TypeShuffler™ for Mac


TypeShuffler is a drag and drop utility that allows you to change the creator code, file type, and file extension of files. It also provides you with a configurable database of creator codes so that you can quickly change files to your preferred codes, types, and extensions.


The Mac OS uses three pieces of type information to display the proper icon for a file and to know which application to open if a file is double clicked on. This type information consists of the creator code, file type, and file extension. Changing this information allows you to change the icon and double click behavior of a file. For example, you could change the creator code of a picture file so that it's opened by Preview instead of AppleWorks.

Each file in the Mac OS file system has two four-character codes associated with it. One is the creator code which identifies the application, utility, or other system entity which created the file. The second is the file type which is the actual type of the file, such as 'TEXT' for text files and 'PICT' for picture files. Additionally, some files may have an optional file extension at the end of the file name. These filename extensions consist of a period followed by one or more characters. However, filename extensions may not be visible depending upon your Finder preferences.

Be careful! Changing type information can obviously lead to some problems if you change files to inappropriate types. For example, if you were to change a text file into a picture file, any application trying to open this "picture" file may crash because it would clearly be an invalid picture.


You can drop any number of files onto the TypeShuffler application to change their type information. In addition, you can also drop any number of folders containing files.

When TypeShuffler is first opened, it will display the type information of the first file that it finds among the files that were dropped onto it. In the top/left corner of the window you will also see the icon that is associated with the current type information. This icon will be updated whenever the type information is changed.

main window

To change the type information of the dropped files, type the values that you want into the appropriate edit fields in the window. You can control what type information to change for a file by toggling the check boxes next to the labels for the various type information edit fields. To remove a specific kind of type information, select the text in the appropriate edit field and delete it. The actual type information of a file is only changed after the "Change" button is clicked.

You can also use the pop-up menus to select from your preferred creator codes and values supplied by the operating system. Or you can drag a file onto the open window to set the type information instead of using the pop-up menus.

main window with popup

Adding & Removing Creator Codes

The creator code pop-up menu is created from a database of creator codes. The first time you open TypeShuffler it creates this database and by default adds the creator codes for Preview, QuickTime Player, and TextEdit.

To add additional creator codes to the database, type a new one into the Creator Code edit field and click the "Add to Favorites" button. You can also use the "Add Favorite..." menu item in the File menu to select any file and add its creator code to the database.

To remove a creator code from the database, select the creator code from the pop-up menu, then choose the "Remove from Favorites" menu item in the File menu.



Using the "Recursively scan folders" check box you can control whether or not TypeShuffler will change the type information of files located inside of any subfolder which may be located inside a folder that was dropped on TypeShuffler in the Finder. With this check box on, TypeShuffler will change all files, including those inside of nested folders.

By default TypeShuffler preserves the modification date of files whose type information it changes. To change this behavior and have the modification date changed to the current date and time, turn the "Update file modification dates" check box on.

Use the "Show file icons in pop-up menus" to control whether or not file icons are shown in the Creator Code, File Type, and File Extension pop-up menus in the main window. If you have a slower computer, you might want to turn this option off since gathering the icon information takes extra time.

Since changing the type information of files can be dangerous, by default, TypeShuffler will warn you about making changes to a large number of files. (100 or more.) You can disable this warning by turning this option off.

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