Tinker Tool & Tweak Freak LogosAs a Windows user I was always a huge fan of the program Tweak UI which let you easily mess with some hidden settings in Windows. This week I’ve been experimenting with two similar apps for OS X, Tweak Freak and Tinker Tool. I experimented with both and really I can only recommend Tinker Tool.

[tags]Apple, OS X, Tweak UI, Tweak Freak, Tinker Tool[/tags]

Tweak Freak

Tweak Freak looks like it does more at first glance but since it fails to read your initial settings correctly when it loads you end up changing things you didn’t mean to. This annoyed me a lot. I tried to use Tweak Freak to set my Dock to make the icons for hidden apps semi-transparent and all of a sudden my dock was anchored incorrectly and applications didn’t bounce any more while launching. As well as this the GUI in Tweak Freak is not as nice as the one in Tinker Tool. However, Tweak Freak does have one extra setting which Tinker Tool does not have, it allows you to clean out various system caches including the various caches for the common browsers. However, this is not enough for me to recommend it over Tinker Tool.

Tinker Tool

Tinker Tool has a nice slick UI and lets you edit settings for the Finder, the Dock, Font Smoothing, Login Items, and some other settings for Apple Apps and the OS in general. It also have two very nice reset features, firstly, it stores the initial state of your settings when you first loaded Tinker Tool and lets you restore those settings as well as allowing you to revert to Apple’s default settings. These reset features are missing in Tweak Freak and are another major reason I prefer Tinker Tool. When I’m messing around with settings I like to know I can easily put everything back the way it was before I started messing with it!

There’s not really much point in my listing all the features that Tinker Tool lets you mess with. I’ll just mention a few I like. Firstly, it allows me to set Dock icons for hidden applications to be semi-transparent. This makes it easy to see at a glance what apps have their windows hidden. Another nice feature is that you can set the Finder not to create those annoying hidden .DS_Store on network drive.

If you want to see everything Tinker Tool can do without installing it check out the screen shots on the Tinker Tool website.