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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default Apps

If, like me, you wish that TextEdit did not show its ruler by default, this hint is for you.

TextEdit displays the ruler by default when creating or opening rich text documents. I find the ruler visually cluttering and distracting, and I rarely ever need it.

Unfortunately, TextEdit does not offer a way to turn off the ruler by default in its Preferences window. But it can be done using the following simple steps:

  1. Quit TextEdit if it is running.
  2. Enter the following command into a Terminal window: defaults write com.apple.TextEdit ShowRuler 0
  3. Open TextEdit.
  4. Enjoy increased visual and mental tranquility.

You can always show the ruler if you need it for something by pressing ⌘R or choosing Format > Text > Show Ruler from TextEdit's menus.

To revert TextEdit to its default setting, repeat steps 1 to 3 above, but use this command in Terminal instead: defaults delete com.apple.TextEdit ShowRuler

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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default | 13 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: BrianL3D on Aug 13, '13 08:06:25AM

Why not use the Show Ruler checkbox in the program's New Document Preferences pane?



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: keirthomas on Aug 13, '13 09:04:57AM
Unfortunately, TextEdit does not offer a way to turn off the ruler by default in its Preferences window.

You know what I'm about to say, don't you :)

There is an option, in the preferences dialog, at the bottom of the window when the New Document tab is selected. OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4. No need for hacks in this case.

---
Author of Mac Kung Fu
Over 400 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for OS X
My tips blog: http://mackungfu.org
Edited on Aug 13, '13 09:07:41AM by keirthomas


[ Reply to This | # ]
Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: Sesquipedalian on Aug 13, '13 10:41:52PM

Why, so there is! I never noticed it there in that ticket of data detector and spelling preferences. Oops!



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: broomdodger on Aug 13, '13 09:37:55AM
Unfortunately, TextEdit does not offer a way to turn off the ruler by default in its Preferences window.

There IS also a setting in 10.4.11:

TextEdit > Preferences > New Document > Options > Show ruler

[ Reply to This | # ]
Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: fferitt25 on Aug 13, '13 10:03:51AM

As the other commentors have pointed out - going to the PREFS and unchecking "Show Ruler" does in fact disable the Ruler from being shown when opening a New Blank Document (RTF or Plain format).

So Yes - no need to force the OS by using Terminal for this.

Also of note - 10.6.8 version of TextEdit hid the Text Styles buttons and options (Underline - Spacing - Font etc...)

While the 10.8.x version of TextEdit does not. Even with the Rulers hidden the Formating options remain.

There may be some magical Defaults Write command to hide that as well in RTF mode - but I personally am in Plain text mode 99% of the time anyway so I don't ever see it.

Too many people on this Site in recent years tend to goto the Terminal for very basic things that don't require the Command Line. This is a good example.



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: keirthomas on Aug 13, '13 01:03:15PM

I think you underestimate the amount of work involved in "going to the Terminal". Some of the people who come up with those tips are the knights of the OS X hacks scene!

I've no idea how this guy found this "defaults write" hack but there are two ways of doing so that are known right now: (1) examining the app's prefs file, or (2) using GNU debugger to examine the app while it's running (as described by Arctic Mac (http://arcticmac.home.comcast.net/~arcticmac/tutorials/gdbFindingPrefs.html)).

This was shown quite nicely a year or two ago when people got annoyed at bouncing scrolling in certain apps (i.e. scroll too far and it stretches). People used these techniques to find a solution and, trust me, it takes quite a bit of effort and dedication. It's not trivial.

What sometimes happens, though, is that somebody turns up what seems like a great "defaults write" hack but doesn't realise it's actually a legitimate option offered in the preferences dialog box. That's what happened here. I've done it myself quite a few times when writing my book (I spotted them before publication) but it's inanely annoying.

So spare a little thought for these guys. They're not doing things dogmatically by the terminal because it gives them a kick. They're exploring and finding new capabilities and solutions within software.

Sadly, however, there aren't as many of these guys around as there used to be -- perhaps because it is so hard to do.

---
Author of Mac Kung Fu
Over 400 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for OS X
My tips blog: http://mackungfu.org



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Aug 13, '13 12:31:26PM

I don't understand how the ruler is distracting. You aren't reading the ruler. I didn't even remember there was a ruler until I read this tip!

---
iMac 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB, 1TB, Mac OS X 10.8.4
www.david-schwab.com
www.myspace/davidschwab
www.sgd-lutherie.com



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: baltwo on Aug 14, '13 05:45:10PM

I don't either.



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: chocky on Aug 13, '13 12:56:05PM

As others have mentioned; "There's a pref for that."
Also, you can use Command-R to toggle the ruler ON and OFF.



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: baltwo on Aug 14, '13 05:37:53PM

But, CMD+R also removes the formatting bar above it, which most likely isn't desired.



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: scottbayes on Aug 13, '13 02:01:38PM

<<I've no idea how this guy found this "defaults write" hack but there are two ways of doing so that are known right now: (1) examining the app's prefs file, or (2) using GNU debugger to examine the app while it's running (as described by Arctic Mac (http://arcticmac.home.comcast.net/~arcticmac/tutorials/gdbFindingPrefs.html)).

This was shown quite nicely a year or two ago when people got annoyed at bouncing scrolling in certain apps (i.e. scroll too far and it stretches). People used these techniques to find a solution and, trust me, it takes quite a bit of effort and dedication. It's not trivial. >>

There's a third way: I discovered (or found independently, not sure which) the iTunes half-star rating "defaults write" sequence that you often see on the net. I found it by going to /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS with Terminal and doing "nm iTunes" (this seems to no longer work on iTunes in 10.6.8, maybe Apple butchered the link format to keep idle hands off, or maybe my system has a problem, dunno), then groveling through the resulting textual output. Took about half an hour IIRC, since I was fishing, just looking for recognizable stuff, rather than searching. Had I been searching for this feature instead, then

$ nm iTunes | grep -i star

or

$ nm iTunes | grep -i half

would have found it in short order.

So I guess the other point is, though I have always wanted to be a hero :-), it's not really that heroic an act in most cases, just a matter of knowing developers' commonly-used shell commands and what kind of stuff to look for. Any UNIX and many MacOS developers already know what to do.

But I do wish Apple would stop sacrificing existing useful options to the God of Simplicity. If you're not part of the target market, life gets more difficult when they do this, not less.



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Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: keirthomas on Aug 14, '13 04:50:15AM
it's not really that heroic an act in most cases, just a matter of knowing developers' commonly-used shell commands and what kind of stuff to look for. Any UNIX and many MacOS developers already know what to do.

Indeed, and thanks for pointing out that command. I had a play with a few apps and already turned-up a few new interesting bits and pieces. I wonder if robg knows about this command?

However, the point is that the OP believed people were simply dropping down to the terminal then waving a magic wand to do things "the hard way", rather than using the preferences dialog box.

I wanted to make it clear that it's not trivial finding these things out. You yourself said you spent half a hour trawling through the results. That's the actions of somebody with dedication, not some fly-by-night dogmatist!

---
Author of Mac Kung Fu
Over 400 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for OS X
My tips blog: http://mackungfu.org


[ Reply to This | # ]
Hide TextEdit's ruler by default
Authored by: scottbayes on Aug 14, '13 10:16:26AM

<< I wonder if robg knows about this command?>>

It was Rob I sent the half-star hint to after discovering it, IIRC. I'm pretty sure he knows all about nm.

Glad the info I posted helped you!



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