In praise of TinkerTool

Continuing with this week’s customization theme at Macworld , if you enjoy making your system work the way you prefer, the free TinkerTool utility can help you easily do just that. Here are five things you can do with a simple mouse click in TinkerTool:

  1. Disable animations: If you don’t like the “zoom effects” shown when opening files, info panels, desktop icons, and categories in Info windows, you can easily disable them. Click the Finder tab, uncheck each entry in the Animation Effects section that you’d rather not see, and then click Relaunch Finder.
  2. Dock at screen top: If you don’t like the Dock, it’s best to hide it but leave it running—many things rely on the Dock, and some don’t work right if it’s not running. TinkerTool will let you put the Dock at the top of the screen, just below the menu bar, from where it’s nearly impossible to activate without really trying hard. Just set the Position pop-up on the Dock tab to Top, then click Relaunch Dock.
  3. Recent Items entries: Easily choose how many items you’d like to show in many programs’ Recent Items menu—including none if you’d rather not use this feature. You’ll find this setting on the General tab; just set the pop-up menu to the value you’d like to use.
  4. Change system font settings: Don’t like Lucida Grande as the window title bar font? Change it to whatever you like on the Fonts tab (although some programs may ignore your preferences).
  5. Reorder and manually control login items: If you want to set the load order of your login items, or disable just some of them on a case-by-case basis, TinkerTool has a section that makes it simple to do using its Login Items tab.
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