No automator 'services' are available within Preview app

I’m used to using the secondary click to launch a range of services I’ve created (for example one that takes screenshots of receipts which get automatically copied a tax folder). None of them (even trivial ones I’ve created that require no input) now work with any PDFs that I’ve opened the Preview app.

I’ve just upgraded my iMac to a 2020 version, running Catalina, and they’ve stopped working: but only with PDFs from the Preview App.

When I try it, I get two popups and then nothing happens:

with two buttons: [Show Workflow] [OK]

also with the same two buttons: [Show Workflow] [OK]

However, the same services work perfectly with the same PDF viewed in Chrome. It also works with Word, Pages, Mail, even iTunes - everything I’ve tested it with!

The services also used to work on my old iMac in Catalina.

The services do work from the Preview app when I’ve logged onto the same machine as a different user!

So, it seems like a Preview problem for this user. Any ideas for a fix, please?

Is there any way I can get debugging info about what’s trying to happen when I launch one of these services?

I realise this is not an AppleScript problem, but it’s stopping me from launching my AppleScript. And I can’t think who else to turn to for help!

Many thanks,


no need logging as different user. You should make some text or image selection to be the services menu active

Hi there, KniazidisR.

Thanks for looking. I am doing what you suggested - I am selecting text, and the services menu is active. What I’ve described is the error popups that come when I use them. I have been using theses scripts for a long time.

It only happens on Preview, and only for my main (administrative) user - but this is annoying, because this is the usage case for most of my scripts! I only swapped users to test.

Then it’s hard for me to say. 1) Click on menu bar 1 in turn Preview → Services → Service preferences to check the status of the activity of services. 2) Try to recreate the services with Cataliina already