Please Make Quicken for Mac Scriptable

JoelC
JoelC Member ✭✭
edited December 2021 in Product Enhancements (Mac)
I have an AppleScript that on macOS startup opens a number of applications, opens their related files, and properly positions their windows.

It was time to add QMac to AppleScript but when I attempted to do so I discovered that QMac is not scriptable.

Please make QMac scriptable!

Thanks!


PS. Apologies, there is not a great subsection to put this request in so I picked the closest thing!
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @JoelCApple itself has been showing AppleScript very little love in recent years. While they haven't yet killed AppleScript, it is clearly not what they view as the future of automation and scripting on the Mac.

    AppleScript was created for System 7 Apple, way back in the "classic" operating system era before the Unix-based Mac OS X rebooted the future of Mac programming. About 5 years ago, Apple disbanded its automation team and axed the product manager who headed it for 19 years. Apple has brought forward several other automation technologies over the years, including Automator and Configurator,  But the arrival of Apple's Swift programming language, Shortcuts to replace Automator, and the widespread use of Javascript all signal the eventual end of AppleScript. AppleScript was created before iOS, and importantly, doesn't work in that environment; Apple Events don't exist in iOS. It's clear Apple is trying to merge iOS and macOS wherever it can, and to make it easy for applications to move easily between the two operating systems. And the relentless push for tighter security mean that modern scripting tools, like Swift Playgrounds, not AppleScript, are the future. Apple hasn't fully laid out the future of scripting on the Mac, but it has made clear AppleScript isn't it.

    For these reasons, it probably makes little sense for the Quicken Mac development team to invest considerable time in building significant AppleScript support into Quicken after all these years. (Actually, Quicken 2015/16/17 had some limited AppleScript support, as best I recall. It was apparently removed in Quicken 2018 because it was incomplete and not useful enough.)

    P.S. Although I've explained why I think this is unlikely, I've requested a moderator to turn this into an Idea post so other users can vote for this functionality if they find it desirable. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭
    @jacobs obs, thank you for the insight, it is greatly appreciated.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @JoelC  I also think it very unlikely that Quicken is going to return applescriptability to the Quicken app. But I have some info/suggestions that may help. 

    First, even though Quicken is not scriptable, you can still open the Quicken app, open its files and position its windows using AppleScript as follows:

    tell application "Quicken" to activate -- not really needed as Quicken will launch with file opening

    tell application "Finder"

        set Qfile to "HFS:Path:To:Quicken:Data:File" as alias

        open Qfile

    end tell

    delay 5 -- allow file to get open before moving window

    tell application "System Events"

        tell application process "Quicken"

            set position of window 1 to {x1, y1}

            set size of window 1 to {x2, y2}

        end tell

    end tell


    Second, you may want to take a look at the Keyboard Maestro utility (www.keyboardmaestro.com, $36). It is a very powerful tool that lets you do app/file launching, window manipulation and much more based on triggers such as keyboard shortcuts, user login, etc. It can be pretty complex, but if you can program in AppleScript, it should be a breeze for you. I use it for file launching and window manipulation. And I also have a bunch of macros to do things in Quicken such as selecting certain account registers that were never possible in Quicken's AppleScript.

    (I have no interest, financial or otherwise, in KM, other than being a very satisfied user.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭
    @RickO , amazing, I will give it a go later today / tomorrow and let you know how that works. A few related points:

    1. Although you have already gone above and beyond, could you please add the code for entering the password to unlock the QMac file.

    2. I have never heard of Keyboard Maestro but will certainly take a look. It sounds like a great application.

    3. To position and size windows I use an application called Moom, it is wonderful, you might want to take a look. NOTE: I have no affiliation with ManyTricks or their Moom software.

    Thanks for teh code!

    Joel
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    1. If possible in AppleScript, it would involve using System Events to locate the UI element of the password entry field. It may be possible, but I've never had much luck finding these types of UI elements, especially in Quicken. However, this would be definitely be possible using KM. I do this with some other passwords, storing them in macOS Keychain and retrieving them with KM for increased security so they are not stored as open text in the KM database.

    3. I know about Moom. I used to use one called Divvy, but I don't think it's been updated in a while. Since I don't need the window drag/snap features, I just have all my window movement shortcuts set up in KM. One less utility to manage/maintain.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭
    @RickO, much thanks, I have a new MacBook on the first way -- first upgrade in 9 years -- and I will definitely look at Keyboard Maestro.

    One follow up, how steep is the learning curve with Keyboard Maestro?
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭
    @RickO, I took a quick look at the Keyboard Maestro help document and it does look rather complicated not the sort of point and click software I was hoping for.

    I am concerned about the difficulty in getting it to the things I want. The scripts I have seen on the internet look very long and very complicated. What am I missing?

    How steep would you say the warning curve is for someone who has never used it?

    Thanks.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    JoelC said:
    "...warning curve..."
    Sometime typos reveal the truth!  :D
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    It's super simple for simple things, but can get complicated to do very complicated things. I can share some quicken related macros if that helps. Should probably do that over on their forum though.

    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭
    @RickO, I am up and running with KM so I will take you up on your generous offer of sharing the KM Quicken macros that you have.

    Thanks,


    Joel
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited December 2021
    @JoelC  I see that you posted a general question on the KM forum. I remember that I posted my KM Quicken macros on the KM forum some years ago. I just updated that topic with my current set and tagged you. If you have questions, please reply over there.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭
    RickO, thank you, I will take a look, VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    You're welcome! See you over at KM.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s