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Chapter 4. System Preferences > Adding Panes to System Preferences

4.4. 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 5). 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). However, the System Preferences application won't display preference panes' icons as part of its main view (Figure 4-1) unless you add them into one of the filesystem's Library folders.

Placing a .prefPane file in the ~/Library/PreferencePanes folder located within your own Home folder causes it to appear listed among the System Preferences' pane icons for you alone. If you want to let all users of the machine use the pane (and you have admin privileges), you can place it in /Library/PreferencePanes. (Note that this shares only the interface; unless the pane explicitly sets systemwide preferences, it will read from and write to only the appropriate preference file within the /Library folder of any user who uses it.)

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