Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Access hidden DragThing features though AppleScript Apps
As many of you may know, DragThing is my favorite launching utility (it has a spot in the Hall of Fame), and the author (James Thomson) and I have been having occasional email exchanges about the program. The other day he asked if I'd be interested in seeing some of the "behind the scenes" tweaks available for DragThing. After pausing about a half-second to consider his offer, I said "Sure!" The result is this hint, revealing ten hidden DragThing settings you can access only through AppleScript.

Thanks to James for writing such a cool program, and taking the time to share some of these hidden settings with all of us. With luck, there may be a few more of these 'DragThing secrets' hints in the future. So without further ado, here's James' list. Note that the following text is his, so references to "I" are not references to me, but to him ... is that clear as mud? ;-)

DragThing already has a lot of options, but there are even more hidden inside that are only accessible using AppleScript. To use these scripts, open the Script Editor application, create a new script and paste in any of the following, then click the "Run" button. Unless otherwise stated, you can run the script again to toggle the setting back to what it was previously. All of these scripts were written using the latest DragThing (4.5.1) on Mac OS X 10.2.1. You can download 4.5.1 from dragthing.com if you don't have it already.
  1. Changing the Get Info application
    I use the excellent "Super Get Info" by Bare Bones Software to enhance the "Get Info" feature of the Mac OS X Finder. DragThing has an option to use Super Get Info, but some people have asked if it's possible to use a different application instead.

    Run this script, and you'll be asked to locate the application you want to use, and it will then be opened when you choose "Get Info" on an item in DragThing:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set theApp to choose application with prompt
    "Pick your Get Info application:" as alias
    set theInfo to info for theApp
    set theCreator to file creator of theInfo
    if theCreator is "????" then
    display dialog
    "No unique creator code, sorry!"
    else
    set get info app signature to theCreator
    set enable Super Get Info support to true
    end if
    end tell
    If the Get Info application you want to use doesn't have a unique creator code, and just sets the default "????", DragThing won't be able to use it. It might be worth contacting the maker and asking them to change this.

    To switch back to using Super Get Info again run this script:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set get info app signature to ")DF%"
    set enable Super Get Info support to true
    end tell
    To switch back to using the Finder again, run this script:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set enable Super Get Info support to false
    end tell
  2. I can see clearly now
    If you don't like the way the icons of hidden applications are drawn "grayed-out" in the Process Dock, you can force DragThing to always draw the normal icon using this script:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to highlight hidden processes
    set highlight hidden processes to not x
    end tell
  3. Hide and seek
    If you don't like the way DragThing hides all applications when you option-click on one in the process dock, just run this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to option click hides all applications
    set option click hides all applications to not x
    end tell
  4. Turbocharged folder menusWhen you control- (or right-) click on a folder in DragThing, it can sometimes take a while to bring up the hierarchical menu of the folder contents, especially if there are a lot of items. One way to make it a lot faster is to stop the icons being drawn in the menu like so:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to do not draw icons in menus
    set do not draw icons in menus to not x
    end tell
  5. It's very pretty, but...
    When you hide and show docks, DragThing does a cool fade-out and fade-in effect. If want them to appear immediately, and can do without the eye-candy, use this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to do not use fading
    set do not use fading to not x
    end tell
  6. Which version?
    By default, DragThing shows the short form of the name of an application in the Process Dock, which is also the name shown in the menu bar when the application is frontmost. If you want to see the full name of the application as it appears in the Finder - for example "BBEdit 6.5" instead of just "BBEdit" - use this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to process dock displays long names
    set process dock displays long names to not x
    set show running processes in a dock to false
    set show running processes in a dock to true
    end tell
  7. I like my text flatI like the little embossing effect on the text in docks, where a little highlight is drawn to the bottom and right of the text, but some people prefer it to be just the plain text. If you are one of them, use this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to do not emboss text
    set do not emboss text to not x
    set y to use Appearance font
    set use Appearance font to not y
    set use Appearance font to y
    end tell
  8. Enough already with the zoomingIf you aren't a fan of the zooming rectangles which appear when you open some of the windows in DragThing, you can switch them off with this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to do not use zoom rects
    set do not use zoom rects to not x
    end tell
  9. I said I wanted it to be translucent!
    When you have a dock set to be translucent using the "Overall window translucency" slider in the "Visibility" section of the Dock Options, it will fade in to be fully opaque when you move the mouse over it, so you can see what you are doing. If you want to keep it translucent at all times because it looks cool, try this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to do not make docks opaque on mouseover
    set do not make docks opaque on mouseover to not x
    end tell
  10. I liked the old way better
    DragThing 4.5 introduced a new way of indicating whether an application is running - a little green badge with a triangle in it. If you preferred the old way, where the whole background of the slot was inverted, try this:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set x to do not use running app badge
    set do not use running app badge to not x
    end tell
  11. Pick a size, any size
    When you are picking the size of the text drawn in the docks, you only get a limited choice from the popup menu in the Preferences window. If you want to use a size that isn't listed, try this script:
    tell application "DragThing"
    set use Appearance font to false
    set dock font size to 13
    end tell
    The example uses 13, but you can put in any size you want. Really big or small numbers might not be very useful however.
Yes, that's 11 hints not 10, but all good things go to 11, right?

[Editor's note: Many thanks again to James for sharing these hidden settings with the macosxhints readers!]
    •    
  • Currently 3.67 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (3 votes cast)
 
[16,344 views]  

Access hidden DragThing features though AppleScript | 3 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Access hidden DragThing features though AppleScript' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Great stuff, but...
Authored by: Quantum Panda on Nov 13, '02 10:17:50PM

...there's still one thing I'd love to have from DragThing: the ability to badge running applications without having DragThing create a Process Dock. I use the Apple Dock as my Process Dock rather than DragThing's Process Dock, and when the Process Dock is turned off, you can't highlight running applications in other docks. Minor desire, to be sure, but I'd love to have it enabled.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Great stuff, but...
Authored by: Anonymous on Nov 16, '02 05:03:04AM

This is something I plan on fixing sooner rather than later, but for now you can work round it pretty easily.

Show the process dock and make sure it is the frontmost dock, then choose "Hide Dock" from the Docks submenu of the Scripts menu.

The process dock is still active, and so the highlighting of running processes in other docks will work, but you won't be able to see it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Access hidden DragThing features though AppleScript
Authored by: osxpounder on Apr 21, '08 01:18:46PM

I purchased & use DragThing for my MacBook Pro, and love it. Some of these tips will make me love it more. Thanks! I can't wait to get to my MBP and try a few.



[ Reply to This | # ]