Relocating and Resizing the LaunchBar Bar

The LaunchBar community is a lot bigger than I imagined. I was shocked at how many emails I got in response to my post on Monday about switching from Quicksilver to LaunchBar — mostly with tips in response to my dislike of the default location of LaunchBar.

Previously unbeknownst to me you can easily move the LaunchBar bar with a click and drag of the mouse — pulling it away from the Menu Bar and and putting it wherever you like. Also, you can adjust the width of the bar by placing your mouse near the edge until you see the resize cursor.

But, if like me, you want LaunchBar to show up in a down-to-the-exact-pixel spot, reader Chip Warden’s surprisingly simple tip for editing the preferences file is for you.

Open the file ~/Library/Preferences/at.obdev.LaunchBar.plist in a text editor, and find this bit of code:

<key>LaunchBarHorizontalPosition</key>
    <real>0.5</real>
<key>LaunchBarScreen</key>
    <integer>0</integer>
<key>LaunchBarVerticalPosition</key>
    <real>1</real>
<key>LaunchBarWindowWidth</key>
    <real>430</real>

The three, editable variables in there are pretty self explanatory.

  • The LaunchBarHorizontalPosition value moves LaunchBar left and right. A value of "1" pushes it all the way to the right side; a value of "0" pushes it all the way to the left. I've left this value at the default "0.5".

  • The LaunchBarVerticalPosition value moves LaunchBar up and down. A value of "1" (the default) pushes the bar to the top of your screen, directly underneath the menu bar; a value of "0" pushes it all the way to the bottom. I have mine set to "0.667" in honor of the rule of thirds.

  • The LaunchBarWindowWidth value adjusts the width of the bar in pixels. Mine is set to "430".

Don't forget to make a backup of the preferences file, and you'll want to quit LaunchBar before editing or your changes won't stick.

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