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Chapter 5. System Preferences > Adding Panes to System Preferences

5.4. Adding Panes to System Preferences

Preference panes are really just slimmed-down Mac OS X applications, and as such, can be installed from a source disk (or a freshly downloaded disk image) to your local hard drive with a simple drag-and-drop procedure (see Chapter 6). They can even be launched like other applications; double-clicking a .prefPane file's icon while in the Finder causes it to open within System Preferences (launching that application first, if it wasn't already running).

Sidebar 2. TinkerTool

One third-party preference pane that quickly gained popularity in the Mac OS X community is Marcel Bresnik's TinkerTool (http://www.bresink.de/osx/index.html). TinkerTool provides a friendly interface to many obscure System Preferences, which are adjustable by virtue of having entries in the underlying defaults system (as detailed in Chapter 22), but for which no Apple-authored preference panes or application preference windows exist.

For example, one of the pane's several pages allows you to position the Dock in places that the official Mac OS X Dock preference pane doesn't, such as along the top of the screen or attached to a corner rather than centered along a side. These options are fully supported by the operating system, but the operating system does not provide an obvious way to get to them. (The non-obvious way involves opening up the file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist in the Property List Editor application and modifying the values of the pinning and orientation keys.)



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