TinkerTool is a small, free app that lets you tinker with your user preferences, allowing access to options that you can't find through System Preferences. These "hidden" preferences--extras like adding scroll arrows to both ends of scroll bars--exist for a variety of reasons, but are usually invisible to users without the help of an app like TinkerTool.
TinkerTool's preferences are organized under 10 main headings: Finder (for options like showing hidden files or restricting the Finder), Dock, General (a lot of useful options, including control over scroll arrows and screenshot file formats), Applications, Snow Leopard (with options for Spotlight, Mail, and Spaces), Fonts, Font Smoothing, Login Items, Safari, and QuickTime X. Compared with some other "tinkering" apps, TinkerTool is a bit more limited in its options--but that limitation can also be reassuring, since TinkerTool doesn't add files, run background processes, or require any special permissions. If you get tired of TinkerTool, you can choose to reset your computer to its "pre-TinkerTool state" (or not) and simply trash the app. Recent builds have kept TinkerTool up to date with the most recent changes in the Mac OS and related apps, including the capability to disable the Ping and iTunes Store pull-down menus in iTunes 10, and disable all RSS features in Safari.
You can find similar apps with more potent features, but TinkerTool is a solid (and free) option that's worthwhile for anyone with limited preference-tweaking needs.
TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the applications delivered with the system.
The tool makes sure that preference changes can only affect the current user. You don't need administrative privileges to use the tool. With this design, it is no problem to use TinkerTool in professional networks where users have restricted permissions. The program will never change any component of the operating system, so the integrity of your system is not put at risk, and there will be no negative effect on system updates.
All preference settings changed by TinkerTool can be reset to Apple's defaults, or to the state that existed before using the tool. No dangerous background processes are used for TinkerTool's operation.
Because TinkerTool only gives you access to settings already built into Mac OS X, its feature set varies greatly between different operating system versions. For details please refer to the feature table at the developer's site.
What's new in this version:
- To enhance compatibility with future versions of Mac OS X and with TinkerTool System Release 2, support for Mac OS X 10.4 has been moved to a separate application. Users of Mac OS X 10.4 should download TinkerTool (Tiger Edition), users of Mac OS X 10.1, 10.2, or 10.3 should download TinkerTool Classic from the official web site. The standard application is designed to be used with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. <... See all new features »