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Use PropertyList Editor for plists Apps
[Editor's note: I can't believe I never published anything about this before, but it appears that it's only been mentioned in comments. So now it's a full-fledged hint, thanks to Dan M, who submitted the following.]

After reading over some hints on this site, I've noticed that many direct you to open the XML plists (property lists) in a text editor and work from there. I very recently discovered that this is not necessary in many cases.

If you install the Developer Tools, one application that is included is called "PropertyListEditor". If you simply double click on the property list you wish to edit, it should open in ProperyListEditor, and it provides a very simple means for editing your plists. (If it doesn't open, the editor is in /Developer/Applications)

One help article I read on this site described how to go through the complex (painful) process of removing the preview from the column view of the Finder windows. I managed to do the same thing, without all the complexities (i.e. I opened the Finder's plist, went down to the column view prefs, and changed the 'Preview' boolean from 'yes' to 'no'. Logged out then in, and VOILA! no preview), and I did it in UNDER 30 SECONDS.

I think that this will have a drastic impact on the way I customize my system, and I hope it makes your world a little easier, too.
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Use PropertyList Editor for plists | 4 comments | Create New Account
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A fun tool!
Authored by: james_sorenson on Nov 14, '01 01:59:29AM

Geez, I wish I'd seen this before I posted my hint! I thought that
program was just for development. Thanks for making this task a lot easier.

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yes but there are so many problems
Authored by: thinkinmachine on Nov 14, '01 03:17:35AM

Like you, of course many BSD user have already known about this
But the problem is, keys to indicate something specialized by Apple and
there are so many GATE to check devices or so.
this is one of the reason why Profiler indicate such a *censored*'in things.
ex. can't mapping even apple's devices or can't gain even its names.

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Authored by: geoffsaulnier on Nov 16, '01 03:38:06AM

Obviosly, if you're experimenting with .plist stuff, you could screw it up badly enough to confuse an app that uses these prefs. So:

- select the plist you want to work on in the finder
- press command-D to make a copy
- rename the original to whatever.plist_old
- make your changes to the copy
- do a Save As from the property list editor to make this the same name as the original

Bear in mind that some apps use these prefs to make changes in files when the app starts up, and these may not be reversible, so you may still screw some stuff up even if you're careful!!


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Use PropertyList Editor for plists
Authored by: bigvolley on Dec 15, '05 08:18:35AM

Bless you for the Property List Editor tip. After 6 months of frustration since I updated to 10.4.2 (and now 10.4.3), I have been unable to sync my Motorola 710 with iSync.

I am kind of a moron about this stuff, but I got it to work. For fellow morons, let me tell you explicitly what I did:

I installed the Developer Tools package, even though I'm as far from a developer as anyone can be.

I then double-clicked on MetaClasses.plist (after finding it through the well-described methods elsewhere on this site).

This opened the Property List Editor. At this point, I stared stupidly at this foreign screen. But then I started to experiment, and everything somehow worked:

I clicked on the little Root triangle, and revealed a long list of phones.

I searched for and found my phone: com.motorola.V710

I clicked on *its* little triangle (god himself must have been guiding me to do the right thing at this point...).

This revealed 3 other triangles: Identification, InheritsFrom, and Services.

I guessed that I might be looking for InheritsFrom (see above comment re: god).

This revealed the old string that everyone said needed to be replaced: com.motorola.usb-bt.0x22B8/0x4902

I double-clicked on it, and pasted in com.motorola.usb-bt.0x22B8/0x2A62

Remember--I have a Motorola V710 and am running 10.4.3.

I clicked the red "close" circle, and the thing asked me if I wanted to save.

I gritted my teeth, and said yes.

I deleted and then re-added my phone in Bluetooth preferences.

I went to iSync, and miraculously, for the first time since I switched over from 10.4.1, iSync found my phone, and allowed me to merge my phone's Address book with my Mac's.

I have never been so happy in my life.

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