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What is a Resource?
The article in MacAddict Magazine

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999

File Info -- A file's type and creator aren't resources, but you can hack them with Resorcerer to change a file's personal info.


Using the resource editor, select File Info from the File menu, and you'll have access to the file type and creator codes, which tell a file all about itself.

File type uses four-letter abbreviations to fill your System in on what type of file it's dealing with; for example, an APPL is an application, TEXT is a text file, MooV represents a QuickTime file, INIT is an extension, and cdev stands for control panel.

Macs are better!

One of the many neat things about the Mac is that instead of using a cheesy 3 letter extension (like DOS and Windows) the Mac has a much better way of recognizing files; Type and Creator.

Windows and DOS have these 3 letter codes (file name extensions), that are sometimes hidden and sometimes visible. These codes tell tell a file what "type" it is, but it doesn't have any information on who created them (or who owns them). The Mac has a 4 letter type code (like an invisible file name extension) that is case sensitive. Because the Macs is 4 characters, and case sensitive, it can handle far more possible types. But Macs also have a 4 character creator -- which means that a Mac file knows who owns a file (who created it).

So on the Mac you can have one text file that was created by Microsoft Word, which will be opened by Word whenever you double-click the file -- and you can have another text file that was created by BBedit, which will be opened by BBEdit when you double-click that file. Windows can't do that!

On Windows when an Application is installed it is the owner of ALL files of a particular type (since files themselves don't know who owns them). On Windows when you double click a file (of a type that many applications can read) it gets opened in whatever Application was installed last. If you want an earlier installed Application to be the default Application for all files of that type, then you have to reinstall that Application again, or hack the system files (registry) to repair things. Bleck!

Once again, Windows did a poor job of immitating the Macs simplicity.

File creator uses four-letter abbreviations to tell the Finder what kind of program created the file and which program it should run whenever you open that file. For example, when you click on a Microsoft Word document, it's the file creator that tells your System to fire up the infamous application.

Of course there are many other attributes associated with files to help the Mac, and you, know more about a file. File info with Resorcerer explains what these attributes are, and where you can see (and edit them from) using Resorcerer.

If you want to try some File Info hacks out, try these:

These should allow you allow you to tweak the files a bit more to your liking and will help you keep your reputation (or give you one) as a "Mac Guru Extrordinaire! "

Created: JULY/98
Updated: 11/09/02

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