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Safely add the date to the menubar in 10.2
Authored by: snowyowl on Sep 23, '03 02:16:46PM
As several people noted, changing the global time or date format affects applications other than the menu bar clock. Editing the clock's own display format instead is less apt to cause problems elsewhere.

In OS 10.2.6 (at least; probably other versions too), use the Terminal:

cd '/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/'

Go to the directory for your localization; for English, that's

cd English.lproj

The Localizable.strings file is in a format that's not very emacs-friendly, so I had to open it in Project Builder after backing it up:

sudo cp Localizable.strings Localizable_bak.strings
open Localizable.strings

Edit the MBC_CLOCK_FORMAT_STRING field to your favorite value, using display codes similar to those for the C strftime() function. For instance, I like "%a %d %b %time%p", which gives "Tue 23 Sep 11:11:07 AM" (or something similar, depending on your clock preferences). The codes are documented at

I don't know how to get Project Builder to overwrite a locked file, even opening it in a sudo, so I saved the Localizable.strings to the Desktop, then copied it back to where it belongs. Assuming you're still in the English.lproj directory,

sudo mv ~/Desktop/Localizable.strings .

Log out and log back in to update the clock display.


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HELP! (was: Safely add the date to the menubar in 10.2)
Authored by: Mr. Bappo on Oct 10, '03 12:09:20AM

I managed to screw this up (which, if you knew me, is not so unusual, sigh...). I opened the menu clock prefs file using BBEdit, made the change to display the date, saved the file to the desktop and copied it back to the proper location using the Terminal. Logged out and back in, and now my menu clock text is in Korean.

I examined the file in the Terminal and realized that the ownership was now to my user, not root, so I used the chown command to reset the permissions to the root user and the group to wheel (which seems to be the default for all system files). Still no luck.

I then used Tinker Tool to show hidden files in the Finder, and in doing so realized that the file was now typed to BBEdit, so I removed the BBEdit filetype and creator codes from the file. Still no luck.

Any ideas? I did not make a backup of the file (yeah, I know, lesson learned trust me!) and I'm guessing that I'm missing something very simple here...

Thanks in advance for any assistance!
Mr. Bappo

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HELP! (was: Safely add the date to the menubar in 10.2)
Authored by: snowyowl on Oct 12, '03 09:59:39PM

Nothing springs to mind. What OS version are you running, and what did you change the MBC_CLOCK_FORMAT_STRING to?


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Safely add the date to the menubar in 10.2
Authored by: silentway on Nov 04, '03 03:30:52PM

I tried this and get hung up at the end- when I move the new Localizable.strings from the desktop to the English.lproj directory, it doesn't appear to overwrite the old version. (Even after logging out/in.) If I do a ls -al on the English.lproj directory, the mod date still shows 7/2002. Here are the results of the mv:

usage: mv [-fi] source target
mv [-fi] source ... directory

That means it overwrites the old version, right? hmmm... any thoughts?

Tony Brooke
OS X 10.2.5, G4/867 PowerBook, 768mb

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Safely add the date to the menubar in 10.2
Authored by: jfw on Dec 17, '03 12:49:43AM

No, that means you had a syntax error in your mv command.
It did not do anything and is reporting what the correct usage format should be.

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