Is it possible to use Automator to script an arbitrary scriptable application the way it is possible to load the application's dictionary to Script Editor and use AppleScript to script it?


If I understood what you want...

What you got on the left side of Automator (Action Library) is basically that.

Here you can see an example of Transmit Automator Action showing up in the menu.

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If you can't find application Actions there, then it's likely that the application doesn't support Automator. In my personal experience, not many applications do.

Although sometimes they fail to show up in automator. If that happens, I'd check the application contents (right click > show contents) and find a folder that contains the automator actions. You can then just open the files and Automator should open up and ask if you want to install the actions. It should move the actions to ~/Library/Automator/

Automator is often used to create a trigger for scripts, since it's more common for applications to have Applescript support. Alternatively you can just force things to happen in the application by navigating the application menu with a script or triggering shortcut keys the application supports. Of course you can also use countless other applications for triggering scripts, it doesn't have to be Automator.

  • Allow me to recap your main points in my own words to make sure I understand. Please let me know if I got it correctly. Automator can only script applications that were written expressly to support such functionality. It is possible for an application to be scriptable by AppleScript but not by Automator. A necessary indication that an application supports Automator scriptability is that the application's package (which can be browsed in Finder by right-clicking the application's executable and choosing Show Package Contents) contains a Contents/Automator folder. – Evan Aad Apr 20 '17 at 2:38
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    Yes. Though I'd say that you should perhaps search from the application website or description to see if it mentions that it supports Automator or Automator Actions. I'm not entirely sure if all apps that do support it, actually package them with the app or if that folder path is always the same. – Joonas Apr 20 '17 at 4:34
  • If app website says it supports Automator, I'd open Automator and enter the application name into the search field and if it's not there, check the app contents or the website for more info. – Joonas Apr 20 '17 at 4:46
  • Just a little correction to my own comment. Content/Automator should have been Content/Library/Automator. – Evan Aad Apr 20 '17 at 6:00

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