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Trigger an Alert Dialog Pop-Up in Command Line on Mac OS

Trigger an Alert Dialog Pop-Up in Command Line on Mac OS

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Ever wish you had a pop-up dialogup on the Mac via the Terminal? Well, it turns out you can with the ever-useful osascript command, which runs AppleScript from the terminal. For those who spend a lot of time on the macOS command line, this can be a great little bit trick to notify you when a specific task has been completed, or even to be included as part of a script. This is kind of a visual approach to one of my favorite simple terminals tricks that is to verbally announce when a command line task is completed.

Let’s take a look at how advanced Mac users can activate warning dialogs in the MacOS GUI from the command line. You can choose to specify a specification application to use the popupup alert to show up inside, or, perhaps even better, trigger an alert dialog in whatever the main application in Mac OS X is.

And yes, this works in any existing version of macOS or Mac OS X, so there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues here.

How to Create an Alert Pop dialogUp in Mac OS

Perhaps the most useful dialog alert is one that is visible everywhere and thus sent to the main application. This ensures that the warning box is not missed.

The syntax to trigger a warning box in the front program on the Mac is as follows:

osascript -e ‘tell the application (path to the front application as text) to display the “Hello from compsmag.com” dialog buttons {“OK”} with stop icon ‘

The resulting pop-up warning window looks like this:

Activate a dialog box on the Mac from the command line

For example, you can use this to trigger a dialog box in the front application when a command line task has completed. Let’s say we are running a python script and want a warning box to notify us when it is finished, the syntax for such usage could look like this:

python MagicScript.py && osascript -e ‘tell application (path to front application as text) to display dialog “The script has completed” buttons {“OK”} with icon warning ‘

That example would trigger a dialog that says “The script has completed” with the yellow warning icon pointing to the front application in Mac OS X GUI after Python has finished running ‘MagicScript.py’. You can choose other icons, such as stop, note, warning, or even specify a path to a custom icon, if desired.

Although you can specify an application, System Events or SystemUIServer, choosing the wider front application will cause the alert box to appear on the screen regardless of which application is in the foreground. Let’s talk about triggering dialog notifications in specific apps as that may be desirable too.

Activate a dialog alert in a specific application

To send a dialog or alert to a specific application, simply specify the appropriate app name, such as:

Activate an alert box in Mac OS Finder from the command line: osascript -e ‘tell app “Finder” to display the “Hello from compsmag.com” dialog

Activate a warning box in the Terminal app from the command line: osascript -e ‘tell the app “Terminal” to display the “Hello from compsmag.com” dialog

Activate a warning box in Safari from the command line: osascript -e ‘tell the app “Safari” to display the “Hello from compsmag.com” dialog box’

Activate a warning box to System Events from the command line: osascript -e ‘tell the app “System Events” to display the “Howdy Doo” dialog’

You can specify any application to send the alert this way, but for many of us, the wider front or system events are probably the more useful choice.

As a general pop-up dialog trigger is too intrusive, you would appreciate sending alerts to Notification Center on Mac with terminal-notifier, terminal-notifier is a third party solution that allows command line messages to appear in Mac OS general Notification Center. An even less invasive option would be to activate a notification badge on the Terminal Dock icon, although that can be too subtle for many users.

Either way, this is a basic overview of how to activate visual warning dialogs in the Mac OS graphical interface via the command line. You can go much deeper than this if you wish through more complex applications of AppleScript and osascript, including having interactions with the dialog that affect what happens next, but that approaches a more complex topic that could be better covered in its own article. Users who want to learn more about scripts with AppleScript can check out the documentation that comes with the Script Editor app, which is quite thorough and detailed.

Provide interesting ways to use this tip, or do you know of any other method to trigger dialog boxes in Mac OS GUI from the command line? Let us know in the comments.

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What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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