Here’s what you need to do in OS X... I’m assuming a creator code of "STS1"
and an extension of "sts" - remember the original app was called "TestAE":
If you have PropertyList Editor:
- Create your standalone (in my case it was "TestAE.app").
- Find your standalone in the Finder, control-click it and choose "Show Package Contents".
- In the folder that opens, open the folder called "Contents".
- In the Contents folder, double-click on "PkgInfo". It will launch
TextEdit and it should contain the simple string "APPLMCRD". Change this to
"APPLSTS1", save the file.
- The next step is to edit the "Info.plist" file; if you installed the
Developer Tools that came with OS X, you will have an application called
"PropertyList Editor" on your hard drive, which provides a UI for editing
this file. If not, you can edit it in TextEdit, but you'll be manipulating
XML. I've outlined both ways below:
- Quit out of TextEdit (since you won't need it).
- Double-click "Info.plist", which will launch Property Editor.
- Expand "Root".
- Change the "CFBundleSignature" to "STS1".
- Expand "CFBundleDocumentTypes", then expand "0".
- Change "CFBundleTypeName" to a name you want your document to show in
the Finder. I've changed mine to "TestAE document".
- Expand "CFBundleTypeExtensions".
- Change the value for "0" from "mc" to "sts".
- Save changes and quit the PropertyList Editor.
If you don’t have PropertyList Editor:
- With TextEdit still open, open the file "Info.plist".
- Under the root level <dict>, find the subelement <array>, then the
subelement of <array> called <dict>, then the subelement of <dict> called
<array>, then the subelement of <array> called <string> that contains the
value "mc". (For the purposes of the rest of this email, paths will be
referred to using backslahes, so this location in the XML document would be
- Change the value from "mc" to "sts".
- Locate the \dict\array\dict\key with the value "CFBundleTypeName".
Underneath that is a <string>. Change its value from "Metacard stack" to
- Locate the \dict\key with the value "CFBundleSignature". Underneath that
is a . Change its value from "MCRD" to "STS1".
- Save changes and quit TextEdit.
If you like, you can also change other data, such as copyright info
("NSHumanReadableCopyright") and version strings ("CFBundleShortVersionString",
6) Create your test stack, adding a ".sts" extension (mine was called
Now comes the important part — reboot *twice*. Perhaps its the way I did
things (create the dummy stack with the ".sts" extension first and then
tweak the settings of TestAE.app), but I found that if I rebooted once, the
dummy stack I’d created did not associate properly with TestAE.app.
BTW: You'll know if the association works if the "Kind" column in the Finder
shows "TestAE document" and not "Document" or "Metacard stack".
One final note: You can change the icons that your standalone uses for
documents by downloading an icon editor for OS X (I tried a cheap one called
Icon Machine III), and opening the file "MetaCardDoc.icns" in the Resources
folder of the Contents folder. I would assume that for professionally
shipping applications you could change the names of the '.icns' files, so
long as you changed the references in the Info.plist file
Hope this works for you; please report back to the list and let us know if
these instructions are sound. If they are, I'll formalize them and put them
as a Tip on my site that anyone can access as needed.
When a document with the proper association is double-clicked in the Finder, your application
will launch, but you will need to use some AppleScript to determine the path of the file that
on appleEvent theClass,theID
if theClass is "aevt" and theID is "odoc" then
request appleEvent data
put it into theFiles ## files OS is requesting your application opens, one per line
if theFiles is not "not found" and theFiles is not empty then
## code to open theFiles
Put that in your preOpenCard or preOpenStack script and you should be able to work with files
that were opened from the Finder.
Posted 7/24/2002 by Ken Ray to the Use Revolution List
(See the complete post/thread)
Updated 6/15/2013 by Ken Ray