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.PLIST File Extension

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File TypeMac OS X Property List File

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CategorySettings Files

File format categories include Binary, Text, XML, and Zip. The format of this file type has not been determined.


Settings file, also known as a "properties file," used by Mac OS X applications; formatted in XML and based on Apple's Core Foundation DTD; contains properties and configuration settings for various programs.

More Information

PLIST files can be saved in a text or a binary format. The text-based documents and can be edited with a text editor. However, they typically should not be edited by the user, since they are modified by their respective programs as needed.

Property list files included with applications can be created and edited by the developer using Apple's Property List Editor, which is included with Apple Developer Tools. They can also be opened and edited using a third-party PLIST editing program.

NOTE: You can convert PLIST files between XML and binary formats using the plutil command line tool:

  • Binary to XML: plutil -convert xml1 file.plist
  • XML to Binary: plutil -convert binary1 file.plist

Common PLIST Filenames:

Info.plist - The primary property list for Mac OS X applications, located in the /Contents/ directory of an .APP bundle. To view this file, right-click an application file, select "Show Package Contents," and open the Contents folder.

Programs that open PLIST files
Microsoft Windows LogoWindows
Microsoft Notepad
Corel WordPerfect X7
Any text editor
Mac OS X LogoMac
Apple Property List Editor
Fat Cat PlistEdit Pro
Night Productions Pref Setter
Late Night Property List Tools
Apple plutil
Any text editor
Updated 10/28/2014