TinkerTool Is A Useful Pocket Knife For Tweaking Your Mac’s Hidden Controls [50 Mac Essentials #50]

Tinkertool icon

TinkerTool is the Swiss Army knife you need for your Mac.

With its blades you can activate – or deactivate – all sorts of features that are normally hidden from view.

What sort of features? Here are a few of them:

  • Speed up the animation of save sheets
  • Make the icons of hidden applications turn transparent in the Dock
  • Change the default file format for screenshots
  • Allow half-star ratings in iTunes
  • Disable preview images of web pages saved by Safari
  • Change all sorts of system fonts

And that’s just a tiny handful of the things you can change. There’s a full list on this web page, including details of what’s covered in Snow Leopard and Lion. TinkerTool doesn’t add anything to, or remove anything from, your system. All it does is provide simple one-click access to a long list of hidden preferences you’d normally need to use Terminal to reach.

Installing TinkerTool is like placing a control panel of clearly-labelled buttons on top of a mess of bare wires. When it was just wires, you needed to be an expert to know what was what. With the control panel in place, no expertise is necessary.

TinkerTool is free and frequently updated, but as an added bonus you can also grab older versions if you’re running an older OS X on an older Mac.

(You’re reading the 50th and final post in our series, 50 Mac Essentials: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more, or grab the RSS feed.)

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About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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