IN THIS CHAPTER
What is user input?
Sending a message to the user
Asking for text input
Working with buttons
Choosing folders and files
Choosing from a list
Choosing an application
So far, you've learned about variables, operators, expressions, and loops, and so you should be feeling pretty comfortable with AppleScript. In this chapter, you're going to learn about handling user input.
User input comes in many different forms, and this chapter will cover the most common types of input you'll encounter as you create AppleScripts.
User input involves any situation in which you ask the user for input: filling in a text field, pushing a button, choosing a folder or set of files, choosing a color, or making some other choice. Sometimes, you end up simply communicating with the user in a one-way fashion — showing a dialog with an alert or using the system beep. Although these aren't technically examples of user input, I'm going to cover them here.
Despite the example of one-way communication, user input almost always involves two parts:
asking for the user input in some way; and
capturing the user's response.
What you do with that response is entirely up to you, of course; however, you almost always have to match the kind of user input device to your stated goal. If you want the user to choose a folder, then use the folder prompt, not a text input field. If you want to capture a text string from the user, then don't present them with an option to choose ...