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Apple Training Series: AppleScript 1-2-3 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321149312
ISBN-10: 0321149319
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

You could be saving yourself time and money right now using tools you probably didn't even know you had. AppleScript, a powerful and free scripting tool included on every Macintosh, enables individuals, professionals, and businesses to save time and money by automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks. Hallmark, for example, used AppleScript to reduce the number of color proofs needed to create a greeting card from a range of 5 to 25 expensive proofs per card down to just two. The best part? You don't need a degree in engineering to create powerful, results-driven scripts.

In AppleScript 1-2-3 Apple's AppleScript product manager, Sal Soghoian, teaches beginners how to address nearly any automation task on the Macintosh. Broken down into three parts, the book starts by explaining AppleScript fundamentals through a series of hands-on how-tos designed to teach you how to write functional scripts. The second section expands on the knowledge gained in the first section with an in-depth examination of useful AppleScript tools and techniques, and the third section uses sample scripts to demonstrate how to automate Apple and third-party applications. If you're looking to work more productively by automating your workflow, you'll want this primer written by the leading expert in the field-no one knows more about AppleScript than Sal.

About the Author

Sal Soghoian discovered AppleScript in 1992 while looking for ways to automate publishing-related tasks at his service bureau. Since that time, he has remained a tireless evangelist for AppleScript and has served as the product manager for automation technologies at Apple for more than eleven years. His yearly all-day AppleScript training sessions at Macworld Expo are legendary and their common-sense hands-on approach is captured in this book.

Bill Cheeseman
lives in Quechee, Vermont. He is well known in the AppleScript community as originator and long-time Webmaster of The AppleScript Sourcebook Web site and as the developer of two popular AppleScript utilities, PreFab UI Browser and PreFab UI Actions. He is also the author of Cocoa Recipes for Mac OS X: The Vermont Recipes, one of the first books about creating Cocoa applications for Mac OS X. When he isn’t writing software for Macintosh computers, Bill practices law as a civil litigator and trial lawyer.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (January 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321149319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321149312
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Robertson VINE VOICE on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Can you build us an AppleScript to do that?"

That question has been put to me dozens of times over my ten-plus years doing Macintosh support, and in almost every instance, the answer has been "yes." AppleScript has literally helped me to earn my living, in the sense that I've been hired to build customized applications that--to name just a few--scan the entire content of a weekly newspaper and flag any prohibited words for later exclusion, pull records from a database and turn them into a fully-formatted 32-page pamphlet of health-specific Web sites, and convert the SGML-tagged text from a medical journal into XPress Tags coding for import into QuarkXPress.

I first got turned on to AppleScript at a Macworld Expo back in the 1990s, when I attended a presentation given by a very enthusiastic service bureau employee by the name of Sal Soghoian. Not a programmer by trade, Sal had discovered the joys of AppleScripting while trying to free himself from some of the redundant tasks he was faced with while outputting his client's documents. I was so excited about what I saw him do with his QuarkXPress scripts that I ran up to him after his talk and starting peppering him with questions. Evidently recognizing my enthusiasm, he offered me a free copy of his "Sal's AppleScript Snippets," a 3.5" floppy disk containing a few dozen simple QuarkXPress AppleScript routines and some brief but helpful documentation. From that point forward, I was hooked on AppleScript.

So who better to author an AppleScript training guide for beginning scripters?
Read more ›
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I bought the book and received it from Amazon. I personally have been waiting a long time and am glad to see it is finally released. Overall the best and largest book available on the topic. If you have ever attended one of Sal's standing room only AppleScript classes (I have) the book is structured as he describes in the forward. He took his classes and put them in print. He starts off with the basics and quickly moves into more complex examples. If you know AppleScript the first chapter may move slow for you, but you can easily jump ahead. Best $31 you can spend if you are interested in learning AppleScript and don't have lots of time. Disregard the one star review. Don't pan the book because Amazon has a weak "Look Inside" you don't like. You can give Amazon one star in other places.
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This book was not worth the money, for me. When I purchased the book (recently) I was new to Applescript, but had experience programming in Visual Basic on the PC. This book did not help me very much at all. I can't see in it what other reviewers have reported. It was not organized very well. It was well written and you can see the author(s) knows the subject well, but just didn't present it in a simple, organized way suitable for a beginner. Moreover, I can't see how this book would be much help for experts either. The book is over 800 pages long, and you have to read over half of it before you even get to the basics. It's sort of like a massive tutorial, focused mainly on programming Finder.

I thought two other books are much, much better - Beginning AppleScript (Programmer to Programmer) (WROX) which was I thought an almost perfect book for beginners, and AppleScript: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition (O'REILLY), which seemed excellent for beginner and expert alike. Both of those books are a little out of date (e.g., they refer to Script Editor which has been renamed AppleScript Editor, and to AppleScript Utility, which has been discarded and incorporated into AppleScript Editor). But they are still worth a lot more that this book, despite a few minor things like that. I understand there's a new book out that might be good, but I haven't read it - AppleScript (Developer Reference). Even so, I don't see how anyone could go wrong with the two older books I just mentioned; they are both well worth the money, but experts might want to pass on the Beginning Applescript one.
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I'm a little over three quarters of a way through the book, and I'm finding it very useful. However, I would not recommend this book for beginners. A better option for those completely new to AppleScript is AppleScript: The Missing Manual

This book (AppleScript: 123) is useful for when you're ready to take Apple scripting to the next level. While there are practical scripts that you can copy and apply, the authors focus more on trying to get you to understand the various logic, tools, and language for scripting automations and commands. Depending on your level of expertise with AppleScript, you may have to work through this book cover to cover in order to get a full understanding of scripting language.

What I find a little annoying about the book though is its weight and size. Parts of the 900 page book are needlessly repetitive (especially the first chapter in which the chapter summary is 12 pages long!) Also, some of the scripts presented in the book are not that practical. They are presented just to demonstrate and an example.

Despite this shortcoming, if you're serious about learning AppleScript, this is one book you'll want to read and work through.
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