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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Wondering About Type/Creator Codes? TCDB Is The Place To Look!
May 22nd, 2000

Type/Creator Database (TCDB) 2000.5 ($15 Shareware)
Ilan Szekely

One of the things that makes the Mac a pleasure to use is the ability to simply double-click on a file to load it into the application that created it. This is due to the fact that embedded in each Mac file is a 4-character Type code and another 4-character Creator code. However, there may be times when you don't have the application that created a file, and need to know who created it. Or, you may want to change the application a certain document is associated with.

TCDB is a massive database of type and creator codes. The demo version has over 17,000 codes, and the pay version has over 31,000 entries. After launching the application, you'll be presented with a window that shows a File Name, Type code, Creator code and other data. If you click on the column heading, the data will be sorted by that particular heading.

Some of the Thousands of Type and Creator Codes

Scrolling through the entire database can get tedious, so there's also a Find feature, which allows you to search for specific data in one of the categories. Once you find the code you need, you'll need an application that will let you update the Type and/or Creator code. Some options include Apple's own ResEdit, or previously reviewed titles like File Buddy or Snitch.

As a bonus, there are some other databases included. One is a PC Exchange Mappings, which contains almost 600 mappings from PC 3-letter extensions to the appropriate Mac Type and Creator Code, ready to be entered in your PC Exchange control panel. There is also a PC Mappings database, which identifies the application associated with over 2,300 PC filename extensions.

With TCDB, you'll never be at a loss when it comes to figuring out what Type, Creator or filename extension belongs to what application.

Have any other Mac OS Gadgets you'd like us to look at? Let John know via e-mail, or share it with the rest of us in the Mac Gadget Forum.

Useful Link

TCDB Home Page

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.

John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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