left relative screen coordinates.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyElementAtPosition (
   AXUIElementRef application,
   float x,
   float y,
   AXUIElementRef *element);
Parameters
application

The AXUIElementRef representing the application that contains the screen coordinates (or the system-wide accessibility object).

x

The horizontal position.

y

The vertical position.

element

On return, the accessibility object at the position specified by x and y.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyElementAtPosition may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorNoValue

There is no accessibility object at the specified position.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

This function does hit-testing based on window z-order (that is, layering). If one window is on top of another window, the returned accessibility object comes from whichever window is topmost at the specified location. Note that if the system-wide accessibility object is passed in the application parameter, the position test is not restricted to a particular application.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyMultipleAttributeValues

Returns the values of multiple attributes in the accessibility object.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyMultipleAttributeValues (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFArrayRef attributes,
   AXCopyMultipleAttributeOptions options,
   CFArrayRef *values) ;
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

attributes

An array of attribute names.

options

A value that tells AXUIElementCopyMultipleAttributeValues how to handle errors.

values

On return, an array in which each position contains the value of the attribute that is in the corresponding position in the passed-in attributes array (or CFNull). If options = 0, the values array can contain an AXValueRef of type kAXValueAXErrorType in the corresponding position. If options = kAXCopyMultipleAttributeOptionStopOnError, this function will return immediately when it gets an error.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyMultipleAttributeValues may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

If the specified AXUIElementRef does not support an attribute passed in the attributes array, the returned array can contain an error or CFNull at the corresponding position.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyParameterizedAttributeNames

Returns a list of all the parameterized attributes supported by the specified accessibility object.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyParameterizedAttributeNames (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFArrayRef *names) ;
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

names

On return, an array containing the accessibility object's parameterized attribute names.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyParameterizedAttributeNames may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported or kAXErrorParameterizedAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified parameterized attribute.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or both of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorFailure

There was some sort of system memory failure.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.3 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCopyParameterizedAttributeValue

Returns the value of an accessibility object's parameterized attribute.

extern AXError AXUIElementCopyParameterizedAttributeValue (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef parameterizedAttribute,
   CFTypeRef parameter,
   CFTypeRef *result) ;
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

parameterizedAttribute

The parameterized attribute.

parameter

The parameter.

result

On return, the value of the parameterized attribute.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementCopyParameterizedAttributeValue may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported or kAXErrorParameterizedAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified parameterized attribute.

kAXErrorNoValue

The specified parameterized attribute does not have a value.

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.3 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCreateApplication

Creates and returns the top-level accessibility object for the application with the specified process ID.

extern AXUIElementRef AXUIElementCreateApplication (
   pid_t pid);
Parameters
pid

The process ID of an application.

Return Value

The AXUIElementRef representing the top-level accessibility object for the application with the specified process ID.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementCreateSystemWide

Returns an accessibility object that provides access to system attributes.

extern AXUIElementRef AXUIElementCreateSystemWide (
   void);
Return Value

The AXUIElementRef representing the system-wide accessibility object.

Discussion

This is useful for things like finding the focused accessibility object regardless of which application is currently active.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementGetAttributeValueCount

Returns the count of the array of an accessibility object's attribute value.

extern AXError AXUIElementGetAttributeValueCount (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef attribute,
   CFIndex *count);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

attribute

The attribute name.

count

On return, the size of the array that is the attribute's value.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementGetAttributeValueCount may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

The attribute's value is not an array or one of the other arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified attribute.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementGetPid

Returns the process ID associated with the specified accessibility object.

extern AXError AXUIElementGetPid (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   pid_t *pid);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing an accessibility object.

pid

On return, the process ID associated with the specified accessibility object.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementGetPid may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementGetTypeID

Returns the unique type identifier for the AXUIElementRef type.

extern CFTypeID AXUIElementGetTypeID (
   void);
Return Value

Returns a CFTypeID representing the AXUIElementRef type.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementIsAttributeSettable

Returns whether the specified accessibility object's attribute can be modified.

extern AXError AXUIElementIsAttributeSettable (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef attribute,
   Boolean *settable);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

attribute

The attribute name.

settable

On return, a Boolean value indicating whether the attribute is settable.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementIsAttributeSettable may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way (often due to a timeout).

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified attribute.

kAXErrorNoValue

The specified attribute does not have a value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

If you receive a kAXErrorCannotComplete error from this function, you might want to repeat the request or change the timeout value.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementPerformAction

Requests that the specified accessibility object perform the specified action.

extern AXError AXUIElementPerformAction (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef action);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

action

The action to be performed.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementPerformAction may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorActionUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified action (you will also receive this error if you pass in the system-wide accessibility object).

