In Mac OSX, there are property list files (.plist). You can modify them with Xcode.

Given a .plist file, is there a reasonable way to modify them like Xcode does in Windows 7?

I have found http://www.icopybot.com/plist-editor.htm, but it doesn't seem to parse the file correctly (for starters, each entry in an array doesn't appear with the index number - it is blank, when it should be 0, 1, 2, ...). Plus it is difficult to edit entries anyway.

Of course I can just use Notepad++ and modify the code, but I'd rather have a visual editor like Xcode.


I use plist editor pro when messing around with iOS apps. It has a nice visual key editor as well as a pure XML view and is free, unlike many others. It's very simple and I think that's why it's so underrated, even though it completely fulfills its purpose as what is basically a jazzed up text editor.

  • Believe it or not, this program is exactly the same program as the one I posted above - it is just under a different name! Arrays aren't indexed, and I seem to be unable to modify the entries (is it because it is just a trial?)
    – Omega
    Jul 23 '14 at 10:52
  • Strange. I haven't used this program for ages, but now that I launch it I see what you mean, I can't edit any values in the list view. I don't know if this is by design or if that view is only meant for viewing, not editing. I can't remember if I ever used the list view to edit; I may have just used XML. I don't know what you mean about arrays, though.
    – Jonah
    Jul 23 '14 at 11:01
  • The array part is a minor thing - as you can see it doesn't list the items with indexes 0, 1, 2, 3,... which is a bit troublesome when working with hundreds of items.
    – Omega
    Jul 23 '14 at 11:05
  • Nirsoft gives me this. It doesn't appear very promising. These two pages may also help.
    – Jonah
    Jul 23 '14 at 11:19

Other way is using the PUTIL.EXE from your itunes directory installation. The file is here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support

plutil -convert xml1 com.apple.springboard.plist

  • This doesn't seem to be valid anymore. That path is not found and that EXE is nowhere to be found on my system. v12.10.10.2 Nov 2 '20 at 18:33

If you are going to be doing a bit of plist editing on Windows you can buy Plistinator, which handles both binary and XML versions of plist files. There's a video and screenshots on the site explaining its features and how it compares to "Plist Editor Pro". The array elements are numbered and the order is preserved as per the original file.

Disclaimer: I'm the developer of Plistinator.

Update: (ref @Journeyman-Geek comment) Plistinator as far as I know should parse the file correctly. The file back end is a clean-room implementation based on Apple's Open Source C code, and its extensively unit tested.

I've found from users that sometimes third party non-apple programs (like Unity, Qt Creator, dozens of others) generate plist files which are non-standard. Also plist files can become corrupted by crashing or misbehaving programs. So "given a plist file" doesn't mean that its standards compliant.

Certainly if the file is OK, and has an array in it Plistinator will number the rows and preserve the order. I have some things to say about iCopyBot's product in the How-To video on the plistinator site, which I won't repeat here. As far as I can tell Plistinator is the only Plist editor for Windows that provides a complete working solution.

Plistinator is designed to work like Xcode, but has some improvements over it. For example string fields can be edited in a large text box - so in that regard at least its easy to edit entries.

  • 3
    You might want to improve your answers in a few ways. I noticed in the comments to the other answer, there's a few specific issues he has with the answer(and the software in the question?). Does your software solve that? Also, we realise that developers are often rather enthusiastic about their software. You've definitely disclosed your affiliation but do consider posting about other things as well! That's a side of the policy we have on self promotion people often forget.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jul 3 '15 at 6:19

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