AppleScript: Control your Mac with an e-mail
This process is fairly easy and involves creating a simple AppleScript and some Mail rules. Note that since these rules will cause your Mac to perform the listed action when they run, be careful when testing!
Continue reading to learn how to build this AppleScript.
Creating the AppleScripts
For this how-to, I am going to show you how to shutdown, restart, and sleep your Mac. Just copy the following scripts into the Script Editor.app (~/Applications/AppleScript/Script Editor.app). These scripts are the Finder scripts that I showed you earlier.
tell application "Finder"
tell application "Finder" to restart
tell application "Finder"
Saving your AppleScript
Click File > Save and choose "Script" from the "File Format:" drop-down box. Remember where you save the .scpt file.
Setting the Mail rules
This part is fairly simple and settings may vary by user preference. Open Mail.app and navigate your way to Preferences > Rules and click "Add Rule," then follow these instructions for each command you want to use:
- Add a description (this is for your information)
- Select "All" from the "if" drop-down box
- Under "If all of the following conditions are met:", add these things: (you will need to click the "+" to add the second item)
- "Subject" ... "Contains" ... "System"
- "Message Content" ... "Contains" ... "shutdown"
- Under the "Perform following actions:", add these things: (you will need to click the "+" to add the second item)
- "Set Color" ... "of text" ... "Red"
- "Run AppleScript" ...
- Beside the "Run AppleScript" action, you will see a choose box, click it and navigate to where your saved script is located. Click on the script and then on "Choose File"
To run the script, all you have to do is send an e-mail to your account with the subject and message contents as you specified them in creating the rules. For the rule that I created, I would send a message with "System" as the subject and "shutdown" as the contents of the message.
- You can include unusual characters for message content conditions (i.e. #, @, or ^) in order to avoid accidentally running a script that you didn't want (for example use: #shutdown# instead of just shutdown)
- If you have multiple rules in Mail.app, you might want to consider using "Stop Evaluating Mail Rules" as an additional action
- It is also a good idea to have Mail.app check for new messages often for this to work well
Next week, I will show you how to apply this to iTunes in order to control your party shuffle.
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