General features regarding scripting and image handling

Controlling Sikuli Scripts and their Behavior

setShowActions(False | True)

If set to True, when a script is run, Sikuli shows a visual effect (a blinking double lined red circle) on the spot where the action will take place before executing actions (e.g. click(), dragDrop(), type(), etc) for about 2 seconds in the standard (see Settings.SlowMotionDelay ). The default setting is False.


Stops the script gracefully at this point. The value is returned to the calling environment.

class Settings

see the section about debug and log messages.


The default minimum similiarty of find operations. While using a Region.find() operation, if only an image file is provided, Sikuli searches the region using a default minimum similarity of 0.7.


Control the time taken for mouse movement to a target location by setting this value to a decimal value (default 0.5). The unit is seconds. Setting it to 0 will switch off any animation (the mouse will “jump” to the target location).

As a standard behavior the time to move the mouse pointer from the current location to the target location given by mouse actions is 0.5 seconds. During this time, the mouse pointer is moved continuosly with decreasing speed to the target point. An additional benefit of this behavior is, that it gives the active application some time to react on the previous mouse action, since the e.g. click is simulated at the end of the mouse movement:

mmd = Settings.MoveMouseDelay # save default/actual value
click(image1) # implicitly wait 0.5 seconds before click
Settings.MoveMouseDelay = 3
click(image2) # give app 3 seconds time before clicking again
Settings.MoveMouseDelay = mmd # reset to original value

DelayBeforeMouseDown specifies the waiting time before mouse down at the source location as a decimal value (seconds).

DelayBeforeDrag specifies the waiting time after mouse down at the source location as a decimal value (seconds).

DelayBeforeDrop specifies the waiting time before mouse up at the target location as a decimal value (seconds).

Usage: When using Region.dragDrop(), Region.drag() and Region.dropAt() you may have situations, where the operation is not processed as expected. This may be due to the fact, that the Sikuli actions are too fast for the target application to react properly. With these settings the waiting time befor and after the mouse down at the source location and before the mouse up at the target location of a dragDrop operation are controlled. The standard settings are 0.3 seconds for each value. The time that is taken, to move the mouse from source to target is controlled by Settings.MoveMouseDelay::.

Be aware The given values are only valid for the next following action. The inner timing will be reset to the defaults after the action’s completion.

Settings.DelayBeforeMouseDown = 0.5 Settings.DelayBeforeDrag = 0.2 Settings.DelayBeforeDrop = 0.2 Settings.MoveMouseDelay = 3 dragDrop(source_image, target_image) # time for complete dragDrop: about 4 seconds + search times

Specify a delay between the mouse down and up in seconds as 0.nnn. This only applies to the next click action and is then reset to 0 again. A value > 1 is cut to 1.0 (max delay of 1 second)


Specify a delay between the key presses in seconds as 0.nnn. This only applies to the next click action and is then reset to 0 again. A value > 1 is cut to 1.0 (max delay of 1 second)

NOTE: If the internal timing of the compound mouse functions like click() or dragDrop() is not suitable in your special situation, you might as well build your own functions using the basic mouse functions Region.mouseDown(), Region.mouseMove() and Region.mouseUp()


Control the duration of the visual effect (seconds).


Specify the number of times actual search operations are performed per second while waiting for a pattern to appear or vanish.

As a standard behavior Sikuli internally processes about 3 search operations per second, when processing a Region.wait(), Region.exists(), Region.waitVanish(), Region.observe()). In cases where this leads to an excessive usage of system ressources or if you intentionally want to look for the visual object not so often, you may set the respective values to what you need. Since the value is used as a rate per second, specifying values between 1 and near zero, leads to scans every x seconds (e.g. specifying 0.5 will lead to scans every 2 seconds):

def myHandler(e):
        print "it happened"
# you may wish to save the actual settings before
Settings.ObserveScanRate = 0.2
onAppear(some_image, myHandler)
observe(FOREVER, background = True)
# the observer will look every 5 seconds ;-)

The minimum area size in pixels that changes it’s content to trigger a change event when using Region.onChange() when no value is specified. The default value is 50 (a rectangle of about 7x7 Pixels).

New in version 1.1.0.

