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Hidden Preferences

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Hidden Preferences

Skim has a few advanced preferences that are not accessible through the UI. You can set these from the command line in Terminal.app (which can be found in the folder /Applications/Utilities). To change these preferences, make sure you quit Skim, open Terminal.app, type the defaults command with the appropriate arguments, and hit Enter. Typically, the command and arguments look like below, with the angles replaced by the appropriate value.

defaults write -app Skim <Key> -<type> <value>

If this fails with the message "Couldn't find an application named "Skim"; defaults unchanged", you can use

defaults write net.sourceforge.skim-app.skim <Key> -<type> <value>

To reset a preference to the default, you can use

defaults delete -app Skim <Key>

For example, if you want to disable the text from circle and box notes to update when you move them, you type:

defaults write -app Skim SKDisableUpdateContentsFromEnclosedText -boolean true

Booleans also accept values like -boolean yes and -boolean 1. Usually you can leave out -<type>, but for booleans you then need to use the values 0 or 1. Type man defaults in Terminal.app for more information.

Below is an overview of the hidden preferences. Remember that these can change or be removed at any time.

Preference Key: Type: Default Value:
SKAnchoredNoteIconType integer 2
SKFreeTextNoteAlignment integer 0
SKDefaultNoteWidth float 128
SKDefaultNoteHeight float 64
SKDefaultFreeTextNoteContents string "Double-click to edit."
SKDefaultAnchoredNoteContents string "New note"
SKUseUserName boolean false
SKUserName string -
SKDisableModificationDate boolean false
SKDisableUpdateContentsFromEnclosedText    boolean    false
SKKeepNoteWindowsOnTop boolean false
SKFullScreenNavigationOption integer 1
SKPresentationNavigationOption integer 1
SKHideClosedFullScreenSidePanels integer 0
SKBlankAllScreensInFullScreen boolean false
SKAutoHidePresentationContents boolean true
SKUseNormalLevelForPresentation boolean false
SKEnableAppleRemote boolean false
SKAppleRemoteSwitchIndicationTimeout float 2
SKReadMissingNotesFromSkimFileOption integer -1
SKUseSettingsFromPDF boolean false
SKShouldSetCreatorCode boolean false
SKAutosaveInterval float 0
SKAutoCropBoxMarginWidth float 10
SKAutoCropBoxMarginHeight float 10
SKSmallMagnificationWidth float 200
SKSmallMagnificationHeight float 300
SKLargeMagnificationWidth float 400
SKLargeMagnificationHeight float 600
SKToolTipWidth float 400
SKToolTipHeight float 80
SKDisableTableToolTips boolean false
SKSequentialPageNumbering boolean false
SKMaximumDocumentPageHistoryCount integer 50
SKDviConversionCommand string dvipdfmx
SKXdvConversionCommand string xdvipdfmx
SKUsesDrawers boolean false
SKAutoReloadFileUpdate boolean false
SKDisableReloadAlert boolean false
SKMoveReadingBarModifiers integer 524288
SKResizeReadingBarModifiers integer 655360
SKDisablePinchZoom boolean false
SKPageBackgroundColor data -
SKImageInterpolation integer 0
SKUseToolModeCursors boolean false
SKDisableAnimations boolean false
SKDisableExtendedPDFViewAccessibility boolean false
SKDisplayNoteBounds boolean false
SKDisableSearchAfterSpotlight boolean false

Default Note Properties


Key 
SKAnchoredNoteIconType
Values 
-integer, 0=comment, 1=key, 2=note, 3=help, 4=new paragraph, 5=paragraph, 6=insert
Explanation 
The icon type used for new anchored notes.

Key 
SKFreeTextNoteAlignment
Values 
-integer, 0=left, 1=right, 2=center
Explanation 
The text alignment for new text notes.

Key 
SKDefaultNoteWidth, SKDefaultNoteHeight
Values 
-float, a positive number
Explanation 
The default width and height of new note when no size is provided.

