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Want to Learn AppleScript? Check Out this Book

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It took five years, but the book on AppleScript finally came out: AppleScript 1-2-3, by Sal Soghoian and Bill Cheeseman. I’ve known Sal for almost 20 years, and while his jazz bass guitar playing is pretty darn good, his scripting is out of this world. He was voted least-likely-to-ever-get-a-job-at-a-big-company, but suddenly (some years ago) he was hired as the applescript evangelist and product manager at Apple. As such, he not only saved AppleScript from an early demise, but in fact has become the face of AppleScript to the world.

So it’s fitting that his face is actually on the cover of the book… made from bits of code. It’s trippy. But no more trippy than The Dude.

(By the way, Sal actually pulled off the world’s best demo ever about a decade ago, when he showed how to lay out a page in QX and send it to Kinkos, completely automated using AppleScript… triggered by buttons pressed on a cell phone from across the stage. This was long before iphones, and he had to actually dial in to a Sophisticated Circuits UPS unit which translated phone tones to applescript messages. It was jaw-dropping.)

Anyway, I digress. Bill Cheeseman is no slouch at AppleScript either, having been one of the world’s great AS resources for many years. (Though it still weirds me out that a guy named Cheeseman lives in a place called Quechee, Vermont.)

Sal has been trying to write this book for what seems like forever. Bill finally came along to help and add his own brilliance. And now it’s a book. Actually in print.

More after the jump! Continue reading below
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So the whole point here is: If you want to learn AppleScript, you need this book. There. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at LinkedIn Learning ( are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
  • Harry Brindley says:

    Thanks for the heads up Dave! This book has been long in the making, I’ve had it in my Amazon Wish List since December 8, 2003 — but having attending one of Sal’s workshops I’m expecting this to be an authoritative resource and although I’m a long time scripter myself, I’m still buying this book today.

  • Sal Soghoian says:

    Thank you for the kind words.

    Here’s a tip for those who are interested, there are two chapters from the book posted on the AppleScript website for those that would like to give it a spin before buying:

    Regarding the phone demo: I STILL hear from folks occasionally about that. Thanks for remembering!

  • Weller says:

    I gave up my battle with Apple Script years ago. It’s Javascript for InDesign and Python for OS (both Bill & Steve) now. And I’m independent from proprietary dead-end stuff like WindowsScriptingHost or Applescript.

    Anyway I’m still glad there is a good reading on the subject out there. When I struggled with AS, books were filled with pointles material about scripting iTunes.

  • Here are the samples from the book that Sal mentioned:

    First tutorial
    Working with Images

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