Hidden Preferences

Sandvox has many preferences that are not exposed in the user interface, but which you can modify using the command line. Note that these are modifications outside of Sandvox's usual scope and may have adverse affects that Karelia cannot support.

To set a hidden preference:

  1. Quit Sandvox.
  2. Open the Terminal application (found in the "Applications → Utilities" folder).
  3. Type or copy and paste the command given for the hidden preference.
  4. If necessary, replace the highlighted text with your desired value.
  5. Hit the Return key.

Watch this brief video tutorial for an example of the above.

Alternatively, if you have Apple's Developer Tools installed, you can open the Sandvox preferences file with the Property List Editor application and set hidden preferences with that. The preferences file can be found at:


To reset a hidden preference to its original value:

  1. Quit Sandvox.
  2. Open the Terminal application (found in the "Applications → Utilities" folder).
  3. Type defaults delete com.karelia.Sandvox followed by the name of the hidden preference, as shown below.
defaults delete com.karelia.Sandvox metaRobots
  1. Hit the Return key and relaunch Sandvox.

Alternatively, you can remove all Sandvox preferences by deleting the "com.karelia.Sandvox.plist" file in your "Library → Preferences" folder.


Site resources path
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox DefaultResourcesPath "svx_resources"
The folder to store site resources in. Normally _Resources.
Media files path
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox DefaultMediaPath "svx_media"
The folder to store media files in. Normally _Media.

Note: If you change this value for a website that you have already published with a different setting, you must go through the Host Setup Assistant and edit your site configuration, so that Sandvox will clear out its memory of the previous publication locations. Also, this must be done in a version of Sandvox that is 1.6.7 or higher.

Default file extension
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox fileExtension "html"
The default path extension given to all pages when published. Usually, you customize this via the File Name and Extension fields in the Page Details area. But if you particularly wish, you can use this preference to set the extension for:
A) Any new pages created.
B) All existing pages which haven't had their filename extension customized yet.
Robots meta tag
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox metaRobots "all"
The instructions for visiting web robots. See this article for information on the content you can supply.
Unix file permissions
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox pagePermissions "0644"
If your host supports it (also applies when publishing locally), this sets the Unix permissions of each file.
Publishing sets permissions
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox ConnectionSetsPermissions -bool NO
Normally when publishing, Sandvox sets the Unix file permissions for each file that it uploads (see above setting). However, some servers refuse to allow setting permissions and disconnect immediately. Setting this hidden preference to "NO" will tell Sandvox to ignore setting file permissions on the server, allowing publishing to continue.
Load fonts bundled in designs
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox LoadLocalFonts -bool NO
This should be used when the loading of fonts stored in design bundles, used for Graphical Titles, needs to be turned off. (This is when you have major keychain issues in Leopard.) If you wish to use fonts embedded in a design, and you have turned this option off, you can dig into the actual design packages inside the Sandvox application package. Control-click (or right-click) on the Sandvox application and choose "Show Package Contents," then open the "Contents" and then "Designs" folder. Choose the desired design and choose "Show Package Contents" on that. Any special font files will be in that folder. Just double-click a font file to launch Font Book to install it.


Log connection information when Sandvox is launched
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox LogHostInfoToConsole -bool YES
Connection timeout length
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox connectionTimeoutValue 30.0
When publishing to an alternate host, how long Sandvox will attempt to contact the host for.
Contact verification length
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox LocalHostVerifyTimeout 5
The time in seconds our server will attempt to contact you if you choose to publish to your own computer.
DNS configuration host
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox hostResolver "NSHost"
Enter "NSHost" or "KTHost" to choose the host with which Sandvox resolves your DNS configuration. The default is NSHost, but KTHost may help if you are experiencing slowness when opening the Host Setup Assistant.
Password logging
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox AllowPasswordToBeLogged -bool YES
If there is an issue with your connection, Sandvox will log any information that may help resolve it. By default though, it will not log your password for security reasons. Enabling this preference will log your password.


Index file name
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox htmlIndexBaseName "index"
Collections are published to their own subfolders. This specifies the filename of the Collection page itself; this plus the fileExtension (above) form the name; e.g. "index.html". (Don't forget that this also affects the Home Page since it is a Collection as well!)
Force paths to collections to end in index file
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox PathsWithIndexPages -bool YES
Force links to a collection index page to explicitly link to the index file name (as specified above, usually index.html). Not generally needed for web publication, but may be useful when viewing a website directly from the Finder. If your website is intended to be viewed directly from the Finder, such as for a CD-ROM presentation, this will be useful.


When creating thumbnail and favicon images, Sandvox automatically applies a sharpening effect to improve the image quality.

