Changing the Title of a Fluid Application

I’ve become a huge fan of Fluid over the past few weeks (maybe months) and my man crush only intensified when the 1Password developers announced support for the SSB application.

In that time, I’ve created a number of Fluid apps from web apps that I work in often. These include apps like Gmail, Google Reader, Basecamp, Backpack, several Trac projects and more. When creating these applications, I made a few unfortunate naming decisions. Not this-name-causes-spontaneous-combustion unfortunate or even I-wouldn’t-want-coworkers-to-see-this unfortunate; more like this-name-is-annoying-me unfortunate.

For example, I have a few Gmail accounts, several of which are Google apps accounts at one “true” Gmail account, so I thought it’d be a good idea to name each application “Mail [username@domain.tld]”. I also have an office web mail app. The idea was that when I looked in my /Applications folder, all of my mail applications would be grouped together prettily. A bit like Communism, it ended up being nice in theory and rather flawed in practice.

I wanted to change the app name, so I renamed the app. “Mail [username@domain.tld]” became simply “Gmail” (turns out there’s really only one address that I check with any frequency), but that wasn’t enough. The name of the app as it appears in /Applications was changed, but not the title that appeared in the menu bar when the application had focus. After rooting around in the package contents, I got the change to stick.

To change the title of a Fluid application:

  1. Rename the application in Finder just like you’d rename any file.
  2. Open a terminal connection and navigate to the application’s contents.
    $ cd /Applications/[your application].app
  3. Open the application’s primary plist file.
    $ vi Contents/Info.plist
  4. Edit the CFBundleIdentifier value. This step doesn’t appear to be strictly necessary, but I did it for consistency. Change
    <key>CFBundleIdentifier</key> <string>com.fluidapp.FluidInstance.[the old name]</string>
    <key>CFBundleIdentifier</key> <string>com.fluidapp.FluidInstance.[the new name]</string>
  5. Edit the CFBundleName value (this step is necessary). Change
    <key>CFBundleName</key> <string>[old name]</string>
    <key>CFBundleName</key> <string>[new name]</string>
  6. Save and close Info.plist and relaunch the application. The name should be changed.

And now that unfortunate decision has been made good.

In anticipation of input from readers, it should be noted that editing the plist file could probably be done by opening it in Lingon or any other plist editor or by simply right clicking (Ctrl+Click) the application name, selecting Show Package Contents and opening the plist file in any text editor.

Subscribe1 Comment on Changing the Title of a Fluid...

  1. Duncan Beevers said...

    Using vi is fine for updating .plist files, but if you’ve installed XCode, you have access to the Property List Editor that can make this task a little more convenient.

    Property List Editor by default is installed at /Developer/Applications/Utilities/Property List