Key 
SKDefaultFreeTextNoteContents, SKDefaultAnchoredNoteContents
Values 
-string
Explanation 
The default text to use for new text or anchored notes when they're not based on a selection.

Key 
SKUseUserName
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If this is true, the user name of new notes is automatically set.

Key 
SKUserName
Values 
-string
Explanation 
Override the user name to set when SKUSeUserName is set to true.

Key 
SKDisableModificationDate
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If this is false, the modification date of notes is set when they are created or modified.

Notes Behavior


Key 
SKDisableUpdateContentsFromEnclosedText
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If this is false, moving or resizing a circle or box note will automatically synchronize their contents with the enclosed text.

Key 
SKKeepNoteWindowsOnTop
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If this is true, the windows for anchored notes will float on top of the main window by default. This can be changed for individual note windows using the check button at the bottom.

Full Screen Behavior


Key 
SKFullScreenNavigationOption, SKPresentationNavigationOption
Values 
-integer, 0=none, 1=bottom, 2=everywhere
Explanation 
When this is 0, no navigation buttons are shown in full screen or presentation mode. When this is 1 the navigation buttons are shown when you move the mouse to the bottom of the page. When this is 2 the navigation buttons show whenever the mouse moves.

Key 
SKHideClosedFullScreenSidePanels
Values 
-integer, 0=collapse, 1=autohide, 2=hide
Explanation 
Determines how side panels in full screen mode behave when they are closed. When this is 0, they collapse, when this is 1 they hide but will show automatically when the mouse moves to the side, when this is 2 they hide completely and can only be shown manually using the main menu items or shortcuts.

Key 
SKBlankAllScreensInFullScreen
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If true, all screens other than the screen showing Skim will be blanked out in full screen mode.

Key 
SKAutoHidePresentationContents
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If true, the contents pane in presentation mode (called through 'p' or Shift-Cmd-T) automatically hides when you make a selection.

Key 
SKUseNormalLevelForPresentation
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If true, the presentation is shown at normal window level, so it won't always cover other windows.

Apple Remote Behavior


Key 
SKEnableAppleRemote
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
If true, you can use the Apple Remote to control Skim.

Key 
SKAppleRemoteSwitchIndicationTimeout
Values 
-float, a non-negative number
Explanation 
The timeout for the little splash window that appears when you hit the Menu button on the Apple Remote. Set it to zero if you don't want it to appear.

Automatically Open a .skim File


Key 
SKReadMissingNotesFromSkimFileOption
Values 
-integer, 1=always, 0=never, -1=ask
Explanation 
When a PDF file does not have notes, but there is a separate .skim file with the same name as the PDF, Skim can automatically read the notes from that Skim file. By default it shows a dialog for confirmation, but you can also force to always or never read the notes from the .skim file without asking.

Use Initial Settings From PDF


Key 
SKUseSettingsFromPDF
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
When this is true, the initial settings will respect some view settings from the PDF file, if available, overriding the default view settings.

Set Creator Code On Saved Files


Key 
SKShouldSetCreatorCode
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
When Skim sets its creator code on a PDF file it saves, that file will open by default in Skim rather than your system default for PDF files, unless you override this on the file itself. Skim may only set its creator code for files saved as PDF, Skim Notes, or PDF Bundle.

Autosave Interval


Key 
SKAutosaveInterval
Values 
-float, a non-negative number
Explanation 
The interval in seconds for which documents autosave a backup. Use 0 for no autosave.

Auto Crop Margin


Key 
SKAutoCropBoxMarginWidth, SKAutoCropBoxMarginHeight
Values 
-float, a non-negative number
Explanation 
The horizontal and vertical margin around the page contents used to automatically determine the crop size, used for the Auto Crop functions and for the Crop functions when there is no selection.