Writing and redirecting log and debug messages

these are the relevant Settings for user logging showing defaults:
(False = switched off, True = switched on)
  • Settings.UserLogs = True (False: user log calls are ignored)
  • Settings.UserLogPrefix = "user" (message prefix)
  • Settings.UserLogTime = True
  • Debug.setUserLogFile("absolute-path-to-file") (no default)
to write a user log message:
Debug.user("text with %placeholders", args …)
where text is a string according to the rules of Java String.format().
Information about Java String formatting can be found here
(rather formal, look for tutorials in the net additionally if this is new for you)
the messages look so:
[prefix optional-timestamp] message-text with filled in arg values
Being in Jython scripting one might as well use this:
Debug.user("some text with %placeholders" % (list-of-args …))
the settings for Sikuli’s logging with the defaults:
(False = switched off (message type not created), True = switched on)
  • Settings.ActionLogs = True (message prefix: [log])
  • Settings.InfoLogs = True (message prefix: [info])
  • Settings.DebugLogs = False (message prefix: [debug])
  • Settings.LogTime = False
  • Debug.setLogFile("absolute-path-to-file") to redirect the Sikuli messages to a file, no default

Debug messages Sikuli internally issues debug messages all over the place, to show, what it is doing. Creating debug messages is dependant on the current DEBUG_LEVEL value:

  • if 0, no debug messages are shown
  • if >0, debug messages having a level <= DEBUG_LEVEL are created

The initial DEBUG_LEVEL is 0 and can be set with

  • the Java command line parameter -Dsikuli.Debug=n or
  • the command line parameter -d n when using SikuliX jars or command scripts.

Currently a suitable DEBUG_LEVEL is 3, that shows enough valuable information about what is going on internally.

If you ever encounter problems, that might have to do with SikuliX’s internal processing, switch on debug messaging with level 3.

To avoid tons of not needed messages, you might switch debugging on and off on the fly for only critical sections in your workflow:

  • switch on: Debug.on(n) setting the DEBUG_LEVEL=n (recommended: 3)
  • switch off:
Debug messages look so:
[DEBUG optional-timestamp] message-text with filled in arg values
and can be produced with
Debug.log(level, "text with %placeholders", args …)
Recommendation: use 1 as level, since this is not used internally by SikuliX and allows you to switch your private debug messaging on Debug.on(1) and off.

Logging Callback Currently only for Jython scripting, there is a logging callback feature, that redirects the log messages to a given function in your script, where you can finally process the message for example with your own looging concept.

A message, that is redirected to a callback is ignored by the SikuliX log processing.
TAKE CARE: you should avoid lengthy processing in the callback, since your workflow will wait for the callback to return

This is a basic usage example, where the callback function gets all messages:

# a wrapper class is needed for the callback function (name it as you want)
class myLogger():
  # a callback function (name it as you want)
  # you might have more than one for specific handling of message groups
  def callback(self, message):
      print message

# prepare log redirect
Debug.setLogger(myLogger()) # sets the object containing the callback functions

# redirect all logging messages
Debug.setLoggerAll("callback") # the name of the callback function as string
# from now on myLogger.callback will receive the messages

Selective log message processing (callback is the name of your specific callback function):

  • Debug.setLoggerUser("callback") # redirect messages [user]
  • Debug.setLoggerInfo("callback") # redirect messages [info]
  • Debug.setLoggerAction("callback") # redirect messages [log]
  • Debug.setLoggerError("callback") # redirect messages [error]
  • Debug.setLoggerDebug("callback") # redirect messages [debug]
You might suppress the creation of the message header for all messages, so you only get the message body:
use Debug.setLoggerNoPrefix(myLogger()) instead of the initial Debug.setLogger(myLogger())

New in version 1.1.0.

File and Path handling - convenience functions

available for Jython scripting only in the moment

In more complex scripting situations it is often necessary to deal with paths to files and folders. To make this a bit more convenient, the following functions are available (look here for the underlying Python features).

returns the path to the current .sikuli folder without trailing separator.

same as getBundlePath() but with trailing separator to make it suitable for string concatenation.


returns the path to the parent folder of the current .sikuli folder without trailing separator.


same as getParentPath() but with trailing separator to make it suitable for string concatenation.

makePath(path1, path2, path3, ...)

returns a path with the correct path seperators for the system running on by concatenating the given path elements from left to right (given as strings). There is no trailing path seperator.

makeFolder(path1, path2, path3, ...)

same as makePath() but trailing path seperator to make it suitable for string concatenation.

NOTE makePath and makeFolder on Windows the first path element can be specified as a drive letter “X:”

unzip(fromFile, toFolder)

A convenience function to unzip a zipped container to a folder (implemented using the Java builtin support for zip files). The ending of the file does not matter, the content of the file is examined to find out, whether it is a valid zip container. A zipped folder structure is preserved in the target folder. Relative paths would be resolved against the current working folder. This can for example be used, to unpack jar files.

