Fixing Messy Mac Apps
Mac App folders are a great thing. They bundle all the application’s files, executables, libraries and resources into a single place, makes them easy to move, copy, install and delete, and it looks pretty decently organized when you open your Applications folder.
It gets really annoying then, when a non-native or ported app has additional files that can’t be bundled, and must reside in the same directory as the app. This means you’ll have nondescript folders of useless junk sitting in your Applications folder.
Here are a few common culprits so you know what I mean:
Note that something like Starcraft 2 might not be the best choice, because there are multiple apps that use the same resources, but you get the idea. It’s kind of annoying.
Thankfully, we can bundle all these files into a launcher, with the help of Platypus. You can create a simple script to launch your app, and bundle all the files together. You can even give it the same icon, so the whole thing is completely invisible and seamless!
For the example, I’m going to use Eclipse.
Step 1: Bundle
Open Platypus, and drag all the app’s files into the list at the bottom. (You may need to hit “Show Advanced Options”)
Step 2: Launch Script
- Make sure the script settings are set to “Shell Script”
- Click the “New” button to create a new script
- Type “open <Name of App>.app” (If the name contains spaces, enclose it in double-quotes.)
- Click “Save”
Step 3: Customize!
Give your app a name, and paste an icon (To use the original app’s icon, just copy the app, and paste into the box!)
Some important settings to consider:
- Uncheck “Remains running after initial execution”. No sense in using extra RAM for a launcher that has already done its job, is there?
- Set “Output” to None. This will essentially hide all script activity, and launch your app invisibly.
- Give your bundle a different “Identifier” than the official one — it might confuse system processes that use the identifier.
Step 4: Create!
Hit “Create”, and save your app bundle, and you’re done!
A cool advantage to this, is that if the app auto-updates, then all the updates are saved INSIDE the custom launcher. You can also copy the app, create a zip backup, or delete it (and all its files) with out having to move around a large folder of stuff!