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Hidden Features in MacClade

David R. Maddison and Wayne P. Maddison
14 July 2003

There are a number of hidden features in MacClade. Some of these may be documented in the MacClade manual, but are not well known. Many of these features are not otherwise documented. As they might be useful to you, we will describe them here as we remember them.

Remember the Option key!

Of course, there are many features in MacClade that are only available if you hold down the Option key. These are documented throughout the MacClade manual. Some of them are visible if you hold down the Option key before you touch on a menu.

List window shortcuts

Here are some shortcuts for use in the Character and Taxon List windows:

  • Storage of current weight and type sets: In the Character List window, hold down the Option key and drag the Weights column into the Weight Set List window to store the current weight set. The current type set can be stored in a similar fashion.
  • Adding characters to or subtracting characters from existing character sets: In the Character List window, select one or more characters, hold down the Option key and then drag the row number of any of these onto an existing character set listed in the Character Set List window; this will add those characters to that character set. If you drop the selected characters not onto an existing character set, but somewhere else on the Character Set List window, then a new character set will be created containing those selected characters. If you hold down the Option and Command (Apple) keys while you drag and drop selected characters onto an existing character set, the selected characters will be deleted from the character set. This is first available in version 4.05 of MacClade.
  • Adding taxa to or subtracting taxa from existing taxon sets: You can do this using a similar procedure to that described above for characters. This is first available in version 4.05 of MacClade.
  • If the data editor is open, then touching on the row number of a character in the Character List window while holding down the Control and Option keys will scroll the data editor so that it displays that character. A similar procedure can be used in the Taxon List window for taxa.
  • Quickly moving items to the start or end of lists: in most list windows, holding down the Control key and Command (Apple) key and touching on the row number will produce a popup menu with two options: Move to Top and Move to Bottom. Choosing these will cause the item to move to be the first or last item in the list, respectively. This allows for quick reordering of taxa, for example. This is first available in version 4.06 of MacClade

Changing the standard words spoken by the Speak Matrix command

If you have a copy of a resource editor (for example, ResEdit), you can edit the standard words spoken when MacClade speaks the matrix. For example, you can change the word pronounced when a missing data cell is spoken from "missing" to "nothing".

The relevant resources are STR resources 1000 through 1008.

You can also change the pronunciation in this way. For example, the word "taxon" is stored in resource STR 1004. It is now spelled "tahksconn", as the default American English speak synthesizer pronounces that more like "taxon" than if you ask to to say the word "taxon". However, you can change it as you desire. For example, you might wish to change it to say "Sequence".

Easter Eggs

There are at least two easter eggs in MacClade, but we can't tell you where they are or what they are. Actually, we think there are more, but if there are, we don't remember them.


ResEdit is currently (July 2003) available from Apple from the following location:


Make sure you make a backup before you edit MacClade with Resedit, as you can damage MacClade if you are not careful.

Documentation for ResEdit is available at the following web site:


Copyright © 2011 by David R. Maddison and Wayne P. Maddison.
 All rights reserved.