  • fromFile – a file with a zipped content given as path string
  • toFolder – the folder where to place the unzipped content given as path string

True if it worked, False otherwise

NOTE The complementary feature zip(fromFolder, toFile) will follow soon.

NOTE on Java usage:

import org.sikuli.basics.FileManager;
FileManager.unzip(fromFile, toFolder);

New in version 1.1.0.

Image Search Path - where SikuliX looks for image files

SikuliX maintains a list of locations to search for images when they are not found in the current .sikuli folder (a.k.a. BundlePath). This list is maintained internally but can be inspected and/or modified using the following functions.


  • as long as an image file has the ending .png, this might be omitted.
  • you might use subfolders as well, to form a relative path to an image file
  • an image path might point to a location inside a jar file or a location on the Java classpath
  • an image path might point to a folder in the net, that is accessible via HTTP
  • SikuliX internally manages a cache for the imagefile content (standard 64 MB), where images are held in memory, thus avoiding a reload on subsequent references to the same image file.

The bundle path can be accessed and modified so:

NOTE: the bundle path can only be on the (local) file system, not in a jar, nor in the net (access via HTTP). If you need places in a jar or in the HTTP net, use the add function.


Set the base path for searching images. Sikuli IDE sets this automatically to the path of the folder of the script (.sikuli). Therefore, you should use this function only if you really know what you are doing. Using it generally means that you would like to take care of your captured images by yourself.

Additionally images are searched for in the image path, that is a global list of other places to look for images and the bundle path being the first entry. It is implicitly extended by script folders, that are imported (see: Reuse of Code and Images).

Currently (will be revised in version 1.2), you should not use a jar file folder, Use addImagePath() instead.


Get a string containing the absolute path to a folder containing your images used for finding images and which is set by SikuliX IDE automatically to the script folder (.sikuli). You may use this function for example, to package your private files together with the script or to access the image files in the bundle for other purposes. Be aware of the convenience functions to manipulate paths.

NOTE for Java usage: Since there is no default BundlePath, when not running a script, like in the situation, when using the Java API in Java program or other situations with the direct use of Java aware scripting languages, you can use this feature to set the one place, where you have all your images:

import org.sikuli.script.ImagePath;
ImagePath.setBundlePath("path to your image folder");

NOTE: first find omits .png, second find uses a relative path with a subfolder

Other places, where Sikuli looks for images, are stored internally in the image path list.

When searching images, the path’s are scanned in the order of the list. The first image file with a matching image file name is used.

Use the following functions to manipulate this list.

NOTE for Java usage: Class of the mentioned functions:

import org.sikuli.script.ImagePath

Get a list of paths where Sikuli will search for images.

imgPath = getImagePath() # get the list
# to loop through
for p in imgPath:
        print p

Note on Java usage:

String[] paths = ImagePath.getImagePath();
for (String path : paths) {
Add a new folder path to the end of the current list (avoids double entries)
Java API: ImagePath.add(path)

As a convenience you might use this function also to add a path to a HTTP net folder like so or (see addHTTPImagePath)

Add a new folder path to the end of the current list (avoids double entries)
Java API: ImagePath.addHTTP(a-new-path)

a-new-path is a net url like optionally with a folder structure attached like so: (a leading http:// or https:// is optional, so one might copy and paste links)

The folder must be accessible via HTTP and must allow HTTP-HEAD requests on the contained image files (this is checked at time of trying to add the path entry).

NOTE on Java usage: images in a jar

It is possible to access images, that are stored inside of jar files. So you might develop a Java app, that comes bundled with the needed images in one jar file.

To support the development cycle in IDE’s, you might specify an alternate path, where the images can be found, when running inside the IDE.

Usage in Maven Projects:

Following the conventions of Maven projects you should store your images in a subfolder at src/main/resources for example src/main/resources/images, which then at jar production will be copied to the root level of the jar. Not following this suggestion you have to work according to the case other projects.

where someClass is the name of a class contained in a jar or folder on the class path containing the images folder.

Usage in other Projects:

ImagePath.add("someClass/images", alternatePath)

where someClass is the name of a class contained in a jar on the class path containing the images folder at the root level of the jar.

where alternatePath is a valid path specification, where the images are located, when running from inside an IDE.

