February 9, 2005
"AppleScript: The Missing Manual": You Needn't Be a Geek to Automate a Mac
Sebastopol, CA--"If you're an everyday Mac user--not some fancy-schmancy
computer science Ph.D.--AppleScript is by far the easiest language to use
for automating your Mac," assures Adam Goldstein, author of the new
AppleScript: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, US $24.95). "AppleScript has
been around long enough to become a stable, powerful, and, most
importantly, nearly bug-free language." And AppleScript comes free with
every Mac--and every copy of Mac OS X.
"Although I'm in high school," says Goldstein (all of 16 years old when he
wrote the book), I've used Macs for longer than some adults (13 years)."
While he may not yet have his drivers' license, Goldstein has most
definitely earned his license to drive a Mac. He's the founder of
GoldfishSoft (www.goldfishsoft.com), a software company specializing in
games and utilities for Mac OS X, a technical editor for the most recent
edition of O'Reilly's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, and an editor for
Mac OS X Power Hound.
In AppleScript: The Missing Manual, Goldstein shows readers how to take
full advantage of Apple's ultra-popular, English-like scripting language
to save time, energy, and resources by getting AppleScript to do "just
about anything you can do yourself" on the Mac. With his book, Goldstein
promises, "Mac users of all kinds--even those who don't know how to
program--will be able to write useful AppleScripts with confidence and
"If this isn't the clearest, most patient, most skillfully taught
AppleScript book ever published, I'll eat my mouse," says David Pogue,
weekly tech columnist for the "New York Times" and creator of the Missing
Manual series, in his foreword to Goldstein's book.
In this entertaining, authoritative, straightforward guide, Goldstein
provides a thorough introduction to using AppleScript to eliminate
repetitive jobs, automate complicated workflows, accomplish stuff in the
background, and compute faster and easier than any person ever could.
The book delivers:
AppleScript essentials: Goldstein teaches readers all about the Script
Editor (the program used to deploy AppleScript) and Mac OS X's Script
Menu. It also uncovers the hidden AppleScript lessons in Mac OS X's
Program control: Even without any prior programming or scripting
experience, readers will learn how to write AppleScripts to control
applications like Mail, TextEdit, Safari, Microsoft Word, QuickTime
Player, Adobe Photoshop, and more.
System scripting: Power users will learn how to use AppleScript to
control Mac OS X's heart and soul--Unix. They will be able to run Unix
commands and shell scripts without the Terminal and use Unix to schedule
and run AppleScripts even when they're away from the computer.
GUI scripting: Mac users can't use AppleScript to directly control every
program that runs on the Mac, but Goldstein shows readers how to use GUI
scripting to work around that limitation.
Tips and tricks: The book introduces several novel and fun uses for
AppleScript, including writing a metronome that makes the screen flash
instead of ticking; using Microsoft Word's thesaurus from any program;
zooming in on the screen by a specific amount; automatically optimizing
pictures for a web site; and downloading email messages to an iPod to
listen to them as audio files.
AppleScript: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0-596-00850-3, 325 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
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