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Isn't there some wiki or apple documentation which shows which app keys can be used for apple software?

NOTE: I searched the whole net and didn't find any databases on this topic, so if there isn't really such a database maybe we should create one where we can share these keys. Is it possible to create a wikipage in this manner on stackexchange?

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Added a link but I discovered that the site wasn't usable after all so have deleted it. – Matthew Frederick Jan 13 '11 at 21:24
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well-built applications (hopefully including most of Apple's own apps) should be self-documenting -- Apple recommends that developers include a preference manifest inside each application that describes the preference keys they use (including their names, data types, descriptions, reasonable default values, etc).

To view an app's manifest, right-click (or control-click) on the app, and select Show Package Contents; then open Contents/Resources, and look for a file or folder named after the app's bundle id with a ".manifest" suffix (e.g. Safari's is in a sub-bundle, so it's actually in

The manifest file is itself in .plist format, and may be a little hard to ready by hand, but if you look for the name values listed under <key>pfm_name</key>, you should find what you're looking for.

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As far as I know the answer to your question is "no".

For any given software you can use defaults read to get whatever options are set, but if there are default options that are not set, you won't see them.

Blacktree Secrets is building a DB of defaults commands (which modify app plists).

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For those who land on this site the command is "defaults read /Library/Preferences/" – elhombre Jan 13 '11 at 22:43
A littlebit weird that they call these things "secrets" on that Site, but anyway the resource is interesting. Maybe I will later add some of my "secrets" to it ;) Thanx for the link – elhombre Jan 13 '11 at 22:45
seems that I found an other databases where they collect all sort of app keys – elhombre Jan 17 '11 at 20:45

Manifest Destiny is a site used to track Manifest (option) files for apps.

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