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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock System
As of OS X 10.5 at least, dragging a preference pane into the right (Documents) side of the Dock will allow direct access to that preference with a single click. Drag any preference pane from /System » Library » PreferencePanes or /Library » PreferencePanes, and drop it into the dock. Click it, and System Preferences will open with that pane active.

I use this for a connection utility for a wireless USB modem (that has been implemented as a preference rather than an actual app). So I click the pane, then use the Connect button to activate the 3G modem. This is more logical than opening preferences.

This is close to, but not exactly the same, as several previous hints on this topic. I don't know when it became possible, as I only have one Mac and its OS is kept up to date.

[robg adds: The preference panes are now basically like mini applications -- you can place them in the sidebar or toolbar, and if double-clicked in the Finder, that pane will open in System Preferences. For those still running 10.4 or 10.3, can you do this on your Macs? I don't believe this has always been possible, but maybe it has...]
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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock | 19 comments | Create New Account
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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: Nem on Sep 30, '08 08:14:38AM

Yup - works just fine for me in Tiger (10.4.11).

The icon that shows in the Dock is the system preferences light-switch with the specific pane's icon in the lower-left corner.

---
Nem W. Schlecht
http://geekmuse.net/



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: xanadu420 on Sep 30, '08 08:17:59AM

"Drag any preference pane from /System » Library » PreferencePanes or /Library » PreferencePanes, and drop it into the dock. Click it, and System Preferences will open with that pane active. "

That has always worked in 10.4 and in 10.3 I'm pretty sure.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: jiclark on Sep 30, '08 09:41:20AM

Very cool to know about this, no matter how long it's been possible!!



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: Fairly on Sep 30, '08 09:55:51AM

This is very cool!



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: asmeurer on Sep 30, '08 10:05:45AM

I knew about this because the way Quicksilver opens PreferencePanes is to open the file in /System/Library/PreferencePanes/ .



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: mike666 on Sep 30, '08 01:14:14PM

It works generally in 10.4 and 10.3 but I know at least the Desktop/Screen Saver prefs does odd things when you open it this way in the older OSes. Seems to be fixed in Leopard though.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: barefootguru on Sep 30, '08 01:28:39PM

And of course right- or ctrl-clicking the main System Prefs icon in the Dock can take you directly to a preference pane almost as fast ;-)



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: joelseph on Sep 30, '08 01:42:43PM

ctrl-clicking on my mac just brings up the list "Remove from Dock, Show in Finder, Open at Login, | Open" I'm running 10.5.... does yours show a list of panes instead?



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: barefootguru on Sep 30, '08 06:37:42PM

Ah, it has to be running to show a list of preference panes.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: joelseph on Oct 02, '08 06:49:28AM

oh yeah.....

*proverbial lightbulb hovers above noggin*



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: osxpounder on Sep 30, '08 02:57:15PM

This could be very useful to me -- thanks! -- but the prefpanes I most want (default Apple ones like Sound and Keyboard & Mouse) don't appear in either of the places you mentioned, nor do they show up in a Spotlight search.

Could it be they are hidden files? I enabled display of hidden files (via Invisibility Toggler), but they still don't appear in those locations, nor a search, with or without an initial dot before the name "Sound.prefpane", for example.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: osxpounder on Sep 30, '08 02:58:21PM

BTW, that's on a 10.4.11 MacBook Pro.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: osxpounder on Sep 30, '08 03:01:49PM

Oops, please disregard my previous posts here. I just realized I was not looking in the "System" folder. I tried /Library/PreferencePanes.

I found them all. Pardon my error. It was asmeurer's comment about Quicksilver that helped me. I realized Butler would open Sound, and sure enough, Butler also shows the path, too.

Awesome hint! I'll use it with DragThing.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: asmeurer on Oct 03, '08 11:13:19PM

Glad I could help, if even so indirectly.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: sipatel on Oct 09, '08 10:10:03PM

Just copy to whole Preference Panes folder to the right/bottom section of the Dock and they're all there.

I've got my Applications, Utilities, Downloads, Fonts, Pref Panes, Documents and other folders I need to access quickly all living nicely in that bit of the Dock.

Who needs a separate App launcher?!



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: u2mr2os2 on Sep 30, '08 08:24:18PM
Very useful for those 3rd party panes. Most all of the standard Apple ones have other quick(ish) ways to get there:
  • Desktop & ScreenSaver - right click on desktop, choose "Change Desktop Background ..."
  • Dock - right click on Dock divider, choose "Dock Preferences ...", or "´ú┐ > Dock > Dock Preferences ..."
  • ExposÚ & Spaces - Enable menubar icon and choose "Open Spaces Preferences", or press Option + ExposÚ key (F3 for me) or option + Dashboard key.
  • International - enable the Input menu and choose "Open International ..."
  • Bluetooth - enable the menubar icon and choose "Open Bluetooth Preferences ..."
  • Displays - enable the displays menubar icon and choose "Display Preferences ...", or press option + either brightness key
  • Energy Saver - enable the UPS/Battery status menubar icon and choose "Energy Saver Preferences ..."
  • Print & Fax - from an open printer queue, choose "Printer > Show Printer List" (command + L)
  • Sound - press option + any sound key
  • MobileMe - enable the menubar icon and choose "Open MobileMe Sync Preferences ..."
  • Network - enable the Airport, VPN or modem status menubar icon and choose "Open Network Preferences ...", or choose "´ú┐ > Location > Network Preferences ...".
  • Accounts - enable fast user switching, then choose "Account Preferences ..." from the user menu
  • Date & Time - show the date and time in the menubar and choose "Open Date & Time ..." from the drop down menu.
  • Parental Controls - use shortcut for Accounts, and press the "Open Parental Controls ..." button.
  • Software Update - choose ´ú┐ > Software Update ..."
  • Speech - enable speakable items, then choose "Speech Preferences ..." from the floating window's menu
  • Time Machine - enable the menubar icon and choose "Open Time Machine Preferences ...", or right click on Time Machine in the Dock and choose "Time Machine Preferences ..."
  • Universal Access - enable the menubar icon and choose "Universal Access Preferences ..."


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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: SuperCrisp on Oct 02, '08 02:35:20PM

YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! I teach with an external display and then use my laptop to feed video to my TV. Between those two resolutions and (still) playing StarCraft, I frequently visit the Displays pane. You have just saved me two clicks per video device.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: u2mr2os2 on Sep 30, '08 08:28:35PM

Interesting that the MobileMe preference pane is called Internet.prefPane, and it's an alias to Mac.prefPane. Why not an alias called "MobileMe.prefPane"? Also, it seems "Internet" preferences is a bit more scope than MobileMe, but then IE prefs are "Internet" in the Windows Control Panel as I recall.



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Directly access System Preference panes in the Dock
Authored by: barefootguru on Sep 30, '08 10:12:19PM

Presumably because of the rename from .Mac to MobileMe and Apple's only cosmetically changed it.



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