For example, in Finder, when you CMD+C to copy a file, the Menu for pasting it is called "Paste Item". Is there a way to rename that simply to "Paste" ?

I'd like to do this for quite a few programs, Finder being only one of them, so if there's a universal method to this, by editing content files or by using terminal for example, that'd be great.


  • If there is a way my guess is it will be editing the localization strings (in en.lproj of the Resources subdirectory) or going into the raw .nib files.
    – 0942v8653
    Jun 3 '14 at 16:50

You will have to edit the .nib files with a text (or xml) editor. First make a backup of the app (especially for Finder), then go into the bundle contents and find the English.lproj or en.lproj. This will probably be in the Resources/ folder.

Most likely, this file will be called MainMenu.nib. However, Finder's is MenuBar.nib and some apps, like Firefox, won't have one at all.

The nib file can be converted to XML with plutil -convert xml1<filename>. Then you can open it in the text editor of your choice. Just command ⌘+F (or control ⌃+S) for the menu name you want to change. It should look something like this:

<string>New Tab</string>

Edit the string at the top. This is actually the Interface Builder connection between the menu item of that name and the Objective-C selector/method that it calls. Save the nib and relaunch the application (with Force Quit or killall for Finder) and you should have the different name showing up.

  • Thank you very much for the detailed instructions, this should do the trick! I had not the slightest clue as to how Mac app structures are built so no idea where to start looking. In the mean time I was able to achieve most of what I needed without resorting to editing the UI, but this will come very handy if I am ever faced with the same issue. Much appreciated!
    – Sherif
    Jun 4 '14 at 16:32

There's no generic way of doing that will work on all programs.

The generic methods you could use to try to achieve this is to open the applications bundle[1] and search for the files, you think will contain the word, you want to change. Especially you'll want to focus on files with extensions such as .nib and .strings. You might also want to look at .plist or .mo/.po files if they exist.

You can then use for example Interface Builder to edit the .nib file to try to change the user interface. There's no guarantee it will work.

[1] Finder's application bundle is in: /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/

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