Prevent Disk Space Size Info Truncation on the Finder Desktop of Mac OS X

May 31, 2010 - 14 Comments

hard disk space truncate When you have extended information displayed under icons with the Finder from the ‘show item info’ Finder preference, you’ll occasionally run into an annoying truncation with used and available disk space.

While one easy solution to this is to expand the spacing to show the full file names of Mac desktop items (the recommended method), there’s another approach for Mac users who are adventurous and advanced enough to edit system files comfortably.

If you’re bothered enough by this to want to change it, here’s a solution that involves tweaking a system file:

* Back up your Mac first, you will be editing system files and if you break something you could really cause yourself an issue. Do not proceed if you don’t back up your Mac first.

* Navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/

* Find and locate English.lpoj and open it

* Within this directory, locate the file ‘Localizable.strings’ and back it up in a safe place

* Now launch the ‘Localizable.strings’ file in a text editor

* Search for the following string: “IV9” = “, ^0 free”; (it may be easiest to search for IV9)

* Remove the ‘free’ text following ^0 but keep everything else identical, the new string would look like this:

"IV9" = ", ^0";

* Save the file and exit the text editor

* Kill the Finder and relaunch it, you can do this via the command line by typing killall Finder

and it will automatically relaunch on it’s own

* Problem solved! The full size informaiton should now be visible.

This works because it makes the overall text displayed shorter by removing the five ‘ free’ characters (space + free), allowing for the full display of the more useful information (space used and space available). The display problems seems to be less of an issue in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, but it’s always annoyed me in earlier versions of MacOS X.

This is part of a broader tip on MacTricksAndTips about changing virtually any default text within Mac OS X, I think it’s the most useful though by far, but if you feel like changing other default text check out their article on the matter.

This is really not recommended, but if you want to try it yourself, be sure to backup your Mac first with Time Machine. And don’t miss more Mac tips and tricks.


Related articles:

Posted by: David Mendez in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Joan says:

    Not working for Lion 10.7.

    The strings are not separated by quotes “”, it’s all plain.
    I cannot find IPV, or IN_9 or similar.
    If I remove “free” and relaunch Finder, then the volume infor reads “250GBIPV9”, so all the info about the free space is gone, and a weird new label appears.

    I guess in Lion a new way of locating the strings in this file is different. There might be some place where the number of characters to be read is specified. Just deleting causes the string to be read wrongly. It’s a guess.

    thanks for help.

  2. Sam says:

    I have tried to get this done in Mavericks but as stated above it is not in there…. Help please

  3. Wookiee says:

    , ^0”

  4. Wookiee says:

    In Mavericks, it’s after “IN_9”

    , ^0 free

  5. Alexandros says:

    I am trying to do that in the greek version of MacOSX 10.7.3 (Lion) However I cannot find those strings in the El.lproj. The English “free” word is in the English.lproj but the greek “ελέυθερα” is not in the el.lproj which is supposed to be the greek equivelant. Any ideas?

    (BTW no IV9 string near the “free” word in the english.lproj, and no IV9 string ANYWHERE in the el.lproj)

  6. Fishcake21 says:

    I couldn’t find the IPV9 line string, instead i only found the IPV7, snow leopard

  7. miro says:

    @ KLancelot – or save as to desktop then replace the .txt with strings and then drag and drop or use BBEdit.

  8. tyrell says:

    I have tried this and got the file to save ok, but there is no change on the desktop. Stan-O’s method also isn’t working for me, there is still truncation. What the hell am i doing wrong?

  9. KLancelot says:

    For those having the same trouble I am, using BBEdit instead of TextEdit fixed the problem.

  10. akaki says:

    it works, you have to give permissions for read and write for all, Klancelot.
    But what happen when for example I have 499’76G…69’32 GB when it must show: 499’76G, 269’32 GB, because the size of the hard drive…
    Stan-O option is ok as well
    And if you put the icons bigger you can read as well


    • KLancelot says:

      Hi Akaki, I thought I tried that but maybe I’m doing it wrong. I hit Get Info on the strings file and set all permissions at the bottom to read and write. Close out and try to make the change in TextEdit. It still won’t save. Am I doing something wrong or do I need to set permissions another way?

  11. KLancelot says:

    On both my MacBook and iMac, both running Snow Leopard, I cannot save the changed the “Localizable.strings” file in TextEdit, even after changing permissions in Get Info to Read/Write. I know this sounds silly but do I need a different text editor or have I missed a step somewhere?

  12. Stan-O says:

    Alternatively, in the View Options set the label position: right — no truncation then.

  13. ElMajdal says:

    Excellent, just what i was looking for :)

    Keep it up.

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