Restoring Back to Aperture's Default Preferences

by Charlie Miller

I frequently teach Aperture workshops and I often end up running my presentation and demos from the same MacBook Pro that I use as my everyday workstation. This makes it easy to prepare for workshops, but it can introduce some problems when I demonstrate the Aperture experience as though I were launching it for the first time. Like most experienced users of Aperture — or any software for that matter — I’ve grown used to the customized workspace that I setup inside Aperture.

My customized preferences include setting Photoshop CS3 as my external editor and specifying that Aperture not launch automatically when I insert a CF card. Also, I particularly like customizing the far right of my toolbar with the icons for the three default layouts: basic, maximize browser, and maximize viewer. (Weren’t these in the default toolbar set in Aperture 1.0? Can someone back me up here…?)

At center, the icons for Aperture's three default view modes

There are keyboard shortcuts for these views, but I’m so used to clicking these icons that I find something amiss when they’re not there.

When I present to groups, I like to roll Aperture back to the pristine default workspace and preferences that a new user would experience. So my solution for easy switching between the default Aperture environment and my customized setup is to backup my file in my ~/Library/Preferences/ directory. Before starting a workshop, I quit Aperture, rename the file and then relaunch Aperture.

Backing up Aperture's preferences

The application is restored to its default preferences. I can demo the Welcome Screen, setting up the external editor preference, and customizing the toolbar. When I’m done with the workshop, I simply delete the file and remove the .BACKUP from my customized preference file. Relaunch Aperture and things are back to the way I like them.

How do you like to customize Aperture? What icons do you add to (or remove from) the toolbar?


Francois Couderc
2007-10-08 03:36:02
Nice and clean way to do the job.
Yann Michel
2007-10-08 04:12:19
I do also use the ones that you cited above. I wish there were also icons for switching the second viewer, i.e., you don't have to fiddle with the menu once you (don't) need the external device.
sam d
2007-10-08 07:22:01
A great tool I have for restoring apps to particular settings is rooSwithc i mainly use this app to aid in debugging problems (as a developer) but also to keep an archive of some of my settings for apps before doing demos and the like. You can have a collection of settings just for demos, then when the demo is done restore your personal settings and also know that each time you do the demos your apps start the same way every time.
2007-10-08 07:27:21
Thanks for the heads up, Sam. rooSwitch looks like a handy utility for both Aperture and all the other apps I use.
Barrie Stephenson
2007-10-08 21:52:29
I have a user login on my Mac BookPro that I use only for teaching. In this way I can keep all my tutorial work totally separate from my everyday work. In my Tutor Login, iPhoto, iMovie etc. are completely empty except for the tutorial files. At the end of the tutorial I delete everything and restore the tutor files from a portable hard drive. The nice thing is that if I have to use a standby Mac for my tutorial I can have my standard setup available for the class in minutes. I just set up a new User Profile and load in my tutor files.
So no matter how much I customise apps for everyday use, the students see only a clean desktop and apps that open in their virgin state.