I have a AppleScript that runs from a cron job. The script is:

tell application "System Events"
set frontApp to name of first application process whose frontmost is true
end tell
tell application frontApp
if the (count of windows) is not 0 then
    set window_name to name of front window
end if
end tell

(which I got from https://stackoverflow.com/questions/480866/get-the-title-of-the-current-active-window-document-in-mac-os-x in an example of one of many instances where SO has had the answer to a query ready for me)

I use the script to populate a file like this


2013-08-07_20:55:04convert - Linux Command - Unix Command
2013-08-07_20:56:05matlab graph colors.... - Stack Overflow
2013-08-07_20:57:06matlab graph colors.... - Stack Overflow
2013-08-07_20:58:07matlab graph colors.... - Stack Overflow
2013-08-07_20:59:08matlab graph colors.... - Stack Overflow
2013-08-07_21:00:10printing - Save MATLAB figure with different background color - Stack Overflow
2013-08-07_21:01:11matlab graph colors.... - Stack Overflow
2013-08-07_21:02:12Changing matlab b - Stack Overflow

to keep track of my time. It works well but I have issues like - all I'm getting from the Apple Script is the title of the window i.e.

matlab graph colors.... - Stack Overflow

Whereas what I'd like is a little more information, like active application (Chrome) in this instance - can someone point me in the direction of either a) how to modify the script so that I get the application name as well as the window title, or b) where I find a handy API that tells me how to do a)


  • Can you include the whole script in your question?
    – nohillside
    Aug 8, 2013 at 16:46
  • That is the whole script - I've got a wrapper in bash that adds the datestamp and writes to file, but that's it...
    – Joe
    Aug 8, 2013 at 20:12
  • @Joe. I am doing something similar but the i am a facing a issue wherein when i minimise my active window i keep on getting details of the minimised window. Did you face any such problem with the script ?
    – bhavya_w
    Sep 12, 2016 at 10:05

2 Answers 2

tell application "System Events" to tell (process 1 where frontmost is true)
    set o to name
        set o to o & ":" & name of window 1
    end try
end tell
  • This will need need assistive access to the executing script Jan 23, 2015 at 2:26

This looks like what you are looking for:

set app_name to name of (info for (path to frontmost application))
  • 1
    info for has been deprecated in favor of tell app "System Events" to properties of.
    – Lri
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:11

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