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10.6: Quartz Debug 4.0 Secrets Apps
Snow Leopard only hintQuartz Debug is a part of the Apple Developer Tools and may be found in /Developer/Applications/Performance Tools. It's used to test and optimize graphics performance when writing a new Cocoa program. One thing bugging me with Quartz Debug version 4.0 in Snow Leopard is that the window list which listed all the open windows on the system along with their id, size, and memory consumption statistics is apparently gone. This was quite handy when debugging an application that uses multiple windows.

I say apparently gone because it's still there and this can easily verified by taking a look in Quartz Debug's Resources folder.There are lots of .nib in there not present in the old version. Here is how to restore the older behavior.

Open a Terminal prompt and type:
defaults write QDVisibleClientIdentifiers -array-add -string QDWindowInfoClient
Launch Quartz Debug, the 'Window Info' window should appear. And it's way better than the old one.It has live preview,application grouping,Core Image profiling,a reveal window button,etc.

You can also try this:
defaults write QDEnableAppleInternal -bool true
Take a look at the Window menu; there's a new Shadow Cache menu item and the Quartz Debug Settings hud has a new checkbox: 'Show opaque regions' and its QuartzGL setting has three choices (default,enable,disable).

You can activate a mode which show you window information on mouse over+Cmd+Option with this:
defaults write QDShowWindowInfoOnMouseOver -bool true
That's all for this hint but there is more to be found as there are two other executables in Quartz Debug/Contents/MacOS: 'Server' and 'LogTool' and apparently there is also a profiler according to the contents of the Resources folder.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.6: Quartz Debug 4.0 Secrets
Authored by: asmeurer on Nov 05, '10 08:37:33AM

Wow, the new windows pane really is way more useful. I always use Quartz Debugger whenever I get some phantom window and I can't figure out what process it belongs to.

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10.6: Quartz Debug 4.0 Secrets
Authored by: vczilla on Nov 05, '10 09:49:18AM

I love the new this new Window Info window too it really is way more useful than the old one and I can't for the love of god understand why Apple would hide this.

Unless of course it's a feature reserved to registered developers (who are under NDA) or something like this.

Apparently I forgot to log when I submitted this hint because it credits anonymous (arg he is everywhere ;-)) as the author instead of me.

And there is a 'be' missing between 'this can easily' and 'verified'.

I'll write a followup when I find how to activate/use the profiler or the server mode.

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10.6: Quartz Debug 4.0 Secrets
Authored by: Lri on Aug 21, '12 02:20:37PM

None of these work on 10.8, but defaults write QuartzDebugPrivateInterface -bool true enables the window list and shadow cache windows. See 10.7:Quartz Debug 4.2 hidden prefs - Mac OS X Hints.

Quartz Debug is no longer installed with Xcode, but can be downloaded from

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