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way or the application has not yet responded.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

It is possible to receive the kAXErrorCannotComplete error code from this function because accessible applications often need to perform some sort of modal processing inside their action callbacks and they may not return within the timeout value set by the accessibility API. This does not necessarily mean that the function has failed, however. If appropriate, your assistive application can try to call this function again. Also, you may be able to increase the timeout value (see AXUIElementSetMessagingTimeout).

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementPostKeyboardEvent

Posts keys to the specified application.

extern AXError AXUIElementPostKeyboardEvent (
   AXUIElementRef application,
   CGCharCode keyChar,
   CGKeyCode virtualKey,
   Boolean keyDown) ;
Parameters
application

The AXUIElementRef representing the application (or the system-wide accessibility object).

keyChar
virtualKey
keyDown
Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementPostKeyboardEvent may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorFailure

There is some sort of system memory failure.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

This is similar to CGPostKeyboardEvent (which synthesizes a low-level keyboard event on the local machine), but it allows you to specify the target application as opposed to always sending the events to the active application. If the system-wide accessibility object is passed in the application parameter, the event is sent to the active application.

You can only pass in the system-wide or application AXUIElementRef.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
  • Deprecated in OS X v10.9.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementSetAttributeValue

Sets the accessibility object's attribute to the specified value.

extern AXError AXUIElementSetAttributeValue (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef attribute,
   CFTypeRef value);
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing the accessibility object.

attribute

The attribute name.

value

The new value for the attribute.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementSetAttributeValue may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

The value is not recognized by the accessible application or one of the other arguments is an illegal value.

kAXErrorAttributeUnsupported

The specified AXUIElementRef does not support the specified attribute.

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

kAXErrorCannotComplete

The function cannot complete because messaging has failed in some way.

kAXErrorNotImplemented

The process does not fully support the accessibility API.

Discussion

You can send and receive many different CFTypeRefs using the accessibility API. These include all CFPropertyListRef types, AXUIElementRef, AXValueRef, AXTextMarkerRef, AXTextMarkerRangeRef, CFNullRef, CFAttributedStringRef, and CRURLRef.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementSetMessagingTimeout

Sets the timeout value used in the accessibility API.

extern AXError AXUIElementSetMessagingTimeout (
   AXUIElementRef element,
   float timeoutInSeconds) ;
Parameters
element

The AXUIElementRef representing an accessibility object.

timeoutInSeconds

The number of seconds for the new timeout value.

Return Value

If unsuccessful, AXUIElementSetMessagingTimeout may return one of the following error codes, among others:

kAXErrorIllegalArgument

One or more of the arguments is an illegal value (timeout values must be positive).

kAXErrorInvalidUIElement

The AXUIElementRef is invalid.

Discussion

Pass the system-wide accessibility object (see AXUIElementCreateSystemWide) if you want to set the timeout globally for this process. Setting the timeout on another accessibility object sets it only for that object, not for other accessibility objects that are equal to it.

Setting timeoutInSeconds to 0 for the system-wide accessibility object resets the global timeout to its default value. Setting timeoutInSeconds to 0 for any other accessibility object makes that element use the current global timeout value.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

Callbacks

See the Overview section above for header-level documentation.

AXObserverCallback

typedef void ( *AXObserverCallback)(
   AXObserverRef observer,
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef notification,
   void *refcon);

Parameters
observer

An AXObserverRef object to observe the notifications.

element

The accessibility object.

notification

The name of the notification to observe.

refcon

Application-defined data specified when registering the observer for notification

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverCallbackWithInfo

typedef void ( *AXObserverCallbackWithInfo)(
   AXObserverRef observer,
   AXUIElementRef element,
   CFStringRef notification,
   CFDictionaryRef info,
   void *refcon);

Parameters
observer

An AXObserverRef object to observe the notifications.

element

The accessibility object.

notification

The name of the notification to observe.

info

The coresponding notification information.

refcon

Application-defined data specified when registering the observer for notification

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.9 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

Data Types

See the Overview section above for header-level documentation.

AXCopyMultipleAttributeOptions

typedef UInt32 AXCopyMultipleAttributeOptions;
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.4 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXObserverRef

typedef struct __AXObserver *AXObserverRef;
Discussion

An AXObserverRef is a CFType. Like all CFTypes, they are reference counted (CFRetain, CFRelease).

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

AXUIElementRef

A structure used to refer to an accessibility object.

typedef const struct __AXUIElement *AXUIElementRef;
Discussion

An accessibility object provides information about the user interface object it represents. This information includes the object's position in the accessibility hierarchy, its position on the display, details about what it is, and what actions it can perform. Accessibility objects respond to messages sent by assistive applications and send notifications that describe state changes.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
AXUIElement.h

Constants

See the Overview section above for header-level documentation.

kAXCopyMultipleAttributeOptionStopOnError

enum {
   kAXCopyMultipleAttributeOptionStopOnError = 0x1
};
Discussion

Pass this option to AXUIElementCopyMultipleAttributeValues to force the function to stop when it gets an error.