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AppleScript actions

An AppleScript action runs AppleScript code. AppleScript's strength is in automation, since it can be used to control other apps.

Properties

An AppleScript action is defined by the presence of either an applescript, applescript file field, with optional applescript call field, as follows:

KeyTypeDescription
applescriptStringA text string to interpret directly as AppleScript source.
applescript fileStringPath to an .applescript or .scpt file in the package directory.
applescript callDictionary (optional)A named handler to call.

The applescript call dictionary

The applescript call dictionary lets you call a named handler within the script.

KeyTypeDescription
handlerStringName of a handler within the script to call.
parametersArray (optional)Array of strings specifying names of values to pass as parameters to the handler, as defined in Script variables. The number and order of parameters must match exactly what the handler expects to receive. Omit or leave empty if there are no parameters.

AppleScript format

PopClip can execute an AppleScript supplied either as a plain text script (.applescript file), or as a compiled script (.scpt file, created in the Script Editor app). The ways you can pass values to the script differ depending on the script type (see examples below).

The script may optionally return a string (e.g. return "foo"), and act on it with an after key. For returning errors, see Indicating Errors.

Input and output

Within a plain text script, use {popclip text} as a placeholder for the selected text. PopClip will replace the placeholder with the actual text before executing the script. Other placeholders are also available; see Script variables.

Within a compiled script (.scpt), you cannot use placeholder strings. Instead, you need to put your code in a handler and pass values to it. See Compiled .scpt file example.

Any text returned by the script will be made available to the after step.

Indicating errors

AppleScripts should indicate success by exiting normally, and should indicate failure by signalling an error. On error, PopClip will display the shaking-'X'.

To indicate an error with the user's settings, and pop up the extension's options UI, signal the specific error code 502. For example:

applescript
error "Missing foo parameter" number 502

Examples

Snippet examples

Scripting another app:

applescript
-- #popclip
-- name: LaunchBar
-- icon: LB
-- language: applescript
tell application "LaunchBar"
  set selection to "{popclip text}"
end tell

Returning text from the script:

applescript
-- #popclip
-- name: AppleScript HTML
-- capture html: true
-- after: show-result
-- language: applescript
return "Your HTML: " & "{popclip html}"

Package examples

Plain text .applescript file

applescript
tell application "TextEdit"
 activate
 set theDocument to make new document
 set text of theDocument to ("{popclip text} - Clipped from {popclip browser url}")
end tell
json
{
  "name": "TextEdit Clip",
  "applescriptFile": "TextEditClip.applescript"
}

Compiled .scpt file

When using a .scpt file, parameters must be passed by calling a handler.

applescript
on newDocument(theText, theUrl) --this is a handler
  tell application "TextEdit"
    activate
    set theDocument to make new document
    set text of theDocument to (theText & " - Clipped from " & theUrl)
  end tell
end newDocument
json
{
  "name": "TextEdit Clip",
  "applescriptFile": "TextEditClip.scpt",
  "applescriptCall": {
    "handler": "newDocument",
    "parameters": ["text", "browser url"]
  }
}

Using JXA Scripts

Note that when using a compiled script, these can be be JavaScript for Automation (JXA) scripts instead of AppleScripts. Everything works the same except handlers correspond to top level JXA functions. JXA cannot be used in plain text scripts.

An example of an extension using a JXA script is TaskPaper.