Customizing the OS X Desktop Prefs (Alex's Mac Tip of the... whenever)

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by alex_ant, Jun 29, 2002.

  1. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    OK, I'm not sure whether or not this is common knowledge, but I figured it out on my own and I'm quite proud of myself. If you're tired of just Apple standard, nature, abstract, and solid colors to choose from, and you'd like to add more variety to the Desktop Prefs, specifically by adding more pictures to the collections, renaming the collections and adding/deleting collections, this is how to do it, and be forewarned that I will not be responsible if you seriously screw up your computer :)D):

    The Apple standard desktop pictures are located in /Library/Desktop Pictures. You'll notice that the hierarchy of this folder matches the hierarchy of the Desktop prefs. You would think that one could simply add another subfolder inside this folder and it would show up inside the desktop prefs, right? Well, haha! You would be wrong!

    The Desktop Prefs gets its information as to what picture folders are available from a property list. It then puts the entries from this plist into its drop-down menu, and renders thumbnails of all the pictures it sees in the corresponding folders. This plist file is located at /System/Library/PreferencePanes/DesktopPictures.prefPane/Contents/Resources/Collections.plist. To get at this file in the Finder, you will need to control-click DesktopPictures.prefPane and choose "Show Package Contents" to get any further. Double-click Collections.plist and it will open in the PropertyList Editor. Expand the six gray triangles on the left of the property list nodes and you will begin to see how the plist controls the behavior of the Desktop Prefs.

    To add another collection, click on Root in the PropertyList Editor, and click New Sibling. Then change its class from String to Dictionary inside the Class column. Then add new children to that, basically re-creating the structure of the other nodes below it. I'm not sure what showScalingPopup does. Feel free to experiment. :)

  2. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    that sounds pretty good. all this time i have been just selecting different folders to view the wallpapers as a thumbnail. i'm not quite sure what this does, but i'll have a look at it tomorrow.

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