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Turn tabbed preference panes into individual panes System
Various system preference panes in Panther contain tabs. For example, the International panel consists of three tabs: Language, Formats, Input Menu. If you'd find it more convenient to access these panels separately, you can do so, as seen here:

To split these prefs panels, open the Finder and navigate to /System -> Library -> PreferencePanes. Control-click on the Localization panel and select Show Package Contents, and then navigate to Contents -> Resources. You'll see three panes in that folder:
  • IntlFormats.prefPane
  • IntlKeyboard.prefPane
  • IntlLanguages.prefPane
Drag any of these to a PreferencePane's folder -- you can move them up into the System level folder where you started, or into your user's Library -> PreferencePanes folder. If you copy them into the system-level folder, you'll need your admin password to OK the copy, and they'll be available for everyone. If you copy them into your user's folder, then you'll be the only one to have access, and you can easily remove them in the System Preferences app with a control-click.

You can do this same magic on the DateAndTime and DesktopScreenEffects prefPanes as well.

[robg adds: Due to the permissions on the source folder, you'll be copying these sub-panes, not moving them, so the originals are untouched -- a good thing, as you can't damage them with this little trick. As seen in the screenshot, they show up in the Other category. I'm not sure if there's a way to re-categorize them or not; there's nothing obvious in the Info.plist or InfoPlist.strings files...]
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Turn tabbed preference panes into individual panes
Authored by: carho219 on Apr 15, '04 01:01:59PM
To change the category of a SystemPref you need to know the CFBundleIdentifier for the pref you want to move and add it to the group of your choice in the NSPrefPaneGroups.plist in /Applications/System To get the CFBundleIdentifier you can cat the file Info.plist file of the pref you want and look for the fourth string tag.

I give no guarantes that this will work. Atleast it worked for me.

Remember to make a backup-copy of the NSPrefPaneGroups.plist before you edit it!!


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Turn tabbed preference panes into individual panes
Authored by: carho219 on Apr 15, '04 01:11:13PM
Sorry... It isn't always the fourth string tag. /Carl

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Turn tabbed preference panes into individual panes
Authored by: mm2270 on Apr 15, '04 02:23:48PM

Nice hint!

Unfortunately, this only seems to work for certain Prefpanes that have tabs in their interface. Localization, ScreenEffects and Date and Time to name a few. I looked in the Network prefpane to see if the tabs, like Proxies And AppleTalk were available as in this hint, but they aren't. Too bad. I would have liked to use this.

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Turn tabbed preference panes into individual panes
Authored by: magir on Apr 15, '04 04:50:25PM

A huge disadvantage is, when apple changes one of those prefpanes during a system update: The copied version isn't updated.

I made a softlink using the terminal which points to the "internal" prefpanes. This seems to work as well and I guess it should circumvent the above mentioned problem.

Most interestingly the PreferencePanes folder already includes a few aliases (Internet points to Mac.prefpane). No idea, why this was done, perhaps for backwards compatibility.

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