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5.5. Final Thoughts

In this chapter, you've discovered ways to find, update, and play with preferences. Before you move on to reading about domains, here are some points to ponder:


Just because a preference isn't there doesn't mean you can't use it.

From an application-design point of view, deciding which items to offer in an application's preferences panel involves trade-offs of space and flexibility. Application programmers often add hooks for preferences that don't make the cut into the final application interface. Just because a preference doesn't appear in a preferences pane doesn't mean you can't take advantage of it.


Seek, and ye might find.

Finding preferences by searching through an application's strings file is a hit-or-miss proposition. Many applications simply don't have undocumented preferences.


Undocumented preferences often change between application releases.

Something that worked in Version 3 may not work in Version 4 or 5. Application developers are under no obligation to support (or retain) unofficial preferences.


Keep track of who's changing what.

An application, System Preferences, and yourself may all end up in competition trying to modify a preferences file. Always quit applications and System Preferences before manually editing preferences. Otherwise, your changes may get overwritten.


Watch out for case and spelling.

Spelling counts. It doesn't matter how clever you are or how well you've searched for hidden settings if you end up trying to set an application's "transparentcy."


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