AppleScript basics

AppleScript can be a powerful tool for automation in Remote Desktop.

AppleScript is a powerful and versatile scripting language that is built into OS X. You can use AppleScript with Remote Desktop to create shortcuts, automate repetitive tasks, or even make custom apps that save you a great amount of time. Scripts can make decisions based on user interaction, or by parsing and analyzing data, documents, or situations. AppleScript is a complete language with conditional statements, comparison and arithmetic operations, and the ability to store variables.

For information about learning how to program with AppleScript, see AppleScript Help in OS X Help.

AppleScript scripts consist of commands that are sent to objects. Objects can be a wide variety of things, including apps, scripts, windows, settings, or the Finder. These objects can receive a specific set of commands and respond with the desired actions. Essentially, a script tells an app (Remote Desktop in this case) to either complete a certain task or retrieve information. You can give the script decision-making capabilities by using conditional statements, and you can give the script a memory by defining variables.

All the basic functions in Remote Desktop are scriptable. As an administrator, you can use an AppleScript script to perform any task that you normally accomplish by pointing and clicking. For example, you can:

  • Get information about a computer

  • Rename a computer

  • Add computers to a list

  • Copy or install items

  • Execute a report task