Table of Contents

24. Hidden Preferences in NeoFinder

Like so many other Mac applications, NeoFinder has a couple of helpful hidden preferences, These settings can be helpful in certain situations, but we didn't want to overload the Preferences window with all of them.

To use them, first quit Neofinder. Then open Apples, and type or copy the proper commands from here. The changes are written to a preferences file named "de.wfs-apps.neofinder.plist" in your Preferences folder, and they are recognised after the next launch of NeoFinder.

Are JAR archives ZIP archives?
Per default, NeoFinder ignores .JAR files (Java Archive Files), even though they are actually ZIP files, and the ZIP file reader in NeoFinder could read them:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder JARisZIP 1

If you use 1 as val, NeoFinder will open JAR files to catalog their contents, a val of 0 turns that back off, which is the default.

Can I close the main window of NeoFinder?
Normally, you cannot close the main window of NeoFinder. We tried that once, but got so many questions how to bring the window back afterwards, that we decided to keep it open all the time.

But now, due to popular demand, if you want to close the main window, so be it!

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder CanCloseMainWindow [val]

If val is 1, you can then close the main window. Turn it off anytime with val equals 0.

To show the main window again, don’t ask our support, but use the entry
NeoFinder Library in the Windows menu. ;-)

Read more than 256 characters from a text file
You can ask NeoFinder to increase that number with:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder numBytesForTextFiles [val]

Proceed with caution here, as any larger number may increase the catalog files size for a volume too much, hitting the 4 GB border.

With 256, you return to the default and very safe value.

Where to pick up the thumbnail for a video
NeoFinder doesn't simply read the first frame of a video as the thumbnail, as that is often black or really not interesting. Instead, NeoFinder calculates the duration of the entire movie file, and tries to grab a frame at about 20% of the duration. You can change that percentage, of course, with this setting here:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder MovieStillFrame [val]

val is a whole number between 0 and 100, as it is a percentage. 20 would be the default value.

Is a Kilo 1000 or 1024?
Starting with version 6.2, NeoFinder uses the same terminology as Apple, and reports a KB as 1000 bytes, not as 1024, as it used to be. If you want to have the old 1 KB == 1024 Bytes terminology back, use this:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder KiloIs1000 NO

That will cause NeoFinder to use the old 1024 for a KB. To stay correct, in that case, NeoFinder will use the term KiB. To return to the new terminology, replace the NO with a YES.

Get these app icons for me!
By default, NeoFinder only catalogs icons of folders if the Cataloging of photo previews is enabled. If you need these icons but don’t want the photo thumbnails, run this command here in

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder catalogALLFolderIcons YES

Search umlauts and accents, too?
The Find engine in NeoFinder is incredibly fast, and hand-tuned for perfect performance. This means that NeoFinder will only find the exact strings as you enter them, except for upper and lower case.

But if you have to consider umlauts and accents, like Régina, Règina, or Rêgina, then NeoFinder can be asked to ignore these “diacritics”, so it can find these strings, regardless of their exact spelling.

Just run this command here in

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder ignoreDiacriticals YES

That will cause NeoFinder to use a different comparison method for all texts.

Please note that this will slow down any search considerably, as these comparisons are very expensive in regards of processing time.

The default value is

Calculate bundle sizes?
To massively speed up cataloging, NeoFinder 7.0.1 will no longer calculate the folder sizes for “bundles” or “packages”.

This process is very time consuming. If you do catalog the contents of the bundles, or packages, NeoFinder walks through all files and folders in the bundle anyway.

But if you select to Ignore Package Contents in the Cataloging Preferences, until now, NeoFinder did still go through all files and folders to gather their total size. No more. NeoFinder will now report back a size of 0 for bundles, if you chose to ignore their content.

If you totally must have all package sizes anyway, you can ask NeoFinder to do this time consuming calculation by running this in

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder getBundlesSizes YES

The default, of course, is a value of
NO for this. Again, if you turn this option on, it will slow down cataloging considerably. Only do it if you really need it.

No change, please!
You can ask NeoFinder to prevent any changes made to files or folders on the actual disks. That includes the
XMP editor:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder NoChangePlease YES

The default is NO

Temporary cataloging folder location
For some file types, NeoFinder must generate temporary files during cataloging, such as EPS, Adobe Illustrator, or generally audio files, if you want to generate audio previews.
Also, the collected thumbnails for a new catalog are stored in that folder while the cataloging progresses. After the cataloging is finished, all these files are automatically removed by NeoFinder, of course.

By default, NeoFinder uses the official Temporary Folder provided to use by macOS, as Apple is demanding of well-behaving Mac applications. This hidden folder is usually located on the boot disk of your Mac.

If you start your Mac from a small SSD, for example, you may run out of space there. In that case, you can ask NeoFinder to use a different location for the temporary cataloging data:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder tmpFolder /Path/to/Different/Folder/

Please make sure that this path is written out correctly, and that it is always available during cataloging time.

