Archive for the ‘Mac OS X’ Category

How to easily assign keyboard shortcuts to AppleScripts

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

AppleScriptThere is more than one way to assign a keyboard shortcut to an AppleScript file. The simple method I outline in this post does not require a third-party scripting utility or fussing with Automator. You accomplish this feat by using a specific set of characters in the filename of your script.

In researching the topic I found contradictory information on the Web. Many people claimed that this method once worked but stopped working around the time Snow Leopard was released. So it’s possible that Apple broke this capability in some versions of OS X but fixed it in subsequent releases. But that’s speculation; what I’m sure of is that it works fine in OS X Yosemite 10.10. (Please post in the comments if you know that this method works, or does not work, in other specific versions of OS X.)

You assign keyboard shortcuts to AppleScripts by using the backslash character (\) and a specific arrangement of a set of letters as part of the script’s filename. When appearing after a backslash, the letters correspond to these specific keys:

s = Shift
c = Control
m = Command
o = Option

Example AppleScript filenames and the keyboard shortcuts they assign:

script-name\smG.scpt = SHIFT-CMD-G
script-name\scG.scpt = SHIFT-CTRL-G
script-name\soG.scpt = SHIFT-OPTION-G
script-name\cmG.scpt = CTRL-CMD-G
script-name\coG.scpt = CTRL-OPTION-G
script-name\moG.scpt = CMD-OPTION-G

The letter G is an example that represents any letter, number and some other keys you might include as the trigger for the keyboard shortcut. It is the last character before the dot and file extension. It’s possible to assign key combinations that conflict with OS X system-wide and app-specific keyboard shortcuts. You need only check the app that will be active when you invoke the keyboard shortcut for potential conflicts.

Mac A-List Updated

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Just a quick note to everyone know that I haven’t forgotten the blog, and I hope to post some more in-depth things in the near future.

In the meantime, I’ve just updated the Mac A-List, which tracks the best software for the Mac according to Scot. It’s a significant update with several additions and subtractions. Among other things, what do I use with Twitter? Find out. And now that I’ve tested VMware’s Fusion to go along with my examinations of VirtualBox and Parallels, how did that turn out? One of those three is not on the Mac A-List.

Fixing a Firefox user profile, and Foxmarks

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

SNB reader John Volborth wrote to me with a Firefox problem. My solution worked for him, so I thought I would pass it along:


I haven’t used Firefox in a while because of a problem I’ve been having. It won’t let me gather any apps. This is the error message:

Could not initialize the application’s security component. The most likely cause is problems with files in your application’s profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the application and fix the problem. If you continue to use this session, you might see incorrect application behaviour when accessing security features.

Is there any help you can offer me? Thanks.


I’m not clear on what you mean when you say “it won’t let me gather apps,” but more than likely you have a corrupt Firefox user profile. To solve the problem, you’ll need to delete every file in your Mozilla installation and do a clean install of the latest version of the browser. Some of these files hide in places you might not think to look, so it’s important to follow directions on how to fully remove profile.

Leopard Follow-Up: Improved Disk Utility

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Last weekend I posted about issues with performing an Upgrade installation of Leopard on one of my MacBook Pros. That machine is happily running Leopard now with all my data fully intact. But I learned something in the process.

I made a backup of my Tiger installation just prior to performing the upgrade and was able to boot to the backup without difficulty. I also used Disk Utility (the Mac’s onboard disk integrity check and repair tool) to check both of the partitions on the computer’s hard drive. Everything checked out, so I went ahead with the upgrade.

As detailed earlier, I ran into the hanging blue screen after installation on the first restart that many other Leopard upgraders experienced. Many people had reported that the problem cleared up for them when they followed one of two methods for removing a Mac OS X customization utility by Unsanity called Application Performance Enhancement (APE). I didn’t have APE installed on my system, but it had been there and uninstalled with leave-behinds. I used Target disk mode to access the hard drive and remove the offending files. That didn’t solve my problem, so I decided to resort to my backup. So I removed the same offending files there just to be safe, wiped my boot volume, and copied my backup to the boot volume. During the copy process I got the error message that I didn’t have rights to copy three or four unnamed files — a message that made no real sense. And it was at that point that I knew I was in for it.


Problems in Leopard-Upgrade Paradise?

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Stop the presses! Something appears to be wrong with Apple’s Leopard OS X 10.5 upgrade-installation process — at least on some Macs. I ran into the problem on one Mac. It manifests itself as a never-ending “blue screen” (not a Windows term, mind you) after Leopard completes “successful” installation, on the first restart. Many others have encountered the same issue, and you can see evidence of that in the Apple Discussions area in the thread titled Installation appears stuck on a plain blue screen.

If you read through the thread (as well as many others on other forums), you’ll find that various things are blamed for the problem, including an add-on customization utility called Application Enhancement (APE) by Unsanity.

The Apple Discussion thread offers a solution that involves booting in single-user mode, which requires you to hold down the S key while your Mac boots. Apparently that works for some people, but on my MacBook Pro 15, the only boot option that worked at all was Target Disk Mode (which lets you plug in a firewire cable and address the drive from another Mac as if it were an external drive).


Mac Users: Should You Get Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard’?

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

With Apple’s new OS X 10.5 operating system due to ship at 6PM (wherever you are in the world) tomorrow, the question millions of Mac users are asking themselves is: Should I spend $129 on this thing yet? The short answer is: Yes and no, but probably not in that order.

At Computerworld, we’ve put together the quintessential examination of the new Apple OS commonly referred to as Leopard. Check out: In Depth: Apple’s Leopard Leaps to New Heights. Be sure to check out the First Look at Leopard Image Gallery for a complete visual tour of the new OS, complete with a screencam of the Stacks feature.

I like Leopard. The new OS X has over 300 new features according to Apple (I didn’t stop to count them). There are literally oodles of small tweaks and changes. Things like, when you select Shut Down from the Apple menu, the new default countdown time is 60 seconds, not two minutes. (Yeah, I went for something pretty mundane that you probably haven’t read in a hundred other Leopard reviews.)