How can the max. width (fixed width≈425) of Safari's download-popover-window be made wider?

Is there a way to get at Safari's "download pop over window" in any way so its max-size is larger than 425 px and longer file names are no longer abbreviated?
Maybe via AppleScriptObjC?

[[ Answers: So far (w/o use of AS-objC) just three "workarounds" have come around...

  • Original Workaround #1 ... a mixture of (do) shellScript (cat/sed), AS, Html and Automator
  • Workaround # 1 ... uses only Automator modules but also contains the above shell script
  • Workaround # 2 ... with direct AS access on Safari's plist file, a dialog & a "button" in Safari

WA #2 is my favorite; the others' "windows" are more flexible. Both use Automator shortcuts. ]]

  • Not sure if it works, but sometime web browsers have a page dedicated to downloads, so I'd try downloads:// (like bookmarks://)
    – At0mic
    Nov 22 '15 at 0:21
  • Thanks, IronCraftMan, but sadly your idea doesn't work with El Capitan's Safari ... although the Bookmarks thing DOES. Nov 22 '15 at 19:33
  • Could you hit us up in the chat room or ask on meta how to fix this? It's a mess of a blog post and Q/A seems a bit destroyed at this point. Also, we need to sort out code level issues and get this to stack overflow if that fits your audience better.
    – bmike
    Dec 7 '15 at 7:24
  • You're right, I assume I use this page as a kind of "notebook" for myself. Actually I've stumbled over so many workarounds, using combinations of applescript or automator or inline-shell scripts, that I may have lost a clear path. But AS YET there has not been posted an answer directly approaching the "Safari popover window size" issue, I'm afraid ... I wouldn't mind if this Question was moved to stackoverflow at all. Dec 7 '15 at 9:21

Original Workaround #1:

The first one here has got the advantage to use only one Automator action and allows quite precise settings of the resulting Safari-owned window. Its end results are a "service" in Safari's menus plus a keyboard shortcut.
These components are involved:

  • Safari's "Download.plist" (in: Library/Safari)
  • A shell script running cat & sed, filtering the plist-file's input into "Downloads1.html"
  • An Html file "Downloads2.html" holding Html tags of your choice (w/o finishing tags: </...)
  • An AppleScript containing a "do shell script" command, "telling" Safari to open an
  • ... Html file "Downloads.html", generated by shell script, in order to at last get …
  • Automator to place a workflow in Safari's "Services" menu.

This code runs as an Automator Service (without "run" commands it's plain AppleScript):

on run {input, parameters} 
 -- [Only if needed, place: "LANG=C; LC_CTYPE=C; LC_ALL=C;" in front of "cd"]

    do shell script "cd ˜/Users/[myName]/Library/Safari/;
             rm Downloads.html;
             cat Downloads.plist | sed -n ' { s/.*Downloads/<p>D`load => /; ¬
                     s/.*Trash/<p>Trashed => / ; s/.*Movies/<p>Movies => /; ¬
                     s/mp4.*/mp4<p>/ p; }' > Downloads1.html';
             cat Downloads2.html Downloads1.html > Downloads.html;"

    tell application "Safari"
        make new document at end of documents with properties ¬
        set bounds of window 1 to {700, 62, 1280, 450} 
    end tell 
    return input 
end run

(The shell script and "make new document…" are meant to be one liners each.)

Integrated are two "filters" to the sed part (.*Movies & .*Trash) so my browser window looks like this (you may edit these filters or/and add Extensions to your needs):

+----------------------- Toolbar -------------------------+
|                                                         |
|  D'load => /Some_sinster_TV_series_S02E01_15.11.21_00-  |
|  40_BBC3_93_TVOON_DE.mpg.HQ.avi.otrkey                  |
|                                                         |
|  Movies => DS9.4.07_Little_green_men.mp4                |
|                                                         |
|  Trashed => /DS9.3.09_Defiant.mp4                       |
|                                                         |
|  Trashed => /DS9.3.07_Civil_Defense.mp4                 |
|                                                         |

(Those leading slashes suck… hard to filter out, though.)

  • The commented out second line may be needed, or may not…
  • Replace [myName] with your own user name.
  • To use this code as "service" in Safari, you have to paste it inside a "Run AppleScript" field in automator. Save it as "workflow".
  • You can then create a shortcut (e.g.: opt-cmd-d) that will run it instantaneously (System-Prefences / Keyboard / Shortcuts / Services).
  • My solution is not really sophisticated, but I learned (glimpsed) a lot about sed, awk, cat and AppleScript/Automator.
  • I've cleaned up your answer a bit with code formatting. Don't use HTML — this is a Markdown editor. Feel free to edit further if I've lost important information from your answer.
    – grg
    Dec 5 '15 at 14:20
  • Thanx a lot grgarside. I couldn't find a way to get my mixture of shell and applescript displayed here correctly as all those special characters tend to behave quite weird when posted here. MY FAULT ... Dec 5 '15 at 14:26
  • Here's a quick guide to Markdown. Using four spaces to indent a line will preserve the text; four spaces can be batch-inserted with the toolbar button or ⌘K.
    – grg
    Dec 5 '15 at 14:28
  • Is this easier than putting a downloads folder set to fan view in the dock?
    – samh
    Dec 6 '15 at 0:54
  • I just answered that question as an EDIT in my original question on this page. I've got good reasons NOT to display all dozens of files in my Downloads folder ... ; -) Dec 6 '15 at 10:45

