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AppleScript: Counting Open Safari Tabs

19th May 2016 | Programming

On a typical day, I might have a dozen Safari windows open, each replete with its own set of tabs. With each tab sandboxed in its own process, this can result in a bevy of running tasks on the system. As an interesting (and useful) exercise, I wanted to write a small script which would quickly tell me how many open tabs I had in Safari.

The most obvious solution for my needs to be able to interact with Mac applications, yet retain the flexibility of a programming language is AppleScript. AppleScript is just another one of a multitude of languages I've dabbled with over the years, going as far back as the System 7 days. I pick up AppleScript every now and again when the appropriate need arises, but I find myself needing to relearn its capabilities. AppleScript has high readability with its English-like syntax, but it makes for some esoteric writing at times, to ensure that the proper syntax is being used.

The goal is straightforward: Grab every Safari window, total up the number of tabs, and return the result. In this particular example, I had the script print out the result so I could run it from the command line using the osascript command.

The Code

Running the script

osascript CountOpenSafariTabs.scpt There are 112 Safari tabs open.

To further simplify things, I added the following alias to my .bash_profile file, so I only need to type counttabs in the Terminal to get the desired answer:

alias counttabs='osascript ~/Projects/scripts/CountOpenSafariTabs.scpt'