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I'd like to export my iMessages logs into text files that can be read by people without the iMessages app. Simply opening the .ichat files in a text editor includes a bunch of additional strings and hashes. Opening them in iMessages and copy-pasting into a text editor works, but I'd prefer to automate the process if possible.

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4 Answers 4

If you are familiar with sqlite, you can just export the messages directly from the database on Mountain Lion iMessage.

sqlite3 /Users/(username)/Library/Messages/chat.db

From the database, you can send sql commands to get any and all messages and associated fields you have interest. Further, you can change the output settings to write directly to a file.

Also, in addition to the database, all photos are stored in the Attachments folder.

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This wouldn't be a perfect solution, but I notice that the messages are always between Ä_ and _$. You could write a script to extract all the text which started and ended with those characters. (any language with rexex support would do)

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If you select print from the file menus, when the print box opens in the lower left is a pdf button with a drop down. From here you can save as pdf, post script, mail as pdf or send to iTunes.

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This seems like an ideal application of Automator workflows or AppleScript, since both of those can do "press buttons onscreen" style behavior. You'd say "take file as input," and use something under "print" or "messages" if there are either of those, or use AppleScript to tell it to open the file and press file and print and save as pdf and then close the file.

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