Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Creator Codes in Snow Leopard

Lukas Mathis:

I’m not sure whether this is a bug or an intentional «feature», but Snow Leopard has broken «Creator code» file associations. In Leopard and earlier versions of Mac OS X, applications could optionally «own» their files even if the files’ types were associated with a different application; i.e. you could associate RTF files to TextEdit, but if you created an RTF file in Word, that file would continue to open in Word.

It’s a shame, but I can’t say this is surprising.

Update (2009-09-07): Matt Neuburg: Snow Leopard Snubs Document Creator Codes. Some of the commenters seem to be stuck on the idea that supporting creator codes means less support for file extensions and therefore less interoperability. Supporting both seemed like a good compromise to me. Unless I’m missing something, Neuburg’s suggested workaround—changing the bindings manually using Get Info—is shocking laborious because it has to be done for each file separately. Perhaps someone will write a utility to set the 'usro' resource in bulk.

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Oh god, I've been waiting for this for *years*.

I haven't made the move to Snow Leopard yet, but it was my understanding that the info was still available in the resource fork (even in Snow Leopard)

So will right clicking on a file not present you with an 'open with' menu?

Or Have I missed something?

Nerg: The creator code has never been stored in the resource fork. Yes, there is still an Open With menu, but the benefit of the creator code is that it all works properly without having to use the menu.

I describe some of the consequences of this decision on my blog at

One thing you can do is select the files you want to change and press Command-Control-I to get a multi-file inspector, and then change the open-with application from there (provided the files are in the same folder).

Of course, I remembered this after I decided to write an 'usro'-writer command-line tool...

[...] (via Matt Deatherage) is a clever utility that tries to restore the creator code functionality that Apple removed in Snow Leopard. It sort of does for files what Choosy does for URLs, acting as [...]

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