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Modding Mac OS X by Erica Sadun

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Adding Objects from Another NIB File

Sometimes the features you want to access when you’re customizing an application appear in a NIB file for a different interface. In those cases, there are a few tricks you can use to bring the functionality from that other NIB file into your current interface. In the following example, you’ll grab objects from the Terminal application’s InspectorX NIB file. The objects in the InspectorX file allow you to customize many Terminal interface features and link them to controls in the drawer you created in the previous section.

This example works because NIB files don’t just contain class definitions, they contain actual objects that you can inspect, instantiate, send messages to, and so forth. Once you add an object to a NIB, you’re adding all its builtin functionality. From an application hacking point of view, this provides a huge win. Keep in mind, too, that you can copy objects not just from other NIB files in the same application but also from other applications as well. This makes it possible for you to splice and dice interface elements to customize an application to suit your needs.

  1. In Interface Builder, drag a slider control and a color-well control to the DrawContentView design window from the Palette’s Controls pane.

  2. Add two text labels from the Palette’s Text pane. Edit them to say Transparency: and BG Color: by double-clicking them and updating their ...

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