Annotate Preferences

version 3.0


If your Preferences folder looked like this, it would be easy to find a preference file.

Note that the Preferences are ordered by Comment, not by Name. The Comment column contains the name of the application or other package file that created the preference file.

Mac OS X Leopard or Tiger is required. Full documentation is available by launching Annotate Preferences, then clicking the Help button.

How it works — Every bundle which has a preference file contains a data item which Apple's document "The Preferences System", describes as ...

Preference files are stored as XML property lists in Unicode UTF-8 format. The name of each file in Library/Preferences is comprised of the application’s bundle identifier followed by the .plist extension. For example, the bundle identifier for the TextEdit application is so its preferences file name is

This rule is not followed scrupulously, even by Apple, but it works often enough to be useful. Annotate Preferences scans for (application) bundles, reads its bundle identifier, then writes the name of the bundle into the comment of every preference file whose name begins with the bundle identifier.