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Sorting the list of installed Safari extensions Web Browsers
I have read many posts and complaints online about how difficult it is to sort the list of installed extensions in the Safari preferences, and that they cannot be sorted by other ways than the enforced sort-by-install-date. It has been suggested that removing and reinstalling the extensions in the desired order is the only way to do it.

There is a better, simpler and quicker solution that does not force you to reinstall the extensions and lose configuration data.

The sort order is determined by the order of items in an array in the Extensions.plist file located at ~/Library/Safari/Extensions/Extensions.plist.

With the free trial version of PlistEdit Pro you can sort the list in the plist file with just a few clicks. Here is how:
  • Quit Safari and make a backup copy of Extensions.plist in case you need to revert any changes.
  • Open Extensions.plist with PlistEdit Pro.
  • Expand 'Root' and right click on 'Installed Extensions' and choose 'Sort By Subkey' at the bottom and 'Archive File Name' at the top of the submenu. Some visual aid can be found here.
  • Expand 'Installed Extensions' and some of its items to check that it looks correct and save the changes.
  • Open Safari and check out your sorted list of installed extensions!
Just repeat the steps above when needed and it is also possible to sort the list any way you like by dragging and dropping the items inside the array in the desired order.

As far as I know you only get a dialog delaying the startup of PlistEdit Pro after the 14 day trial has expired, so you can keep using it indefinitely. If you prefer a totally free solution, and can live with manual drag-and-drop sorting, you can always use Apple's own Property List Editor. The Property List Editor is installed with the Apple developer tools (Xcode) found on one of your Mac OS X install discs or online through Apple Developer (a free account is needed). The property List Editor has been integrated into Xcode 4, so if you want it as a standalone application or do not want to install all the development tools you can use Pacifist to extract it from an Xcode 3 install package (available from Mac Dev Center).

On a final note I would like to mention that this can of course all be automated since AppleScript supports working with property lists. But I leave the task of creating such a script to someone else, and you are more than welcome to share it in a comment below.

[crarko adds: I did it using Xcode, and it works fine but could be a pain if you have a lot of extensions. I also tried the described method with the trial version of PlistEdit Pro, and that was much quicker. In Lion, you need to be sure that the ~/Library folder is visible, or first navigate into it in the Finder Go menu (holding down the Option key) and then do an 'Open With' on the plist file to edit it.]
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Sorting the list of installed Safari extensions
Authored by: baltwo on Aug 25, '11 03:55:10PM


Edited on Aug 25, '11 03:57:15PM by baltwo

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