Magnification Glass Size


Key 
SKSmallMagnificationWidth, SKSmallMagnificationHeight
Values 
-float, a non-negative number
Explanation 
The width and height of the small magnification glass used for the Magnify Tool. This is used when you click once.

Key 
SKLargeMagnificationWidth, SKLargeMagnificationHeight
Values 
-float, a non-negative number
Explanation 
The width and height of the large magnification glass used for the Magnify Tool. This is used when you click twice or hold the hold the Option key.

Preview Tool Tip


Key 
SKToolTipWidth, SKToolTipHeight
Values 
-float, a positive number
Explanation 
The width and height of the preview tool tip, used over internal links.

Key 
SKDisableTableToolTips
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Disable preview tool tips on various tables.

Page Numbering


Key 
SKSequentialPageNumbering
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Use sequential page numbering rather than logical page numbering.

Page History


Key 
SKMaximumDocumentPageHistoryCount
Values 
-integer, a non-negative integer
Explanation 
The maximum number of recent documents that are remembered for reopening documents at a previous page.

Opening DVI Files


Key 
SKDviConversionCommand
Values 
-string, dvips, dvipdf, dvipdfm, dvipdfmx, or the full path to any of these tools
Explanation 
When Skim opens DVI files it needs a tool to convert the DVI to PDF. Skim looks in several standard locations for the tool. This option lets you choose another conversion tool than the default dvipdfmx, or tell Skim the precise path to the tool to use.

Key 
SKXdvConversionCommand
Values 
-string, xdv2pdf, xdvipdfmx, or the full path to any of these tools
Explanation 
When Skim opens XDV files it needs a tool to convert the XDV to PDF. Skim looks in several standard locations for the tool. This option lets you choose another conversion tool than the default xdvipdfmx, or tell Skim the precise path to the tool to use.

Drawers


Key 
SKUsesDrawers
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
When this is true, Skim uses drawers instead of panes in normal window mode.

Auto Reload


Key 
SKAutoReloadFileUpdate
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
When this is true, and Skim checks for file updates on disk, the document is automatically reloaded without asking when there are no notes or edits. We don't recommend using this.

Key 
SKDisableReloadAlert
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
When this is true, and Skim does not show the progress bar and does not bounce the icon when a document reloads. This can lead to crashes, so we don't recommend using this.

Reading Bar


Key 
SKMoveReadingBarModifiers, SKResizeReadingBarModifiers
Values 
-integer, a modifier mask
Explanation 
A mask for the modifiers of the keyboard shortcuts (using arrow keys) for moving and resizing the reading bar. The basic modifiers are Shift=131072, Control=262144, Option=524288, Command=1048576, and can be added for modifier combinations. The default values are Option and Shift+Option respectively.

Pinch Zoom


Key 
SKDisablePinchZoom
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Set this to disable pinch zoom in the PDF views.

Page Background


Key 
SKPageBackgroundColor
Values 
-data, archived color, or an -array of -float
Explanation 
Set this to change the default white background color of pages. This can be an array of one to four floats between 0 and 1, or data for an archived color.

Image Smoothing


Key 
SKImageInterpolation
Values 
-integer, 0=default, 1=none, 2=low, 3=high
Explanation 
Set this to control the smoothing applied to images in the PDF. The default behavior uses none or high smoothing depending on the anti-alias setting.

Tool Mode Cursors


Key 
SKUseToolModeCursors
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Set this to use indicative cursors for the note tool modes.

Animations


Key 
SKDisableAnimations
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Set this to disable all animation effects.

Accessibility


Key 
SKDisableExtendedPDFViewAccessibility
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Set this to disable Skim's extensions to support for assistive devices, such as the dictionary popup.

Status Bar


Key 
SKDisplayNoteBounds
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Set this to display the position and size of the currently selected note in the status bar.

Spotlight


Key 
SKDisableSearchAfterSpotligh
Values 
-boolean, true or false
Explanation 
Set this to disable the automatic search after opening a file through Spotlight.

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