Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Finder Preferences allow users to change the sidebar, alter how searches work, show file extensions, configure label names, alter what devices show up on the desktop of a system and control the behavior of Finder windows. You can access Finder Preferences either using the Preferences menu (under the Finder menu) with the Finder as the active application or using the Command-, keystroke.

There are a number of reasons I’ve seen people want to disable Finder Preferences, such as controlling user experience and easing support of the user experience for OS X. To do so, send a boolean ProhibitFinderPreferences key to as TRUE (and kill the Finder):

defaults write ProhibitFinderPreferences -bool true; killall Finder

To change it back:

defaults write ProhibitFinderPreferences -bool false; killall Finder

September 6th, 2013

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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Here’s the thing: I’m not very good with computers. So to keep me from hurting myself too badly, I need the simplest interface available that allows me to run multiple applications. But most of the command keys shouldn’t work in this interface and I should only have Finder, file and Help menus.

Luckily for my poor MacBook Airs, Apple thought of people like me when they wrote the Finder and invented something called Simple Finder which makes OS X even simpler than it is by default to use. To enable Simple Finder, just go to Parental controls, enable controls for a user and then check the box for Simple Finder. Or, if you have an entire population of users like me, who simply can’t be trusted with a full operating environment, you can send the InterfaceLevel key with the contents of simple (easy to remember for those of us who resemble said key) to and restart our friendly neighborhood Finder:

defaults write InterfaceLevel simple; killall Finder

Come to think of it, maybe I’m not so awful. Let’s say I want to turn that whole Simple Finder thing right back off. Well, all we have to do is delete that key we created and then restart the Finder:

defaults delete InterfaceLevel; killall Finder

Actually, I am terrible with these things. So much so that it’s not appropriate for me to use a computer. Therefore, just take it away. I’ll be better off using that Samsung with Windows 8 for awhile. At least there, I won’t be able to get any of my apps open or find any of the administrative tools that could damage the computer!

May 17th, 2013

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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For many environments, securing OS X is basically trying to make the computer act more like an iOS device. Some of the easier tasks involve disabling access to certain apps, sandboxing and controlling access to certain features. One of the steps en route to building an iOS-esque environment in OS X is to disable that Go to Folder… option. To do so, set the ProhibitGoToFolder key as true in

defaults write ProhibitGoToFolder -bool true

Then reboot, or kill the Finder:

killall Finder

To undo, set the ProhibitGoToFolder as false:

defaults write ProhibitGoToFolder -bool false

November 11th, 2012

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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You’re searching for some content on your desktop and opening pages file after pages file and pdf after pdf in QuickLook. Finally you find that one juicy morsel. It’s a short script you just need to copy into your clipboard. But you can’t. The gods of technology are aligned against you, to make you hit command-O and then after waiting for the entire 3 seconds it takes Preview to open, you have to search within the document for that information. Holy crap, you just lost at least 5 to 8 seconds of your day. I guess now you have to cancel vacation or let your spouse know you’ll be home late late.

But you don’t have to miss the train. I have a step in my imaging workflow that you’re going to love. One of those little gems I put in my default user and had almost started thinking was the default until I realized it was part of my imaging workflow during ML upgrades. Gain back at least 10 seconds a day with this handy little option: enable text selection in QuickLook. Basically, if you click on text in QuickLook nothing happens, double-click the file to open. If you write the QLEnableTextSelection key into (.plist) then log out, reboot or kill the Finder, you can click on text and it actually highlights (cue angelic chorus):

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE

And to kill the finder:

killall Finder

To undo:

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool FALSE

Now take that extra hour a year I gave ya’ and sumbit an article to this site using the Submit button in the toolbar!

June 23rd, 2012

Posted In: Mac OS X

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I originally posted this at

Have you ever been looking for some files an you just can’t find them. Well, maybe they’re hidden. If you need to see hidden files, use the following command:defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true
killall Finder

The problem with seeing hidden files is that you see a lot of stuff that you really probably don’t want to see. So to get back to a state where you don’t have to see all of the invisible files, use the following command:
defaults delete AppleShowAllFiles
killall Finder

June 20th, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

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