The ultimate assistant for GUI Scripting and Accessibility
UI Browser is the ultimate assistant for Apple's AppleScript GUI Scripting and Accessibility technologies. It helps you to explore, monitor, and control the User Interface elements of most Mac OS X applications running on your computer.
Choose an application in UI Browser's Target menu to browse its UI elements, or use the built-in Screen Reader or press a hot key to read any application's UI elements on the screen under the mouse. Then use UI Browser to perform actions on the selected UI element, get and set its attributes, send keystrokes to the target application, and observe notifications when any of the target's UI elements change. Use UI Browser to test the target while you write GUI Scripting scripts or while you add accessibility features to applications you are developing, and you can be confident they will work as expected.
UI Browser is an indispensable tool for scripters who use Apple's AppleScript GUI Scripting technology. With GUI Scripting, you can automate an application by scripting its user interface even if it does not support AppleScript. GUI Scripting opens up whole new worlds for script writers, much as PreFab Player did for the classic Mac OS. But there's a catch: it's very difficult to figure out how to specify the UI elements you want to control with your scripts. UI Browser solves this problem. UI Browser understands the arrangement of an application's UI elements, and it knows their names and AppleScript index numbers. It helps you navigate the user interface hierarchy of a target application and enables you to generate useful AppleScript statements with a single click.
UI Browser takes full advantage of the many GUI Scripting and Accessibility features built into Mac OS X. You can write and distribute scripts that will run "out of the box" on all Macintosh computers back to Mac OS X 10.3 Panther!
UI Browser may be purchased for $55.00 US.
NEW RELEASE! ‐ NOW AVAILABLE: UI Browser 2.4.4, released May 2014.
Supports OS X 10.9 Mavericks
IMPORTANT NOTE: A few customers have reported that UI Browser 2.4.4 begins crashing at launch shortly after they start using it. Reports indicate that this can be prevented by deleting the UI Browser preferences file at ~/Library/Preferences/com.pfiddlesoft.uibrowser.plist, then logging out and back in. You can open the user Library folder by holding down the Option key while choosing Go > Library in the Finder. We have not yet found the cause of this issue, but we will post an update of UI Browser, free for registered owners of version 2.0.0 and newer, as soon as it is fixed
Read all about UI Browser on our website:
- Screenshots and videos
- Comparison of UI Browser to Apple's free UIElementInspector (sometimes known as Accessibility Inspector)
- Press - includes minor improvements and bug fixes as well as fixing an occasional crash, in UI Browser 2.4.4 on May 4, 2014
- Support - including general GUI Scripting tips
And in these articles:
- Developer to Developer, an article by Boisy Pitre in MacTech, May 2012
- Automate Publishing Workflows with AppleScript, an article by Damon Casey in i.Business Magazine, September 2011
- PreFab UI Browser 2.0 Better Than Ever, an article by Matt Neuburg in TidBITS #861, January 8, 2007
- AppleScript Essentials - User Interface Scripting, an article by Ben Waldie in MacTech, June 2005 (great background on GUI Scripting; mentions UI Browser)
- Scripting the Unscriptable, an article by Matt Neuburg in TidBITS #670, March 10, 2003 (great background on GUI Scripting and the Accessibility API; mentions UI Browser)
- UI Browser preview & MacOS X GUI Scripting, a pre-release review at MacScripter.net (the current release of UI Browser includes many features that were not in the version they reviewed)
And in these books covering AppleScript:
- Hamish Sanderson and Hanaan Rosenthal, Learn AppleScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Scripting and Automation on Mac OS X, Third Edition (APress 2010)
- Mark Conway Munro, AppleScript Developer Reference (Wiley Publishing 2010)
- Sal Soghoian and Bill Cheeseman, Apple Training Series: AppleScript 1-2-3 (Peachpit Press, 2009)
- Matt Neuburg, AppleScript: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition (O'Reilly & Associates 2006)
- Adam Goldstein, AppleScript: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly & Associates 2005)
- Rael Dornfest and James Duncan Davidson, Mac OS X Panther Hacks (O'Reilly & Associates 2004)
- Tom Trinko, AppleScript for Dummies (2nd ed., Wiley-VCH 2004)
- Jesse Feiler, Sams Teach Yourself AppleScript in 24 Hours (Sams Publishing 2003)
Developers: License the PFiddlesoft Frameworks. UI Browser installs the PFAssistive and PFEventTaps Frameworks as shared frameworks in Library/Frameworks. The PFiddlesoft Frameworks support 64-bit architectures using reference counted memory management and ARC. Licenses are free for personal use and for distribution or use with any product you distribute without charge. A flat one-time license fee of $250 US is required for distribution or use of each framework with a 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 August 16, 2014.
Copyright © 2003-2014 Bill Cheeseman. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.
PFiddlesoft, PFiddle Software, PFiddle, PFiddles and the PFiddlesoft logo are trademarks of PreForm Assistive Technologies, LLC.
Download UI Browser 2.4.4, released May 2014 with minor improvements and bug fixes as well as fixing an occasional crash. It runs as a fully functional free trial version for 30 days after you first use it unless you already have a valid registration key.
This version of UI Browser runs on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or newer. See the Requirements section below for details.
Obtain a registration key from eSellerate to unlock the trial version. Either choose UI Browser > Registration > Obtain Key Online in the trial version of UI Browser while connected to the Internet, or go to our Online Store. UI Browser is $55.00 US.
Updates for current customers: This version runs as a free upgrade for registered owners of UI Browser 2.0.0 and newer. UI Browser 1.4.1 and older is no longer supported and no free upgrade path is available.
Users of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and older: UI Browser 2.4.4 does not run under versions of Mac OS X older than Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. If you need to run UI Browser under Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, download UI Browser 2.3.0, released November 2012. If you need to run UI Browser under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, download UI Browser 2.1.1, released September 2010. If you need to run UI Browser under Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, download UI Browser 2.0.5, released July 2007.
UI Browser 2.4.4 requires Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or newer. At this writing, version 2.4.4 has been tested successfully through OS X 10.9.4 Mavericks. It recognizes all of the new Accessibility constants Apple added in Mountain Lion and Mavericks.
Older versions of UI Browser run on older versions of Mac OS X. UI Browser 2.3.0 runs under Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, UI Browser 2.1.1 runs under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and UI Browser 2.0.5 runs under Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. UI Browser 1.4.1 for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther is no longer available.
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 run on all computers equipped with Panther or newer, but some GUI Scripting features require newer versions of Mac OS X. (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.)
For a whole new way to run AppleScript scripts, get UI Actions for "universal attachability."
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.