Collection of Terminal Tweaks for Mac OS X
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Terminal Tweaks.rtf

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A Collection of Terminal Tweaks for Mac OS X


  • Most of these 'tweaks' edit .plist files in ~/Library/Preferences. To use them simply paste a command into a Terminal window.
  • You can revert changes by deleting the appropriate .plist file or by replacing TRUE/FALSE.
  • I recommend testing these tweaks in a temporary account and turning on 'fast user switching'.
  • You can edit .plist files directly by opening them in xcode.
  • Use sudo at the beginning of a command to edit locked files.
  • Drag and drop files and folders into a terminal window to add its path.
  • cd means change directory
  • Files with a space in their name require a backslash (DVD\ or quotation marks ("DVD")


Change System Fonts

  • These are the default fonts and sizes.
  • To use these commands per application replace -g with -app followed by the name of the application (-app Bean NSTitleBarFont).
  • To use these commands on applications located within a folder first cd into that directory.
  • 'NSBoldSystemFont' safari tab bar.
  • 'NSPaletteFont' utility window title bar.
  • 'NSTitleBarFont' title bar.


Plain Text In Mail

 defaults write PreferPlainText -bool TRUE

Disable And Hide Spotlight

 sudo chmod 600 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search; killall SystemUIServer

Disable And Hide Notifications

 sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ KeepAlive -bool FALSE

Expand Print Panel By Default

 defaults write -g PMPrintingExpandedStateForPrint -bool TRUE

Expand Save Panel By Default

 defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool TRUE

Disable Mission Control Animation

 defaults write expose-animation-duration -int 0; killall Dock

Show All Hidden Files

 defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Disable Tooltips

 defaults write -g NSInitialToolTipDelay -int 999999; killall Finder

Enable Text Selection In Quicklook

 defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE; killall Finder

Disable Quick Look Window Animation

 defaults write -g QLPanelAnimationDuration -float 0; killall Finder

Disable New Window Animation

 defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool FALSE; killall SystemUIServer

Disable Dialog Box Animation

 defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime 0.001

Hide Applications

 sudo chflags hidden /path/to/file

Disable Autosave/Versions And Enable ’Save-As’

 defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool no

Disable Rubber Band Scrolling

 defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0; killall Finder

Disable Rubber Band Scrolling In Itunes

 defaults write disable-elastic-scroll -bool TRUE

Set Path Bar To Home Directory

 defaults write PathBarRootAtHome -bool TRUE; killall Finder

Show Full Path In Finder Title Bar

 defaults write _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool TRUE

Hide 'Automatically Add To Itunes' Folder

 chflags hidden ~/Music/"Automatically Add to iTunes.localized"

Change Default Screenshot Location

 defaults write location /path/to/destination; killall SystemUIServer

Single App Mode

 defaults write single-app -bool TRUE; killall Dock

Disable Dashboard

 defaults write single-app -bool TRUE; killall Dock

Trash Folder On Desktop

ln -s ~/.Trash ~/Desktop/Trash

Change System Fonts

 defaults write -g NSBoldSystemFont LucidaGrande-Bold 
 defaults write -g NSBoldSystemFontSize -int 13 
 defaults write -g NSFixedPitchFont Menlo-Regular 
 defaults write -g NSFixedPitchFontSize -int 11 
 defaults write -g NSFont Helvetica 
 defaults write -g NSFontSize -int 12 
 defaults write -g NSLabelFont LucidaGrande 
 defaults write -g NSLabelFontSize -int 10 
 defaults write -g NSMessageFont LucidaGrande 
 defaults write -g NSMessageFontSize -int 13 
 defaults write -g NSPaletteFont LucidaGrande 
 defaults write -g NSPaletteFontSize -int 10 
 defaults write -g NSSystemFont LucidaGrande 
 defaults write -g NSSystemFontSize -int 13
 defaults write -g NSTitleBarFont LucidaGrande 
 defaults write -g NSTitleBarFontSize -int 13 
 defaults write -g NSToolTipsFont LucidaGrande 
 defaults write -g NSToolTipsFontSize -int 11

Lock Dock

 defaults write contents-immutable -bool TRUE; killall Dock

2D Dock

 defaults write no-glass -boolean TRUE; killall Dock

Disable Dock

 defaults write autohide-time-modifier -int 999999 && defaults write autohide-delay -float 999999; killall Dock

Resize Dock

 defaults write tilesize -int 34

Show Dock Animation Speed

 defaults write autohide-time-modifier -int 1

Hide Dock Animation Speed

 defaults write autohide-delay -float 1

Disable Dock Animation

 defaults write autohide-time-modifier -int 0.1 && defaults write autohide-delay -float 0.1; killall Dock

Transparent Icon For Hidden Applications

 defaults write showhidden -bool TRUE; killall Dock

Disable Bouncing Applications In Dock

 defaults write no-bouncing -bool TRUE; killall Dock