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10.7: Change an application's category System 10.7
Lion provides a new feature in the Finder: the ability to sort your applications by (App Store) category.

But category is not always accurate, or is not set for many non-Apple applications.

To add or modify a category, you have to open the application bundle ('Show Package Contents', the under the folder Contents open the file 'Info.plist').

You then can change the existing category by changing the key called 'LSApplicationCategoryType' (or create the category by adding a child named accordingly).

The list of available categories seems to be restricted to the ones provided by Apple here.

[crarko adds: As far as I can see, the category does indeed seem to only be included in programs downloaded from the Mac App Store, so you might want to add it. It's quite possible that when you update the program, the info.plist file could be overwritten and the change lost.]
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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: Lri on Oct 21, '11 08:56:37AM
a="/Applications/Notational Velocity.app"
$ defaults write "$a/Contents/Info" LSApplicationCategoryType public.app-category.productivity
$ codesign -vv "$a"
/Applications/Notational Velocity.app: invalid signature (code or signature have been modified)
In architecture: i386
$ codesign -f -s - "$a"
/Applications/Notational Velocity.app: replacing invalid existing signature
$ codesign -vv "$a"
/Applications/Notational Velocity.app: valid on disk
/Applications/Notational Velocity.app: satisfies its Designated Requirement
  • codesign -f -s - SomeApp.app: force sign <no identity>
  • codesign -vv SomeApp.app: verify verbose


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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: captainulf on Oct 24, '11 02:20:55AM

What's the point of code signing if you as an end user (or a malicious application / script) can re-sign code as easy as that?



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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: TouchOfGray on Oct 26, '11 06:44:10PM

Good point. However, as a User, I prefer to assign the category attribute just like I can choose the default app to open a particular file type. I wish the category attribute could be specified in the app's Get Info pane.



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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: TouchOfGray on Oct 23, '11 03:27:26PM

Encountered two hurdles while using this useful hint...

1) Applications that are in folders within the Applications folder will not appear in their assigned category field when sorted. They will continue to remain in their folders under the Other category. To remedy, move the application outside its folder and into the Applications folder.

2) Some info.plists are locked by their developers and aren't editable.



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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: sd on Oct 25, '11 01:48:19PM

yes thanks for the edit #1. I forgot this!

For point #2, have you some examples of not editable plist ? Isn't it a problem of priviledge?



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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: TouchOfGray on Oct 26, '11 06:38:11PM

Aha. You are correct. When I attempted to edit the info.plist for AutoDesk's Sketchbook Express app, an error message indicated I did not have appropriate permissions. I fumbled for awhile, changing the permissions on the app itself and on the info.plist before realizing that it was the info.plist's parent folder (the Contents folder) that needed the permissions adjusted. After I changed the parent folder's permissions, I was able to edit and save the info.plist. The app moved to the category I assigned after I moved it out of and back to the Applications folder.

BTW, moving apps outside of their unique folders may disable some of their features. When I moved the Adobe Illustrator app out of its folder and into the overall Applications folder, it disabled the plugins for that app.



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10.7: Change an application's category
Authored by: luaratara on Sep 02, '12 10:01:37AM

<<You then can change the existing category by changing the key called 'LSApplicationCategoryType' (or create the category by adding a child named accordingly). >>

I can't find the 'LSApplicationCategoryType' item in all the Plists (e.g., Audacity). Is it possible to create that item?



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