Workaround #2

My preferred solution uses applescript to access "Downloads.plist" directly (no shell scripting), and places a link in Safari's favorites bar for your convenience.
First you save these scripts into "~/Library/Scripts/Folder action scripts/" folder, next you attach them (context menu: configure folder actions) to a new "Folder1" somewhere deep down on your Mac.
To activate them, you will address a (meaningless) dummy "Folder2" inside "Folder1" thru this bookmark:

file:///Path/to/first/Folder1/Folder2   [place link in your favorites bar!]

Now, what's happening:
- The clicked-on toolbar link will open "Folder1" because the called upon "Folder2" is inside.
- Thus BOTH attached scripts are launched, #-1 closing the bookmarked "Folder2" window...
- ... next ordering "System Events" to get all of Safari's "DownloadEntryPath" items.
- These paths are shortened to name plus parent-folder and collected into a "dialog alert".
- (Waiting for "dialog window":) #-2 script immediately on pop-up moves it to the top-right.

on opening folder this_folder
    tell application "Finder" to close front window
    tell application "System Events"
        set the plist_path to "~/Library/Safari/Downloads.plist"
        set the plist_file to property list file plist_path
        set downloadItems to property list items of property list item ¬
            "DownloadHistory" of plist_file
        set DL_display to ""
        set AppleScript's text item delimiters to {"/"}

        repeat with i from 1 to number of items in downloadItems
            set DL_item to (get text items -2 thru -1 of ((value of ¬
                property list item "DownloadEntryPath" of property ¬
                list item i of property list item 1 of plist_file) as string))
            set DL_display to DL_display & return & "[" & ¬
                text item 1 of DL_item & ":]" & return & text item 2 of ¬
                DL_item & return
        end repeat

        tell application "Finder" to display dialog DL_display as string ¬
            buttons {"Close"} default button 1 -- NEW: tell appl. "Finder" to
    end tell
end opening folder

If you attach this 2nd "folder action script", it'll move the "dialog" to the right/top of your screen:

on opening folder this_folder
    tell application "Finder"
        set screenRgt to bounds of the window of desktop
        set rightEdge to (item 3 of screenRgt) - 425
    end tell
    tell application "System Events" to tell process "Finder"
        repeat while not (exists window "Recent downloads")
        end repeat
        delay 0.1   -- wait (and make sure...) for "dialog window" !
        set position of window "Recent downloads" to {rightEdge, 61}
    end tell
end opening folder

The only drawback to this solution IMO is, that for a moment each the opened folder and the alert "flash" over your screen...


Workaround #1

As so far no answer explained how to programmatically influence Safari's pop over window:

Using only Automator

Here is a way to get a "Recent downloads" list displayed, which uses only Automator.

  • You needn't use AppleScript here at all. Instead it takes 4 of Automator's modules to run.
  • It will pop-up a nicely framed (Automator-style) browser window.
    (You'll need to place a "Downloads2.html" file, containing your html tags w/o end-tags, inside /Users/[myName]/Library/Safari, though.)
  1. After opening File > New > Service in Automator, double-click:
    AutomatorDo shell script

    Next, paste the following code into the window on the right side:

    # only if needed, place as 1st line: LANG=C; LC_CTYPE=C; LC_ALL=C;
    cd /Users/[myName]/Library/Safari;
    cat -su Downloads.plist | sed -n  '{ s/.*Downloads/<p>D`load => / ; ¬
          s/otrkey.*/otrkey/ p; s/.*Trash/<p>Trashed => / ; ¬
          s/.*Movies/<p>Movies =>  /;  s/mp4.*/mp4<p>/ p; }' > Downloads1.html;
    rm Downloads.html;
    cat Downloads2.html Downloads1.html > Downloads.html;
  2. Double-click Pause from Automator's list of actions.

    I chose 0.1 / Seconds but had to check the Ignore input from this action button (Options). I found that on my computer Safari would display an empty window if I didn't grant the next action a pause…

  3. Add Get Specified URLs from Safari's action list. Remove any given URLs and choose the [ADD] button. Then write:

  4. Finally, the last step is to double-click Website-Pop-Up from Safari's. My parameters:

    • Site–size: Custom
    • Values: 600 x 300
    • Position: Centered

    (Safari's focus will remain on the front window, so you can't press "ESC" to close the pop-up.)

  5. You might add: System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Services; (e.g.: opt-cmd-d).

(Have a look at the resulting window at "Original Workaround #1" further up, as both examples use identical Html files for their looks!)

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