If that path contains spaces, or blanks, please escape them with a “\ “ instead. Example:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder tmpFolder /Volumes/My\ Disk/Temp\ Folder/

The name of the disk here is “My Disk”, and the name of the folder is “Temp Folder”, so you need to “escape” both blanks with the extra “\” character to prevent error messages.

XMP in MP4 files?
Some video MP4 files can have an Adobe XMP record stored internally. Unfortunately, searching for them is really really slow, so by default, NeoFinder doesn't try that. But if you have movies that contain internal XMP records, and you need to see them in NeoFinder, you can ask for them. Please note that this will definitely slow down the cataloging of large video files in the formats .mp4, .m4v, and .avi.

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder catalogInternalMovieXMP 1

The default is 0

Catalog password protected Disk Images (.dmg)?
NeoFinder now automatically skips all password protected disk image files (file types .dmg, .sparseimage, and .sparsebundle) during cataloging, to keep the process from being interrupted. If you have all passwords for these disk images stored in your keychain, you can ask NeoFinder to try to catalog the content of these disk images anyway:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder readProtectedDMG 1

The default is 0

Ignore XMP thumbnails?
Some PDF or Adobe Illustrator files have thumbnails embedded in the XMP record. Normally, NeoFinder reads those thumbnails and uses them, because it is much faster to use them instead of interpreting the entire complex document.

But if these XMP thumbnails are too small or blurry for you, you can ask NeoFinder to ignore the XMP thumbnails:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder ignoreXMPThumbnails 1

The default is 0

"Open with…" with every single application?
The "Open with" menu quickly gets very long for popular file types, such as text or JPG files. Thus, NeoFinder only adds applications from the startup volume to that list.

If you have your software located on other volumes as well, you can ask NeoFinder to include all known applications in the list, regardless of their location.

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder openWithOnlyLocalApps NO

The default is YES

Sort Keywords?
By default, NeoFinder always sorts the XMP Keywords or Finder Tags for a file when they are displayed in the Inspector, because that makes it easier to work with large lists of keywords for files.

If you want to distribute your work to a stock photography site, you must specify the exact order of importance for keywords, so you need to be able to change the order. To do that, you can now turn off the keyword sorting in the NeoFinder Inspector.

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder sortKeywords NO

The default is YES

Ignore iView CatalogSets?
NeoFinder will catalog the iView CatalogSets XMP data when cataloging photos or videos. NeoFinder will then automatically re-create Albums and Album Groups based on that data, and place the files in there for you. That makes the transition from iView so much easier.

You can turn off this feature:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder IgnoreCatalogSets YES

The default is NO

Catalog very very large files?
NeoFinder uses a separate helper application to create the thumbnails of most files, to prevent crashes to bring down the entire applications, and also to improve performance. If this helper tool doesn't produce the requested data in less than 60 seconds, NeoFinder assumes that the generation has failed, and proceeds with the next item.

If you catalog very large files on very slow disks, like Blu-ray or DVDs, that may not be enough time, and thus fail to create thumbnails and metadata.

In these cases, you can increase the waiting time (in seconds):

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder crashGuardTimeout 600

The default is 60

Thumbnail quality
As a compromise between quality and disk space used, NeoFinder compresses thumbnails for the catalogs as JPG, with a default quality setting of 20 (or 0.2). That gives you nice quality thumbnails and a nice small size.

You can increase the JPG quality of your thumbnails, and also the amount of space they need in your catalog, with this

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder ThumbnailQuality 40

The default is 20

Possible values are from 1, which is extremely poor quality but very small thumbnails, to 100, which gives you the best possible quality, but at the price of very large thumbnail data in your catalogs.

Catalog folder icons
You can set your own folder icons in macOS, and NeoFinder is able to catalog them into your database. However, as Apple has forgotten to add a flag that tell applications like NeoFinder if such a custom icon has been set to a folder, NeoFinder needs to try to load one for every folder it catalogs.
Which is incredibly slow on most server volumes, especially if you have a lot of folders.

For performance reasons, NeoFinder 7.6 no longer automatically tries to read these folder icons.

You can ask NeoFinder to do that anyway, at the cost of a slower performance when cataloging server volumes:

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder catalogFolderIcons YES

The default is NO

Read OpenMeta tags
Long before Apple had added Finder Tags to the file system and Finder, the OpenMeta group had already created a standard to add this helpful metadata to your files and folders. NeoFinder catalogs both values for you, but as there are no real tools available to edit OpenMeta Tags anymore, this can be confusing.

For this reason, you can now ask NeoFinder to ignore the OpenMeta Tags, while still cataloging the "normal" macOS Finder Tags, if you need them.

defaults write de.wfs-apps.neofinder readOpenMeta NO

The default is YES