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Add picture collections to Desktop prefs panel System
In the Desktop Pref pane, Apple has some predefined list items for picturess, such as "Nature," "Abstract", etc. I wanted to add my own collections, such as "Space." To do this just follow the directions below.
  • To add a new collection in the destop preference pane, open the folder /Library/Desktop Pictures.
  • Add folders like 'Space' that contain desktop pictures of the space collection to this folder.
  • Edit the Collections.plist file, located in /System -> Library -> PreferencePanes -> DesktopPictures.prefPane, then control-click and "Show package contents" to continue navigating to Contents -> Resources -> Collections.plist.
  • Copy and paste a collection between {} and modify the identifier and path as shown:
    identifier = Space;
    path = "/Library/Desktop Pictures/Space";
    showScalingPopUp = NO;
[Editor's notes: If you don't use Plist Editor to make these changes, make sure you use true spaces only, not tab characters. When I tried with tab characters for the indent, the pane failed to open. Also watch the trailing "," if you add your own collection below the last item -- you'll want to add the comma to the previous item so that your new entries are read. Also, you must quit and restart the System Prefs application for your changes to take effect ... and finally, you may wish to make a backup (sudo cp Collections.plist Collections.bak) before you start editing this file.]
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Add picture collections to Desktop prefs panel | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 05, '02 10:38:02AM

I believe this hint is a duplicate of <>.

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Very very similar...
Authored by: robg on Aug 05, '02 10:41:27AM

Nice catch; I searched briefly this AM but obviously not very well ... the main difference between the two hints is that this one explains how to add to the collections list while the first simply explains how to reorganize.

Since it's already posted, I'll just leave it up for now ... Jaguar may invalidate either or both of them anyway ;-).


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Authored by: zdweeb on Aug 05, '02 08:09:17PM

I searched in Desktop for about an hour before I posted this. Sorry I should of looked in System as well.

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Or ...
Authored by: maceuph on Aug 05, '02 12:33:46PM

You could also use a program called SwitchPic to have much more flexibility and IMO a better interface. ( Of course I did write it so I might be biased.

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Authored by: robg on Aug 05, '02 12:46:35PM

But it's so much more fun to hack around in the system folders! ;-)


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Authored by: zdweeb on Aug 05, '02 08:15:15PM

True, it is fun. However I just wanted to better organize my desktop pictures. I do hope 10.2 lets you add collections. I haven't tried Switch Pic, it does look cool. I even thought of writing a similar app before I saw Switch pic. But all in all what makes OS X the best darn os around is the ability to make mods like this. Way to go Apple!

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desktop pref panel remembers chosen folders
Authored by: mclbruce on Aug 08, '02 12:45:10AM

If you want to add a folder to the list of apple folders, just choose it with the Choose Folder command in the desktop preference panel. Next time you use the desktop preference panel your chosen folder will show up in the list.

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desktop pref panel remembers chosen folders
Authored by: theRegent on Mar 23, '03 09:57:29PM

It remembers the last folder chosen, but doesn't remember a folder previous to that... not very useful if you want to switch between several collections of your own.

The fact that Apple gave us the ability to change folders and collections without giving us an easy way to switch between our own custom collections is disappointing. At the very least, it should simply recognize any folder within either /Library/Desktop Pictures folder for the pop-up selector on the prefpane.

Another advantage of this hint's method is that it allows you to use custom collections and the Finder's default crossfade transition. Both ChangeDesktop (which I used for awhile) and SwitchPic (which, IMO, needs an interface overhaul) simply swap the image.

The cross fade is so much more elegant I consider the extra effort to be worth it.

It's a little more starry eyed than thin-lipped.

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