Property List Editor app for 10.7 Lion & 10.8 Mountain Lion

11/11/2012: Update for Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8)

property list editor mountain lion full

Follow the exact same steps, but you also need to use Pacifist to install the following from the Snow Leopard XCode.mpkg package:

These should all be installed from within Pacifist, by Ctrl-clicking the relevant file and choosing "Install to Default Location". Once it and all its dependencies are installed, the old Property List Editor app will run without a hitch.

As of XCode 4 on Lion, Apple no longer supplies the Property List Editor application with the developer tools that come with Mac OS X. Instead, we are supposed to use XCode, a heavy, bloated IDE, to edit Apple's binary property lists, a common operation for administrators and developers alike.

Now, I don't feel like firing up XCode every time I want to edit a property list. I wanted to get the old Property List Editor app back, so I found a way to do just that.

The following is a tutorial on how to get Property List working with Mac OS X Lion and XCode 4. Please note that you will need to have the Developer Tools installed for this to work.

NB: If this doesn't work for you, please don't send me questions or queries. I simply don't have the time to respond to them.

Step 1

Get your copy of Snow Leopard, either on disc or in disk image format. Insert disk or mount disk image.

UPDATE: Someone, ehrm, has put these files up for download at the following link: download Property List Editor. app + PlistEdit.framework. If you get them there you can skip directly to step 4.

Step 2

Download Pacifist, an application which allows you to extract files from package installers.

Step 3

Open Pacifist, and select the XCode.mpkg package in the Optional Installs folder on the disk.

Now, what you need to do is extract two files. The first one is the Property List application bundle. It's under "Contents of Developer Tools", in:

Applications/Utilities/Property List

The second one is also under Contents of Developer Tools:


Step 4

Once you've extracted them to your desktop, move the Property List Editor application into the following folder:


And then move the PlistEdit.framework file into:


That's it. You should now be able to use the Property List Editor application on Lion, just as you did on Snow Leopard.

Property List Editor running on Lion
plisteditor lion