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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode System 10.5
The following Terminal command will revert the Help Viewer window to its "not always floating" 10.4 behavior:
defaults write com.apple.helpviewer NormalWindow -bool true
Additionally, execute the following (bash) commands as an administrator in Terminal to have access to the application via Command-Tab or its Dock icon:
i=/System/Library/CoreServices/Help\ Viewer.app/Contents/Info.plist
sudo defaults write "${i%.plist}" LSUIElement 0
sudo chmod 644 "$i"
Sources: [robg adds: This hint makes the second half of this previous hint (which required hacking the Help Viewer executable code to change the window behavior) irrelevant. There's still some good info in the previous hint if you'd like to not only gain a dock icon for Help Viewer, but also change the window's behavior (by editing its .nib file). For most people, though, I suspect the simple Terminal command in this hint will be sufficient. I went through the Help Viewer binary files in the 10.5 release, and I honestly don't recall seeing the NormalWindow string anywhere, so this may be new in 10.5.3 (or I just overlooked it with the earlier release).]
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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode | 22 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: luigi193 on Jun 03, '08 07:43:01AM
This is an AWESOME hint, I hate the way the Leopard help viewer works...
That second command didn't work...
I only dabble in UNIXY stuff, and just started learning it... but I think, unless i'm wrong, you need a "backslash space" thingy after help and before viewer right?
 i=/System/Library/CoreServices/Help\ Viewer.app/Contents/Info.plist
sudo defaults write "${i%.plist}" LSUIElement 0
sudo chmod 644 "$i"
I think thats right... but if theres another way I'm sorry...

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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: pete on Jun 03, '08 08:09:51AM

The other way is to put quotes around the application name...

"Help Viewer.app"

All worked OK for me.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: chleuasme on Jun 03, '08 09:11:16AM
The backslash was indeed mangled during the Hint submission.

Hopefully, robg will certainly correct it :-)

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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: robg on Jun 03, '08 08:37:07PM

I love Geeklog. I love Geeklog. I love Geeklog. I love Geeklog.

OK, Geeklog's got its strong points, but dealing with special characters isn't one of them :). Supposedly this is greatly improved in 1.5, which is due out very soon now.

The missing backslash has been restored. Sorry about that.

-rob.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: Pedro Estarque on Jun 03, '08 09:17:20AM

And then there was peace. Great hint, thanks.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: JazzDude on Jun 03, '08 01:25:22PM

FYI, the most recent version of TinkerTool can do this with a checkbox (albeit minus the Dock icon).



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: jaydisc on Jun 03, '08 04:20:55PM

I must chime in with a big fat thank you for this hint!!! The Leopard way killed me!!!



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Exposť doesn't work for me
Authored by: dusenyao on Jun 04, '08 03:19:18AM

Using the first command, I am able to see the help window when using Exposť, however, when I am trying to click to that window, it doesn't work. (10.5.3)



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: MrsMiniver on Jun 04, '08 03:56:50AM

Bless you! I had tried the earlier hint, but was unable to get it to work. This is simple and works like a charm!



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: stephen.m on Jun 04, '08 07:12:05AM

I tried the first half of this hint. Thankfully the hint sheet no longer floats above all. I can bring the help window forward by clicking on it, as expected, but notice that I can't do so by clicking on it in exposť.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: Clint MacDonald on Jun 04, '08 09:52:49AM
I want to nominate this hint for some sort of Mac OS X Hints Hint of the Month Award. What an incredibly useful tip to eliminate an incredibly annoying behavior of Mac OS X 10.5! Best wishes, Clint

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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: sebastianlewis on Jun 04, '08 09:16:23PM

I can confirm this works in 10.5.2, and thank you for this wonderful hint, I really hated the floating window.

Sebastian



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: David Allen on Jun 04, '08 10:37:16PM

Thanks for passing this on. I also hated that floating window! I second the nomination for an award.

---
David Austin Allen
Monterrey, NL, MX



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: afb on Jun 06, '08 08:59:06AM

Apparently Help Viewer doesn't like to have a dock icon. After enabling it, every time I click on it, I get a new "Mac Help" window over the already opened windows.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: chleuasme on Jun 06, '08 12:08:31PM
The application also doesn't quit when closing its last window as soon as you opened a second one (from its File menu or clicking on its Dock icon). And, a new window also opens when you click on both its "Go" and "Help" menu, when no Help Viewer window is opened.

Well, this LSUIElement change is, to me, only useful to add the possibility to fastly switch between apps and their Help window, now that Help Viewer.app is no more on top with the first setting on the NormalWindow flag (but not perfect as the application is pushed to the end of the queue at launch).

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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: chleuasme on Jun 06, '08 12:18:06PM
err, I meant: fastly switch between apps and their Help window with Cmd-Tab.

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10.5: Apart from the "Mac Help" window...
Authored by: redarm69 on Jun 08, '08 02:09:33AM

...it also disabled the ability to search in my case.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: Serj on Jun 08, '08 09:34:09PM

Well, that didn't work very well for me: after executing the second set of commands ("Command-Tab and Dock icon"), I get the message "Help isn't availabe for Mail" (or any other applications). If anyone know how to fix this... (I just hope I won't have to reinstall Leopard).



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: Serj on Jun 08, '08 09:53:16PM

OK ! Repairing Disk Permissions solved the problem. Everything's fine now. Phew !



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: chleuasme on Jun 09, '08 03:48:40PM
The last chmod command should have been the solution here: There can have some delay with defaults to rewrite the .plist file ; the last command may have been executed too early the first time.

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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: groovin on Jun 20, '08 08:20:53AM

An excellent modification! Help Viewer in Leopard was driving me batty. One more level of refinement is necessary, however. While it is nice to have the Help Viewer not float all the time, still when I invoke it, I would like it to come to the front, so that the information requested comes immediately into view.



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10.5: Set Help Viewer windows to non-floating mode
Authored by: bluehz on May 02, '10 08:30:06PM
Anyone doing this in Snow Leopard - the Help Viewer.app is now name "HelpViewer.app" and the code should be adjusted accordingly:

i=/System/Library/CoreServices/HelpViewer.app/Contents/Info.plist
sudo defaults write "${i%.plist}" LSUIElement 0
sudo chmod 644 "$i"


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