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Your Wish Is My Command #1
Morten Scheel's picture
by Morten Scheel
October 23, 2010 - 6:53pm

Hey everybody.

I want to invite you all to share your ideas for future AppleScripts here on ApertureExpert. To give you an idea of what's possible, I'll give you a short introduction.

The main point of scripts is to save time by automating repetitive tasks. If you find yourself doing the same things over and over again, what you need is a script that does them for you, behind the scenes. And count yourself lucky that you're using Aperture. It's one of the most scriptable applications out there, whereas Adobe's Lightroom 3 isn't scriptable at all.

So what's possible?
Basically it's possible to do anything with a script as long as you can explain, step by step, exactly what it is you want.
You can:
- Copy, delete, duplicate, stack, export and import images exactly the way you want to.
- Apply image adjustment presets to a selection of images or any image that fits your criteria.
- Extract (and in some cases change) metadata values.
- Send images or metadata back and forth between applications.

Furthermore, Aperture has something called Import Scripts. These are scripts that run automatically when you import images (you select which script to run in the “Actions” import panel). You define which images you want to do something to, using any combination of metadata values. Then you define which actions to take with those images. A simple example could be: IF the ISO value is greater than 1600 THEN apply image adjustment X. Of course, there's no limit as to how long and complicated your statements can be.

Please share your ideas or questions in the comments.

Morten Scheel

Adam Andersen's picture
by Adam Andersen
December 14, 2011 - 7:53am

Hi Morten
I have an idea for you. I’m not sure it’s possible, but it would be neat as hell!
As you may know, Aperture can sometimes goof up and forget some adjustments, or forget where it put (even a managed) master file.
Currently I’m experiencing both.
It would be nice to have a script, that could go back and look in earlier versions of the library via time-machine, to try and recall where the file was placed, or what adjustments were made to its differentversions.

The adjustments might be possible to get to by using some kind of version ID, and looking through earlier versions of Apertures database for that.
Finding forgotten masters might be possible looking through the library itself. The same way we do it manually now (by checking in Finder if the versions filename is still located inside the package.

Like I said, I don’t know if it’s possible. You would need to have fairly extended access to Aperture’s data-base itself, I think.


Morten Scheel's picture
by Morten Scheel
December 14, 2011 - 8:58pm

Hi Adam,
Excellent idea! Unfortunately Time Machine isn’t scriptable so the only thing I can access via AppleScript is Aperture’s current database. I might be able to find a previous version of an image by searching the Time Machine backup folders for a matching file name, but that wouldn’t help with restoring the adjustments.


Michael Martin's picture
by Michael Martin
June 23, 2012 - 4:12am

Hi Morten

I like the idea of Effects and look forward to when those from this site work again in 3.3. However, it would be great to have a script that round tripped a elected image through Snapseed with predefined set of alterations to repeat an effect as a style for a particular event I might be covering.

Or an alternative would be to automatically apply a ‘Recipe’ from Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 without have to manually go through the process.


Morten Scheel's picture
by Morten Scheel
June 24, 2012 - 7:24am

Hi Michael,

Bad news. Snapseed is not scriptable, so that route won’t be possible. I don’t have Color Efex Pro so I can’t do anything there either. Doesn’t Color Efex allow you to save presets though?


Michael Martin's picture
by Michael Martin
June 25, 2012 - 4:39am

Ok Moreton, thanks. I doubt it will possible with Color Efex Pro either as I have asked them to create such a feature and they said not possible.

Here is another one for you, how about a script that watches a smart album and a designated folder on the desktop and populates the folder with any images in the Smart Album and removes them from the folder once they leave the Album. This could be triggered manually or a folder action set up to trigger it (different folder) or it runs at 5 minute intervals. Ideally this would work without deleting the entire contents of the folder each time as I can do that whole process simply enough with Automator.

There is something to get your teeth into. :-)


PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 30, 2012 - 7:12pm


I know you can batch process image in CEP4, by opening multiple images at once. However I’ve never tried adding the same preset to all images automatically — have you looked into that?

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Morten Scheel's picture
by Morten Scheel
June 30, 2012 - 11:59pm

Hey Marjkel (thought you could get away with mangling my name like that?),

I can’t guarantee that the syncing would be completely foolproof. Aperture versions and exported jpegs are two different beasts, and making sure you have an exact match could be a problem. What I’m saying is that it’s technically possible, at least to an extent, but it would require a lot of time to develop, and I have too many other projects on my plate right now.

Dumbledog's picture
by Dumbledog
July 14, 2012 - 3:27am

One thing I would really like is a sortof generalized version of the 4-up script using a folder of Presets (well Effects now I guess). When run a photo, the script would make a stack of versions, one for each Effect in the folder, then display them together. Perhaps two separate versions, one which would overwrite the adjustments already made (like holding down option when selecting an Effect) and one which wouldn’t.

The effect used in each could be added as metadata to each version, say in a custom field or something.

Michael Martin's picture
by Michael Martin
July 21, 2012 - 5:07am

Hi Morten (is that better?) There is a village close to me called Moreton hence the typo, sorry.

I now have a script that will populate a folder according to a Smart Album, deleting or adding files to the folder as required. It can also be run including an export preset to change file size or add a watermark etc. I did not write it but you can view the results and discussion here,


Morten Scheel's picture
by Morten Scheel
July 22, 2012 - 7:12am

What an awesome idea! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself :)
I’ve written the script. Please drop me an email (monostratos at gmail dot com) so I can send you the beta version for testing.

Morten Scheel's picture
by Morten Scheel
July 22, 2012 - 7:13am

Thanks, a lot better ;)
Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out and refer others to it if someone asks for a similar feature in the future.

sidelinemedia's picture
by sidelinemedia
April 16, 2014 - 2:30pm

Good morning, 

I am not sure I understand everything I need to even ask for script, but here is what I do and if you can script it, I am most interested…I am a freelance photographer and I work for several NCAA institutions. When I shoot basketball, the clients often want images archived by jersey number.  Saves them time in sorting. This isn’t an issue in other sports other than maybe soccer to lacrosse.

So- I shoot, import, use keywords to assign jersey numbers, sort library by keywords, highlight and export or create an album by jersey numbers. I then export them, one album at a time into a folder named with their number, inside a folder for the actual game…so the path could be something like  DESKTOP>Roanoke>MBBALL@ Lynchburg>#1, DESKTOP>Roanoke>MBBALL@ Lynchburg>#2, DESKTOP>Roanoke>MBBALL@ Lynchburg>#23  etc….

Any direction or assistance you might provide would be appreciated.


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