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Add objects to the system prefs toolbar System
Did you ever realize you can alter the System Prefs toolbar just like any other app's toolbar (e.g. the Finder's)? I'm not talking about rearranging by dragging the items, but rather adding separators and flexible spaces to the toolbar. Unfortunately, Apple forgot to implement the "Customize Toolbar" option in the System Prefs app itself (at least I never found it), but you can edit its preference file to achieve much the same result.

Read the rest of the article for the how-to...

The preferences file lives here:
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systempreferences.plist
You need to open this file (make a backup first, just in case) with a text editor, either through the Terminal or in the Finder (just make sure it's a pure text editor so it won't insert Mac line breaks). The section you're looking for starts like this:
<key>NSToolbar Configuration com.apple.PrefsToolbar</key>
<dict>
<key>TB Display Mode</key>
<integer>1</integer>
<key>TB Is Shown</key>
<key>TB Item Identifiers</key>
<array>
<string>com.apple.prefpane.showall</string>
<string>NSToolbarSeparatorItem</string>
<string>com.apple.preference.mouse</string>
...
The section that starts with TB Item Identifiers contains the items on the toolbar. To add a separator, locate the two items you wish to separate, and insert a new row between them:
  <string>NSToolbarSeparatorItem</string>
To insert a flexible space, use:
  <string>NSToolbarFlexibleSpaceItem</string>
Finally, if you'd like to see what the toolbar looks like with smaller icons, look for the TB Size Mode key a bit further down the file, and change the "1" in the following row to a "2". The icons don't look very good, but they are much smaller!

[Editor's note: Make sure that the System Prefs app is not running when you edit the plist file. System Prefs re-writes the prefs when you quit the application, so if you edit the file while the app is running, you'll lose your changes when you quit and restart System Prefs!]
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Look under the Finder's
Authored by: j-beda on Jun 27, '02 10:15:09AM
Unfortunately, Apple forgot to implement the "Customize Toolbar" option in the System Prefs app itself (at least I never found it), but you can edit its preference file to achieve much the same result.

There is a "Customize Toolbar..." in the Finder's "View" menu that seems to provide much of the customization that you refer to, though perhaps not all.

It certainly is a pain to find all of the different places where customizations and preferences are controled in Mac OS X, eh?



[ Reply to This | # ]
System Preferences
Authored by: cybergoober on Jun 27, '02 10:24:22AM

Dude, he said there is no "Customize Toolbar…" in System Preferences' menu items. I think most people know that this is available in the Finder.


Also saw this hint at ResExcellence this morning.



[ Reply to This | # ]
System Preferences
Authored by: j-beda on Jun 27, '02 08:19:52PM

Ack - I read the hint three times to make sure I wasn't putting my foot in my mouth somewhere - and low and behold - toe-sandwich!

Ah well...

Maybe I could say that this is like one of those intentional flaws in an middle eastern woven rug. Yeah, that's it - I did it in purpose because only Alah is perfect...



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Icon/Text View in System Prefs and Finder
Authored by: Viridian on Jun 27, '02 01:53:06PM
As noted below by Cybergoober, this hint was posted on ResExcellence this morning. They also explain how to edit the plist to display Icons Only, Icon and Text, or Text Only, as in Finder window Toolbars. You don't need to go through all that trouble. You can cycle between the views by Command-clicking the Collapse Toolbar button in the upper right corner of the title bar (I believe it was reported on Mac OS X Hints). This doesn't work in Finder; however, I found out by accident that shift-clicking on the Collapse Toolbar button in Finder windows calls up the Customize sheet. Saves me having to mouse to the menu, or put the Customize icon in the Toolbar.

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Works in Finder as well
Authored by: Viridian on Jun 27, '02 07:50:11PM
The Customize Toolbar sheet doesn't include a Flexible Space or Space item, so I tried adding one using this hint, and whaddaya know, it works! Find these lines about 70% of the way down in com.apple.finder.plist:

<key>toolbar-items</key>
<array>

and add the following lines so that it reads:

<key>toolbar-items</key>
<array>
    <dict>
      <key>item-id</key>
      <string>NSToolbarFlexibleSpaceItem</string>

    </dict>


This will put a space on the extreme left end of the Finder toolbar. Just control-drag to the desired position. Unfortunately, it doesn't expand when you remove items from the toolbar (ie, it's just a Space, not a Flexible Space).


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