I noticed that smart folders are simply stored as plist files in the library directory, and that the format for them is easy to understand. My question was: Is it safe to mess with the ones in the built-in directory? There are a few I never use, and one I’d like to modify. Will that cause havoc?
The format is designed to be easy to work with, e.g. so that Tiger users can edit their smart folders manually without using EagleFiler’s smart folder editor (which requires Leopard). So long as the libraries aren’t currently open in EagleFiler, you can copy the .plist files between libraries, rename them, and re-arrange their hierarchy. Do not modify the four built-in smart folders (Recently Added, Recently Modified, Unfiled, and Untagged).
Does that answer your question? If not, please be more specific. If you’re running Leopard there shouldn’t be any need to edit the files manually since all the features are accessible within EagleFiler.
Yes. I figured the format was open for a reason, but since I’m on Leopard I was primarily interested in modifying the four built-ins. But I see you advise against that, so I shall not!
What did you want to change about them?
I don’t use “Recently Added” at all because I keep an “inbox” type area separate from the bulk of the library (actually I just use the top-level “Unfiled” instead of a separate folder). So I would have removed that one to save interface space. Secondly, I have four different tags that are theoretically applied to every single file in the library (not all at once, but each file would have one of them; it’s a basic super-type). So Untagged returns less than useful results. I would have liked to have modified that so it only returned items not assigned to one of those four tags, or any other tag. So in other words, these four would be considered “not tags” for the purposes of the search. I already have these smart folders set up, so it would really just be a matter of keeping that area tidy instead of having redundant built-ins that don’t work quite the way I need.
There’s no way to get rid of the built-in smart folders, but you could put them all in a folder called “Unused” and then collapse it. Then there would only be one entry in the source list, which would be a bit more tidy.
That should work! That would have been my second choice if the built-ins could not be modified. Just out of curiosity, what would happen if they were changed? Perhaps you should have them in binary form if they are not intended to be adjusted, because having them out there with the other plists kind of invites tinkering.
Most types of modifications would be ignored, and they’d still behave the built-in way.