Change Tiger's word break rules

Here’s a quick timeseaver for those of you who write scripts in Terminal or Script Editor. When coding, you may often use “combined” words, that is, two words joined by a non-space character—such as those in this sample line:

{aKey:aValue, anotherKey:"itsStringValue"}

If you needed to select a word, such as aKey, for replacement or modification, you could just double-click on the word. At least, that’s what you could do until Mac OS X 10.4 came out.

In 10.4, when using a Cocoa application such as Terminal, TextEdit, or Script Editor, a double-click on a “combined” word will select the entire word— aKey:aValue in this example. You might think you’re stuck with this behavior, but you’re not—otherwise, I wouldn’t have a tip to share here today!

Launch System Preferences and open the International pane. Down near the bottom right corner, click the Word Break pop-up menu, and change the value from Standard to English (United States, Computer):

When you switch back to your Cocoa application and double-click a combined word, you’ll see that it once again selects only that portion of the word under the mouse. You don’t even need to quit running applications first; the change takes effect as soon as you make it.

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