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UI Actions

"Universal Attachability" for AppleScript

UI Actions icon UI Actions icon UI Actions icon UI Actions icon UI Actions icon

UI Actions brings "universal attachability" to AppleScript, greatly enhancing your control over applications running on your computer. Attach a UI Action script to any standard native OS X application, and UI Actions automatically runs the script whenever you perform specified user actions in the target application. You write the script, and you select the user action that triggers it, such as choosing a menu item, changing the value of a text field, opening a drawer or window, or activating an application.

UI Actions is a scriptable faceless background application, enabling you to use AppleScript commands to attach and detach UI Action scripts, to export and import sets of UI actions, to enable and disable them, and to get a reference to the affected UI element for use in your UI Action scripts.

UI Actions Setup iconMac OS X logo The included UI Actions Setup application works with UI Actions. It provides a convenient graphical user interface to attach UI Action scripts to applications and to manage all of your UI Action scripts.

UI Actions is based on Apple's Accessibility API, and it fully supports GUI Scripting with AppleScript. You can write and distribute UI Action scripts that will run on any Macintosh computer where UI Actions is installed!

UI Actions supports new accessibility features introduced by Apple over the years, including those in OS X v10.10 Yosemite, OS X v10.11 El Capitan and macOS v10.12 Sierra.

UI Actions may be purchased for $35.00 US.

NOW AVAILABLE: UI Actions 2.3.0, released October 2014.

Successfully tested through OS X v10.11 El Capitan. UI Actions is not yet working on macOS v10.12 Sierra—watch for an update.

Read all about UI Actions on our web site:

  • Features
  • Screenshots
  • Press - review the new features added to UI Actions over the years since it was first introduced in 2004
  • Support - including general UI Actions tips, and special notes for users running UI Actions 2.3.0 under OS X v10.7 Lion or v10.8 Mountain Lion

And in our first review:

  • in ATPM (About This Particular Macintosh). UI Actions now implements almost all of the suggestions made in this detailed review of UI Actions 1.0.

And in print:

Developers: License the PFiddlesoft Frameworks. UI Actions installs the PFAssistive Framework as shared frameworks in Library/Frameworks. The PFiddlesoft Frameworks support 64-bit architectures using reference counted memory management or ARC. Licenses are free for personal use and for distribution or use with a product you distribute without charge. A flat one-time license fee of $250 US is required for distribution or use of each framework with any product for which you request or require payment. Source code is available for a separate fee. Different terms apply to large or established commercial software developers. For more information, and to download the PFiddlesoft Frameworks and their documentation and licenses, go to the PFiddlesoft Frameworks page.

This page was first published by PFiddlesoft on May 25, 2010. Last updated September 20, 2016.
Copyright © 2003-2016 Bill Cheeseman. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.
PFiddlesoft, PFiddle Software, and the PFiddlesoft logo are trademarks of PreForm Assistive Technologies, LLC.




Download UI Actions 2.3.0, released October 2014. It runs as a fully functional trial version, expiring 30 days after you first use it unless you have a valid registration key.

This version of UI Actions runs on OS X v10.7 Lion or newer. UI Actions is not yet working on macOS v10.12 Sierra—watch for an update. See the Requirements section below for details.

Obtain a registration key from eSellerate to unlock the trial version. Either choose UI Actions > Registration > Obtain Key Online in the trial version of UI Actions Setup while connected to the Internet, or go to our Online Store. UI Actions is $35.00 US. Quantity discounts are available for 5 or more licenses.

eSellerate web store buttoneSellerate is a software commerce provider specializing in the sale and delivery of digital goods. Purchasing online through the eSellerate system is fast, easy, and secure.

Updates for current customers: This version runs as a free update for all registered users of earlier versions of UI Actions.

Users of Mac OS X v10.6 Mountain Lion or older: UI Actions 2.3.0 does not run under versions of OS X older than OS X v10.7 Lion. If you need to run UI Actions under Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, download UI Actions 2.1.3, released June 2012. If you need to run UI Actions under Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard, download UI Actions 2.0.1, released September 2010. If you need to run UI Actions under Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger, download UI Actions 1.2.1, released June 2007. If you need to run UI Actions under Mac OS X v10.3 Panther, download UI Actions 1.1.1, released May 2005.

Download Automator Actions for UI Actions version 1.0, for use with UI Actions 1.1.1 and older. These four Automator actions are free, but they require UI Actions to work. They let you add steps to an Automator workflow to attach and detach your UI Action scripts automatically, in case you prefer not to write AppleScript scripts or use UI Actions Setup to do it. Although UI Actions 1.1.1 runs under Mac OS X v10.3 Panther or newer, Automator requires Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger or newer. (You do not need the separate Automator Actions download if you are using UI Actions 1.2 or newer, because the Automator Actions are now built into UI Actions.)


UI Actions 2.3.0 requires OS X v10.7 Lion or newer. At this writing, version 2.3.0 has been tested successfully through OS X v10.11 El Capitan. UI Actions is not yet working on macOS v10.12 Sierra—watch for an update.

Older versions of UI Actions are still available. UI Actions 2.1.3 runs under Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard. UI Actions 2.0.1 runs under Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. UI Actions 1.2.1, runs under Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger. UI Actions 1.1.1 runs under Mac OS X v10.3 Panther. All of these older versions run with some limitations compared to the latest version.

UI Action scripts will be triggered by user actions only if the UI Actions faceless background application and the PFAssistive framework are installed on the user's computer. They are included in the download.

Apple's GUI Scripting technology was officially introduced in Panther as a standard feature of Mac OS X. Scripts written using the GUI Scripting technology will run on all computers equipped with Panther or newer, but some GUI Scripting features require newer OS versions. (Apple successfully concluded the GUI Scripting public beta test on Jaguar, and the beta version of the underlying GUI Scripting software for Jaguar is no longer available.)

Also get UI Browser, the "ultimate assistant" for GUI Scripting.

To explore what your applications can do with Quartz Event Taps, get the free developer utility Event Taps Testbench.

To write your own assistive applications, license the PFiddlesoft Frameworks.