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Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition by Rob Griffiths

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BBEdit

BBEdit is a text editor that’s beloved by power users, Web designers, and programmers the world over. It’s designed mainly for nerdy text editing—tasks like making HTML Web pages and writing computer programs in PHP and Perl.

Editing System Files

If you try to edit one of Mac OS X’s own system files, you’ll quickly discover it’s pretty tough. Mac OS X is very protective of its files, and doesn’t permit ordinary civilians to alter them.

You can work around this blockade in any of three ways. One way: If you know Unix, you can open Terminal (Section P.3.5.3) and use the chmod command. Another option: In the Finder, you can open a Get Info window for the file, transfer the ownership to your account, edit the file, and then restore ownership to root when you’re done.

Or you could use BBEdit, which offers a third, and much simpler, solution.

Since system files are typically hidden, the first thing you need to do is find the file you want to edit. (Duh!) To do so using BBEdit, simply choose File Open Hidden. Then, in the dialog box that appears, select All Files from the Enable pop-up menu, hit Shift-

Editing System Files

-G to bring up the Go to Folder dialog box, and enter the full path to a hidden folder, as shown in Figure 13-1.

When you press Enter, BBEdit opens the hidden folder in the top portion of the dialog box, revealing all the hidden files inside.

Pick a file to edit by double-clicking it, and ...

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