Customizing Leopard: Add Screen Sharing Features


Along with Quick Look, the new Leopard feature I use most is the built in Screen Sharing. Screen Sharing is accessible in Leopard through several different paths including iChat and Finder. My favorite way, however, is to access the System/Library/Core Services folder, and drag a shortcut to Screen Sharing down to my Dock.

Apple has made Screen Sharing suprisingly powerful in Leopard. As a previous user of Apple Remote Desktop, I have to wonder why I may need it anymore. The Leopard Screen Sharing includes most of the features I need, and as we have discovered can be extended to be a very close to full featured replacement for Apple Remote Desktop. These tips will give you bonjour browsing of network computers, and scaling, color, observe/control, curtain and snapshot options. This will not however replace or include functionality which is more valuable to enterprise users such as reports, remote installation, or dragging files to and from the remote computer and controlling computer.

Enable Bonjour in Screen Sharing

This tip is fairly straight forward and simple. This will require you to launch screen sharing seperately as stated above in order to use this functionality. Open a terminal instance, and simply type:
defaults write ShowBonjourBrowser_Debug 1

Launch Screen Sharing and you should now see a drop down list of all Bonjour computers on your network.

Add Toolbar Options to Screen Sharing

To enable toolbar options including control/observe, scaling, curtain, and color options in Screen Sharing you will also need to run once command in terminal.

This the new toolbar you will see after running this command in Terminal:

defaults write ‘NSToolbar Configuration ControlToolbar’ -dict-add ‘TB Item Identifiers’ ‘(Scale,Control,Share,Curtain,Capture,FullScreen,GetClipboard,SendClipboard,Quality)’


  1. i am getting an error on entry of the second string …

    at first it just goes to a > prompt

    Tidy says...
    December 18th, 2007 at 4:08 pm
  2. any help here …

    Tidy says...
    December 19th, 2007 at 5:34 pm
  3. boo !!!

    Tidy says...
    December 26th, 2007 at 10:42 am
  4. Number 2 should be (all one line):

    defaults write ‘NSToolbar Configuration ControlToolbar’ -dict-add ‘TB Item Identifiers’ ‘(Scale,Control,Share,Curtain,Capture,FullScreen,GetClipboard,SendClipboard,Quality)’

    Bill says...
    December 30th, 2007 at 6:19 pm
  5. It’s because the quotes used here are curly quotes, not straight ones:

    defaults write ‘NSToolbar Configuration ControlToolbar’ -dict-add ‘TB Item Identifiers’ ‘(Scale,Control,Share,Curtain,Capture,FullScreen,GetClipboard,SendClipboard,Quality)’

    should work.

    Alex says...
    January 1st, 2008 at 7:28 pm
  6. Hmm it looks like when I paste in straight quotes it makes them curly anyway. Oh well, just paste that command into a text editor like TextEdit and replace all the single-quotes with a regular quote (the key to the right of ; to be completely unambiguous)

    Alex says...
    January 1st, 2008 at 7:35 pm
  7. Why is curtain mode grayed out. I have tried this on multiple computers and nothing has changed!

    Me says...
    June 16th, 2008 at 7:01 pm
  8. Sweet post. Reps for putting this up. You are all correct about the straight quotes. I have dumped remote desktop and use screen sharing now. Bonus.

    Koop says...
    August 21st, 2008 at 10:20 am
  9. hi all,
    i have a mac mini and a macbook. on both computers, the second command doesnt work even with straight quotes… does anybody have any other ideas that will help???? Please?
    Thanks all,

    Zack says...
    February 18th, 2009 at 9:50 pm
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