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I'm trying to write a script to toggle between Fn keys and app controls on the Touchbar using macOS High Sierra. There a few apps out there that say they can do it but none seem to work for Touchbar. So I'm now trying to write script that opens up the System Preferences, keyboard settings and toggling the Touch Bar setting. So far I have the code below which toggles "Adjust keyboard brightness in low light". I just need to adjust to select an option from the Touch Bar drop down menu.

tell application "System Preferences"
    activate
    set the current pane to pane id "com.apple.preference.keyboard"
    reveal anchor "keyboardTab" of pane id "com.apple.preference.keyboard"
end tell

tell application "System Events" to tell process "System Preferences"
    click checkbox 1 of tab group 1 of window 1
end tell

quit application "System Preferences"

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You can check the components of the UI interface of the application you're trying to script with the "UI elements" command

tell application "System Events"
    tell application process "System Preferences"
        get the UI elements of the window "Keyboard"
    end tell
end tell

you can then drill down the list to find where the required item is

tell application "System Events"
    tell application process "System Preferences"
        get the UI elements of tab group 1 of window "Keyboard"
    end tell
end tell

actually using the Accessibility Inspector app (part of Xcode) can help you to identify which element to inspect

For our purposes, it looks like the popup we are interested into is the pop up button 2 of tab group 1 of window "Keyboard"

Since it is a pop up, to interact with its menu, you have to click on it and then to select the item you want to activate. It can be done by specifying the whole label of the menu item to click, I preferred to simulate the keystrokes needed to switch the selection (either the up or down arrow and then the return)...

tell application "System Preferences"
    -- activate
    reveal anchor "keyboardTab" of pane id "com.apple.preference.keyboard"
end tell

delay 0.5 -- this depends on how fast is your mac

tell application "System Events"
    tell application process "System Preferences"
        set thePopup to pop up button 2 of tab group 1 of window "Keyboard"

        tell thePopup
            click
            delay 0.2

            if the value of thePopup begins with "App" or the value of thePopup begins with "Expanded" then
                key code {125, 125, 125, 36}
            else
                key code {126, 36}
            end if

        end tell

    end tell
end tell

quit application "System Preferences"

by the way, in another question, someone noticed that if you don't activate the System Preferences app, the scripts will still work but without showing its window (you will still see the popup menu being switched, though)

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I'm not in a position to test, however the following example AppleScript code is how I'd write it.

  • With click pop up button n, change n to the correct number.
    • Example: click pop up button 2
  • With click menu item n, change n to the correct number, or use the menu item's name.
    • Examples: click menu item 1 or click menu item "F1, F2, etc. Keys"
    • Note that because I cannot test, in this example, 1 may not be equal to the name shown.

Determine the correct value for n in both click commands, replacing it as appropriate.


Example AppleScript code:

tell application "System Preferences"
    reveal anchor "keyboardTab" of pane id "com.apple.preference.keyboard"
    activate
    delay 1
    tell application "System Events"
        tell tab group 1 of window 1 of application process "System Preferences"
            click pop up button n
            delay 0.2
            click menu item n
            delay 0.2
        end tell
    end tell
    quit
end tell

Note: The example AppleScript code is just that and does not employ any error handling and is meant only to show one of many ways accomplish a task. The onus is always upon the User to add/use appropriate error handling as needed/wanted.

Also note that the value of the delay commands may need to be adjusted for your system and or additional delay commands may or may not be necessary. The delay commands are included herein as an example of what may/can be necessary depending on more then one factor.

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