Normal image sharpening is adjusted from the Document Inspector. To adjust the amount of sharpening is done for Favicons, use the following command.

defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox KTFaviconSharpeningFactor 1.0

You can set the initial value of image linking using the following:

Initially link an image to its original-sized version
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox linkImageToOriginal -bool YES
Whether a dragged in image should be linked to externally (rather than being included in the document)
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox preferExternalImage -bool YES

The Photo Gallery option on photo albums can adjust their sizing.

Width and height in percentage of the maximum size that an image will overlay. Relative to the browser window area.
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox GalleryPercentWidth 90
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox GalleryPercentHeight 90
Maximum size for large images to be scaled down. (Usual value is appropriate for a large video monitor.)
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox GalleryMaxWidth 2000
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox GalleryMaxHeight 1200

Application Behavior

Open file alert
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox OpenUntitledFileWhenIconClicked -bool NO
Disables the alert that appears when there are no documents open and you click on the Sandvox icon in the Dock.
Send crash reports
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox SendCrashReports -bool NO
Stops Sandvox checking to see if it crashed previously.
Open last used site when launching
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox AutoOpenLastOpenedOnLaunch -bool NO
When launching Sandvox, stops it opening the last site you were working on.
Sandvox update address
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox HomeBaseURL "http://launch.karelia.com/"
The URL that Sandvox uses when checking for updates. It must end in a slash.
Log JavaScript console messages
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox LogJavaScript -bool YES
If this is set, any JavaScript errors and messages will be appended to the system console log (along with what line number in the Sandvox HTML file it came from). Useful for diagnostics if your website has JavaScript in it.


Sandvox contains a number of alerts that you can dismiss with the option not to be told again in the future. These hidden preferences can be used to re-enable such alerts. Entering NO will enable an alert, and YES will silence it.

Quartz Extreme not available
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox shutUpQuartzExtreme -bool NO
Sandvox is being run on a non-Quartz Extreme equipped Mac. Please see "Graphical Titles" for more information.
Non-Page Link
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox shutUpFakeURL -bool NO
A link has been clicked on and its destination only exists on the published site.

Sandvox Interface

Open URLs in background
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox 'urls in background' YES
Enable to open links to external pages in the background. Only applies while editing sites within the Sandvox interface.
Titlebar seperator
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox TitleSeparator " | "
The string used to separate items in the Sandvox titlebar and Window Title.


Sandvox comes bundled with the latest version of jQuery but you may wish to make use of a newer or older version if you have compatibility issues with other jQuery-based scripts.

jQuery Version
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox jQueryVersion 1.9.9
Links to the specified version of jQuery, which must be available at Google's ajax.googleapis.com URL.
Preference for local jQuery library
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox jQueryLocal -bool YES
Prevents jQuery from being loaded remotely from Google's cache. Normally, a Sandvox page will link to Google's copy of the file, for maximum loading speed. Use this preference if you would prefer to link to your own version from your website.

Contact Form

You can change the service that Sandvox uses to send email from your website. Because some Sandvox users may have trouble receiving emails sent from the server normally used by Sandvox (service.karelia.com), we offer this alternative.

You would need to download our PHP files (Legacy, but they should be a good starting point) and install them on your own server — see the README file that comes with that download for instructions. Be sure to republish your website after changing any of these defaults.

URLs of the form processor
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox mailmeURL "http://service.karelia.com/mailme.php"
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox mailmeAjaxURL "http://service.karelia.com/mailmeAjax.php"
For your custom installation, the password used to decrypt the email address
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox mailmePassword "MY_PASSWORD"

The Contact Form service is provided by Karelia as a courtesy only. Karelia cannot and does not guarantee the delivery of email through its relay, any spam filters, or other third party systems.

Syntax Coloring

You can change the colors used in the syntax coloring of Sandvox's Raw HTML editor window. Each color type take a trio of numbers representing the red, green, and blue component as a number from 0.0 to 1.0.

Some example colors:

Black 0.0 0.0 0.0
Blue 0.0 0.0 1.0
Brown 0.6 0.4 0.2
Cyan 0.0 1.0 1.0
Dark Gray 0.33 0.33 0.33
Gray 0.5 0.5 0.5
Green 0.0 1.0 0.0
Light Gray 0.67 0.67 0.67
Magenta 1.0 0.0 1.0
Orange 1.0 0.5 0.0
Purple 0.5 0.0 0.5
Red 1.0 0.0 0.0
Yellow 1.0 1.0 0.0
e.g. <!-- … -->
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox "SyntaxColoring:Color:Comments" -array 1.0 0.0 0.0
e.g. &amp; &gt; &lt;
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox "SyntaxColoring:Color:Identifiers" -array 0.0 0.0 1.0
e.g. "…."
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox "SyntaxColoring:Color:Strings" -array 0.4 0.4 0.4
e.g. <p> … </p>
defaults write com.karelia.Sandvox "SyntaxColoring:Color:Tags" -array 0.0 0.0 0.6

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