Example of a non-Maven project where the images folder /imgs in this case is on the same level as the package folder testAPI containing the class file so both folders will be side by side at the root level of the runnable jar produced from this project:

package testAPI;

import org.sikuli.basics.Debug;
import org.sikuli.script.ImagePath;
import org.sikuli.script.Match;
import org.sikuli.script.Screen;

public class Test {
        public static void main(String[] args) {
                Screen s = new Screen();
      "Screen: %s", s);
                String clazz = "testAPI.Test";
                String imgFolder = "/imgs";
                String img = "test.png";
                String inJarFolder = clazz + imgFolder;
                if (ImagePath.add(inJarFolder)) {
              "Image Folder in jar at: %s", inJarFolder);
                } else {
                        Debug.error("Image Folder in jar not possible: %s", inJarFolder);
                Match target = s.exists(img);
                if (null == target) {
                        Debug.error("Not found: ", img);
                } else {
              "Found: %s at %s", img, target);
      "... leaving");

Be aware: that you might use the Sikuli IDE, to maintain a script, that only contains the image filenames and then is used as image path in your Java app like ImagePath.add("myClass/myImages.sikuli"), which e.g. in the Maven context will assume as image path src/main/ressources/myImages.sikuli.

Note for Jython scripting: use load() without the import to use the feature images in jars:

from org.sikuli.script import ImagePath
load("absolute path to someJar")
Remove the given path from the current list
Java API: ImagePath.remove(path)
Clears the current list and sets the first entry to the given path (hence gets the BundlePath). This gets you a fresh image environment.
Java API: ImagePath.reset(path)

Note: paths must be specified using the correct path separators (slash on Mac and Unix and double blackslashes on Windows). The convenience functions in File and Path handling might be helpful.

This list is automatically extended by Sikuli with script folders, that are imported (see: Importing other Sikuli Scripts), so their contained images can be accessed by only using their plain filenames. If you want to be sure of the results of your manipulations, you can use getImagePath() and check the content of the returned list.

NOTE: at all time the first entry in the list is internally taken as BundlePath, where appropriate.

Importing other Sikuli Scripts (reuse code and images)

This is possible with SikuliX:

  • import other .sikuli in a way that is compatible with Python module import (no module structures)

  • import a python module structure including underlying Java classes from a jar-file,

    that is dynamically loaded using the function load(jar-file)

  • automatically access images contained in the imported .sikuli (no need to use setBundlePath())

Note: .skl cannot be imported. But you might unzip the .skl to a .sikuli, which then can be imported.

The prerequisites:

  • the folders containing your .sikuli’s you want to import have to be in sys.path (see below: Usage)

  • Sikuli automatically finds other Sikuli scripts in the same directory, when they are imported

  • your imported script MUST contain (recommendation: as first line) the following statement:

    from sikuli import *
    This is necessary for the Python environment to know the Sikuli classes, methods, functions and global names


  • Add the path to the Sikuli module into sys.path

    not needed for modules being in the same directory as the main script

Convenience function to add a path to sys.path:

New in version 1.1.0.

  • Import your .sikuli using just its name.

    For example, to import myModule.sikuli, just write import myModule.

A basic example:

# the path containing your stuff - choose your own naming
# on Windows
myScriptPath = "c:\\someDirectory\\myLibrary"
# on Mac/Linux
myScriptPath = "/someDirectory/myLibrary"

# all systems (avoids double entries in sys.path)

# supposing there is a myLib.sikuli
import myLib

# supposing myLib.sikuli contains a function "def myFunction():"
myLib.myFunction() # makes the call

Note on contained images: Together with the import, Sikuli internally uses the feature SIKULI_IMAGE_PATH to make sure that images contained in imported .sikuli’s are found automatically.

Some comments on general rules for Python import

  • An import is only processed once (the first time it is found in the program flow). So be aware:

    • If your imported script contains code outside of any function definitions ( def() ), this code is only processed once at the first time, when the import is evaluated

    • Since the IDE does not reload the modules when running a script the next time, you have to use the Jython’s reload() function, if you are changing imported scripts while they are in use:

      # instead of: import module
      import module
      # instead of: from module import *
      import module
      from module import *
  • Python has a so called namespace concept: names (variables, functions, classes) are only known in it’s namespace:

    • your main script has it’s own namespace
    • Each imported script has its own namespace. So names contained in an imported script have to be qualified with the module name (e.g. myLib.myFunction() )
    • You may use from myLib import *, which adds all names from myLib into your current namespace. So you can use myFunction() directly. When you decide to use this version, be sure you have a naming convention that prevents naming conflicts.

New in version 1.1.1.

