I'm using Mini vMac which emulates a Mac Plus (I don't even think I have a Mac Plus anymore, and the SE/30's in the closet probably with leaking caps).

I've managed to get a copy of MacWrite 1.0, and I've got it emulating a 20 meg hard drive (swapping virtual floppies is somehow worse than swapping the real ones).

I'd like to open a plain text/ascii file I've imported into the emulator. It shows in the Finder window, but has the plain document icon. If I save a plain-text file with MacWrite, it shows as a document with little black horizontal lines on it.

If I ever knew what the difference was, I've since forgotten it. Something to do with resource forks or lord knows what. Is it possible to convert my imported text file such that MacWrite can open it? While it is small, I can't simply type out its contents (nor can I script it inside the Mac emulator as I did outside of it... no scripting environment).

  • 3
    You need to to attach type and creator codes of "TEXT" and "MACA", respectively. Note that these aren't part of the resource fork, but a separate bit of filesystem metadata. I don't know how to do this with Mini vMac (it probably depends on how you're importing the file). Also, note that the "plain text" file format isn't entirely compatible between old Mac OS systems and the unix-based OS X systems; specifically, the unix-based systems use a linefeed character as line terminators, but old Mac OS used carriage return as a line separator. Jun 15, 2020 at 4:30
  • @GordonDavisson This won't use linefeeds. It's every byte from 0x20 up to 0xff, in sequence. I'm hoping to display it in MacWrite, screenshot it to a bitmap, then make it into a bdf font file (after which I know how to make it into a proper ttf). There are 5 styles (plus plain) for a total of 32 styles, 5 sizes, and 7 fonts. A grand total of 1120 typefaces to export. Thank you for your help.
    – John O
    Jun 15, 2020 at 4:46
  • @GordonDavisson Wow. That did it. Found the utility I needed to change these as soon as I knew what to search for. Thanks again. If you're willing to put it into an answer, I'll accept it and send you your points.
    – John O
    Jun 15, 2020 at 4:54
  • You should write up the method you used to set the type & creator codes as an answer. Include things like the name (& link to) the utility you used, so if someone else needs to do this (or something similar) the info'll be right here. Answering your own question is entirely acceptable here (as long as you include the info that'll help others with the same question). Jun 15, 2020 at 5:13
  • ResEdit is the canonical Classic Mac Utility for editing file metadata and resource forks.
    – benwiggy
    Jun 15, 2020 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


The relevant metadata isn't actually stored in the resource fork (per Gordon Davisson). The type and creator codes need to be "TEXT" and "MACA" respectively. When importing into Mini vMac with its file importer tool, these will be set to "BINA" and "SITx" which aren't going to let you do anything with it (unless it's an actual Stuffit archive).

Try the Finder Info tool made for this purpose. It opens with a simple window that has text fields for these two pieces of metadata. Change them. There's no need to click a save button, as soon as you have changed them, they take effect (as with most modern Mac app preferences).

The icon for the file should change as well, and it will be openable with MacWrite.

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