Macs in Chemistry

Insanely Great Science


Custom Accessibility Keyboard Panels


Anyone who is interested in AppleScript or automator workflows on a Mac will have heard of Sal Soghoian, Sal joined Apple Inc. in January 1997 to serve as the Product Manager of Automation Technologies. These technologies include AppleScript, Services, the Terminal, Apple Configurator and Automator, among others. Since he left Apple he has continued to develop automation and describe them on his website User Automation.

This website is dedicated to informing individuals about the tools at their disposal that can be used by them to control the devices they engage with and rely upon every day. I hope you find this information useful. — Sal Soghoian

In a recent video Sal describes how to use an accessibility feature hidden deep within macOS and turn an iPad into a completely customizable control panel for a Mac.

Full details are here


It requires a Luna Display dongle since Apple’s Sidecar technology won’t work because it doesn’t allow touch input on the iPad when it’s acting as a Mac screen.


Myriad Tables updated


I just noticed that the AppleScript Library Myriad Tables has been updated, Myriad Tables Lib is an AppleScript script library that gives AppleScript scripts the ability to show dialogs containing tables. It requires OS X 10.10 or later. This is just one of the great resources available from Mac OS X Automation

  • ASObjC Runner is a scriptable faceless background helper application. It has a dictionary with a range of commands focused on the areas where vanilla AppleScript comes up short. You use it like a scripting addition, except you address the commands to the application. It provides better string handling (e.g. change case, encoding URL’s, regular expression, formatting dates), list sorting and filtering, improved file handling and progress dialog boxes.
  • ASObjCExtras is a free framework that fills in some of the gaps in AppleScriptObjC support, as well as providing some useful extra facilities including methods for efficiently processing lists and strings.
  • Myriad Tables gives AppleScript scripts the ability to show dialogs containing tables.
  • CalendarLib_EC an AppleScript script library for manipulating calendar events without using
  • DialogToolkit an ASObjC-based script library for showing enhanced dialogs.
  • Myriad Helpers is a collection of Objective-C files that simplify some of the coding involved in AppleScriptObjC.

In addition there is also Everyday AppleScriptObjC the absolutely essential guide for anyone who wants to explore the full power of AppleScriptObjC.

For more information have a look at the AppleScript Resources Page.


Speakable workflows


I just learned of an interesting site that is currently under construction. Speakable-Workflows has a number of tutorials on how to use the new speech recognition features in automator actions.

Well worth spending a few minutes watching the video tutorials.




If you want to automate a process but don’t want to learn Applescript then Repeater may be of interest.

Repeater provides a much needed and very convenient platform for recording repetitive actions without having to learn and understand Automator or AppleScript, which are well beyond most user's abilities. Moreover, not all apps can be scripted at all, but Repeater can help you anyway. Furthermore, you can integrate Repeater with popular scripting languages to dramatically improve their possibilities. Repeater is a tool specially designed for recording and playback user actions such as mouse movements and clicks, standard and hardware keystrokes, vertical and horizontal scrolling & zooming. It is also capable of storing information about currently running applications to launch them on playback.

There are also some scripting capabilities for more advanced use. Looks like it could be useful for giving demonstrations.


Automating Exporting to Evernote

I had an interesting email from Geoff Hutchison who is using an iPad mini for taking notes using Notability the notes can be typed, handwritten using a stylus, or images. Notability does not export directly to Evernote an app that can capture and synchronise notes between multiple platforms including iPad and desktop. The other feature that makes Evernote interesting is it provides handwriting recognition, thus making the handwritten notes text searchable.

Geoff had a Automator service that imported the Notability notes that had been saved to Dropbox into EverNote, however he wanted a better way to name the notes created in Evernote. As it turned out the best way to do this was to use Applescript, you can read the full details here.