The imports for other .sikuli scripts are now tracked during one IDE session. On rerun of a main script, the respective imports are automatically reloaded, so an extra reload() in these cases is no longer needed.

New in version 1.1.0.

Loading a jar-file containing Java/Python modules and additional resources as needed


Loads a jar-file and puts the absolute path to it into sys.path, so the Java or Python code in that jar-file can be imported afterwards.

Parameters:jar-file – either a relative or absolute path to filename.jar
Returns:True if the file was found, otherwise False
load(jar-file, image-folder)

same as load(jar-file), but additionally adds the given folder to the image path. image-folder is assumed to be a foldername available in the jar’s rootlevel (not checked though).

  • jar-file – either a relative or absolute path to filename.jar
  • image-folder – a relative path (always use / as path separator, no leading /)

True if the file was found, otherwise False

Search startegy The given jar is searched as following (first match wins):
  • if given as absolute path it is checked for existence and processed (if not exists: no further action)
  • if given as relative path:
  • the current path (Jython: sys.path, Java: classpath)
  • the current folder (Jython only: bundle path)
  • the SikuliX Extensions folder
  • the SikuliX Lib folder

Note for Java usage at the Java level, this feature is available as Sikulix.load(jar [, folder]) and adds the given jar to the end of the classpath on the fly. A given folder is added to the image path as mentioned above.

Note on Python usage more details and usage cases are discussed in Using Python. After a successful load(), you might use the standard import something, to make the module something available in your scripting context.

New in version 1.1.0.

Running scripts and snippets from within other scripts and run scripts one after the other

What is meant by script and snippet?

  • Script means, that some code is stored somewhere in a file accessible in this context by giving it’s relative or absolute filename or URL.
  • Snippet means some text stored in a string variable, that represents one or more lines of code in a denoted scripting language, for which an interpreter is available on the running system.

You may call/run scripts from a script that is currently running, which saves the startup time for the called script and keeps available the original parameters given and the current image path.

runScript(script_path, *parameter)

Runs the script found at the given script-path handing over the given parameters in sys.argv[1+]. The called script has it’s own bundle path, but the current image path. On exit the bundle path of the calling script is restored.

Param:script_path: a path to a script folder (rules see below)
Param:parameter: one or more parameters seperated by comma
Returns:the return code that the called script has given with exit(n)

Rules for the given script_path

  • absolut path to a folder in the file system
  • relative path to a folder taken as relative to the working folder
  • the path spec can contain leading or intermediate ../
  • a path preceded by ./ means the same folder, that the calling script is located
  • a pointer to a folder in the HTTP net
  • in any case .sikuli can be omitted
  • if it is a .skl, then it must be noted as script.skl
Special usage notes for scripts located in the net
  • must be accessible via HTTP
  • the location specifier can be one of these:
  • base-url:folder/script
  • http://base-url:folder/script
  • http://base-url/folder/script
  • where folder is optional and might have more than one level with / as separator
  • where script is the folder containing the script file (Python, Ruby or JavaScript) and the images (no .sikuli appended!)
  • The contained script file must have the same name as the script folder and a suffix:
  • for JavaScript .js
  • for Python .py.txt
  • for Ruby .rb.txt
  • the additional suffixes .txt are currently necessary, to avoid download problems (will be addressed in version 2)

This feature allows to create a main script, that contains a row of runScript() commands, thus running these scripts one after the other in the same context (no startup delay). Using the return codes and the parameters allows to create medium complex workflows based on smaller reuseable entities.

Another option to run a series of scripts without the startup delay for the second script and following is to run from commandline using option -r (see Running from command line)

You may run snippets by simply issuing


currently available:

  • AppleScript on Mac (script type word: applescript)
  • PowerShell on Windows (script type word: powershell)

For version 2 there will be a plugin system to easily add other scripting engines.

Param:snippet: a string containing the scripting statements after the word identifying the script type
Returns:the return code that was returned by the interpreter running this snippet

Example for Applescript:

returnCode = runScript('applescript tell application "Mail" to activate')

or like this for a multiline snippet:

cmd = """
tell application "Mail" to activate
display alert "Mail should be visible now"
returnCode = runScript(cmd)

Example for PowerShell:

returnCode = runScript('powershell get-process')

or like this for a multiline snippet:

cmd = """
returnCode = runScript(cmd)

If the snippet produces some output on stdout and/or stderror, this is accessible after return using:

commandOutput = RunTime.get().getLastCommandResult()

where the error output comes after a line containing ***** error *****