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Chapter 21. AppleScripting Office > What is AppleScript?

21.1. What is AppleScript?

AppleScript is the Mac's built-in scripting—that is, programming—language. (It's been around since 1993, with System 7.1, but you had to pay for it as an add-on until Apple made it part of the operating system with System 7.5.) Even without learning to write your own scripts, you can use scripts to control any application (Apple's or otherwise) whose developers have made it scriptable, meaning that they've built the necessary code into their program and provided an AppleScript dictionary. That's right. Although the AppleScript language is built right into Mac OS X, you can only use it to control scriptable applications like Entourage, Word, iCal, iTunes, Adobe InDesign, and Photoshop.

Apple intended AppleScript to be more English-like and easier to learn than other programming languages—although some would say that the resulting "English" is a very unusual dialect indeed. Well, it certainly is easier to read than to write.


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