After updating from Safari 13 to Safari 14 (on macOS 10.15.6), I have noticed that all of my text-filtering Automator workflows no longer work correctly when invoked from the updated Safari.

For an example of such a workflow, see the screenshot below. It shows a simple workflow that takes the current text selection, pipes it through the fmt command, and replaces the original selection with that command’s output:

fmt: an example of text-filtering workflow

I have a few workflows of this construction, i.e., consisting of a single Run Shell Script action running a command that takes the text selection on its stdin and outputs the text to replace the selection with on its stdout. I have been using them without any issues for quite a long time (at least, for the last two major releases of macOS).

However, when a workflow like that is run from the newly updated Safari 14, it fails to replace the text selection with the output of the workflow. Instead, it simply deletes the selected text. The issue is clearly specific to Safari 14 only, because the same workflows still work correctly (i.e., replace the selection with the command’s output) in all other apps (e.g., TextEdit).

Is this caused by some security-related novelty in Safari 14 that can be disabled, or is it simply a regression bug that has been introduced in this update? Are there any known workarounds aside from simulating copying and pasting for the command output in Automator workflows?

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    I was just writing a script and debugging it inside of Safari 14, where I'll most likely use the script mainly. I didn't realize that this occurred so thank you for posting the question. A workaround I tested is to add an additional action to copy the output of the workflow to the clipboard and then you can just paste the output back into Safari. Not ideal, but could provide additional functionality if you're okay with having it take up room in your clipboard.
    – cody.codes
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 16:39
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    Yeah, you can even try to trigger a Cmd+V keypress to paste the output from the clipboard via an AppleScript action, but I’m not sure whether it will work. And even then, it would feel very annoying, given that replacement of the selected text had been working perfectly all along through version 13 of Safari. I hope macOS 11 update will fix it. If not, we should report the bug.
    – ib.
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 22:20
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    I also noticed that when my instance of Safari 14 is running for a while, its Safari > Services menu loses track of all the services, showing an empty submenu (“No Services Apply”). So, there are definitely some bugs in Safari 14 that break interoperation with services in general.
    – ib.
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 22:26
  • Did you check if the accessibility options under security is enabled for this version? Maybe the system recognizes it as a new program? Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 4:03
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    @cody.codes: It looks like the bug has been finally fixed in the just-released Safari 14.0.3 (in macOS 11.2), at least in my experience with it! You can go back to your script and perhaps remove whatever workarounds you had to add to it due to the bug.
    – ib.
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


It is quite obvious at this point that it is indeed a bug. After persisting for several months in Safari versions 14.0, 14.0.1, and 14.0.2, on both macOS Catalina (up to 10.15.7) and Big Sur (up to 11.1), the bug has finally been fixed in Safari 14.0.3 with the release of macOS 11.2 on February 1, 2021.

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