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How do I make an AppleScript that displays a drop-down menu without using Xcode?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is no built in concept of a menu in the dialogs-alerts within the AppleScript language.

The closest you could do would be to name some dummy files (in a temporary folder) with the appropriate action and have the user choose the file labeled with the action you wanted to perform.

open folder blah
  with selected file bah
    do whatever

A horrendous "solution" to a problem that needs a cocoa menu - whether you make it in Xcode or someone else does - Xcode/IB is the tool that creates a menu. MacRuby is a nice way to script an app that needs a more full featured UI than AppleScript. You don't need Xcode/IB to ruby up an app from pure script.

You could create a NIB using Interface Builder and script it all using AppleScript, but the nib defines the menu itself - not AppleScript (even if AppleScript can populate or delete the menu items at run time).

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Thank you very much!! – daviesgeek Aug 12 '11 at 20:27

One option would be to use CocoaDialog:

set l to {"aa", "bb", "cc"}
set choices to ""
repeat with x in l
    set choices to choices & quoted form of x & " "
end repeat
set dialog to paragraphs of (do shell script "/Applications/" & " standard-dropdown --title title --text text --items " & choices)
if item 1 of dialog is "2" then return -- pressed cancel button
item ((item 2 of dialog) + 1) of l

You could also just use choose from list:

choose from list {"aa", "bb", "cc"} with title "title" with prompt "prompt" default items "bb" with multiple selections allowed

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Additionally, if you just need a list to choose from, you could also do

choose from list listYouDefined with prompt "Choose from the list."

Google "AppleScript Choose from list".

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You don't need Xcode for AppleScript. Just open the 'AppleScript Editor' in 'Applications/Utilities' (Finder shortcut for the Utilities folder: ⌘+shift+u). There is some sample code for dropdown menus here.

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I have already looked at that link. The script requires a NIB/Xcode interface. – daviesgeek Aug 12 '11 at 20:26
It's a great example of how AppleScript can modify the menu items at run time though :-) – bmike Aug 12 '11 at 20:33
Yeah, but not exactly what I'm looking for. – daviesgeek Aug 12 '11 at 21:30

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