Pref Setter

2.0 28 Jul 2008

Edit preference files, access hidden settings.


Developer website: Night Productions

Pref Setter is an application used to edit plist (Property LIST) files, geared towards viewing / editing Mac OS X's preference files. Very useful for setting those "hidden" preference settings that aren't available directly in an application. While the emphasis is on editing preferences, Pref Setter is a general plist editor.

Pref Setter makes accessing your preferences easy with the "Open Domain Quickly" window, listing your preference files and those in the /Library/Preferences domain.

Preferences are also easily searchable, with the Find panel that will search all your preference files for a term, or search individual plist files for a term with the search bar in the document windows.

Pref Setter also has comprehensive copy & paste / drag & drop support. You can paste / drag an XML string (in property list format) onto a document window to create or change a value. And now, you can paste / drag a "defaults write...." string into Pref Setter and have it take care of writing that for you. No need to take a trip to the terminal!

What's New

Version 2.0:

 New Features:

  • Pref Setter now uses the authorization frameworks to enable editing of system level plist files.
  • New tool bar item and menu items in the contextual menus for the "Open Domain Quickly" window and Find panel which will allow you to launch or quit the application a property list belongs to.
  • Data items are now editable, in a separate hex editor window.
  • If a value is too long to be shown entirely while editing, a separate window will now open to allow easier editing.
  • You can now use regular expressions when searching.
  • Added the Sparkle framework, for automatic updates.

 Changed Features:

  • Changed display of dates to show a formatted date string rather than the raw date.
  • If you copy/drag an item from a non-writable file, the "defaults write…" string generated will now have sudo written before it.
  • Can now display dictionaries and arrays in a preference document in bold.
  • "Open Domain Quickly" window now shows icons.
  • Font for the items in the "Open Domain Quickly" window is now separately set from the document font.
  • You can now change a class to a Data type (though you can't change a Data type to another class).
  • Updated Preference pane.
  • Updated Find panel.
  • Updated Get Info window.
  • Updated Help documentation.
  • Pref Setter now requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

 Bug Fixes:

  • Leopard compatibility fixes.
  • Fixed a bug where pasting or dragging a "defaults write…" string with a boolean type would always default to true.
  • Fixed a bug where pasting or dragging a "defaults write…" string of either the -array-add or -dict-add type would replace the entire array or dictionary with the new value rather than adding the new value.
  • Fixed a bug that could lead to a crash when changing the class to a Boolean, Integer, Float, or Date class.
  • "Open Domain Quickly" window no longer allows you to delete the preferences of a running application, which could lead to that application crashing.


Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later


Current Version (2.x)


Version Downloads
Development / Editors
28 Jul 2008
OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32