37.2. aetools — OSA client support

Platforms: Mac

The aetools module contains the basic functionality on which Python AppleScript client support is built. It also imports and re-exports the core functionality of the aetypes and aepack modules. The stub packages generated by gensuitemodule import the relevant portions of aetools, so usually you do not need to import it yourself. The exception to this is when you cannot use a generated suite package and need lower-level access to scripting.

The aetools module itself uses the AppleEvent support provided by the Carbon.AE module. This has one drawback: you need access to the window manager, see section Running scripts with a GUI for details. This restriction may be lifted in future releases.


This module has been removed in Python 3.x.

The aetools module defines the following functions:

aetools.packevent(ae, parameters, attributes)

Stores parameters and attributes in a pre-created Carbon.AE.AEDesc object. parameters and attributes are dictionaries mapping 4-character OSA parameter keys to Python objects. The objects are packed using aepack.pack().

aetools.unpackevent(ae[, formodulename])

Recursively unpacks a Carbon.AE.AEDesc event to Python objects. The function returns the parameter dictionary and the attribute dictionary. The formodulename argument is used by generated stub packages to control where AppleScript classes are looked up.

aetools.keysubst(arguments, keydict)

Converts a Python keyword argument dictionary arguments to the format required by packevent by replacing the keys, which are Python identifiers, by the four-character OSA keys according to the mapping specified in keydict. Used by the generated suite packages.

aetools.enumsubst(arguments, key, edict)

If the arguments dictionary contains an entry for key convert the value for that entry according to dictionary edict. This converts human-readable Python enumeration names to the OSA 4-character codes. Used by the generated suite packages.

The aetools module defines the following class:

class aetools.TalkTo([signature=None, start=0, timeout=0])

Base class for the proxy used to talk to an application. signature overrides the class attribute _signature (which is usually set by subclasses) and is the 4-char creator code defining the application to talk to. start can be set to true to enable running the application on class instantiation. timeout can be specified to change the default timeout used while waiting for an AppleEvent reply.


Test whether the application is running, and attempt to start it if not.

TalkTo.send(code, subcode[, parameters, attributes])

Create the AppleEvent Carbon.AE.AEDesc for the verb with the OSA designation code, subcode (which are the usual 4-character strings), pack the parameters and attributes into it, send it to the target application, wait for the reply, unpack the reply with unpackevent and return the reply appleevent, the unpacked return values as a dictionary and the return attributes.

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37.1. gensuitemodule — Generate OSA stub packages

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37.3. aepack — Conversion between Python variables and AppleEvent data containers

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