Apple Developer Connection Technical: Creator Code Registration
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Creator/File Type Registration

Q Why should I register my application creator code with Apple?

A The Finder identifies your application through its signature, a unique four-character sequence. Registering your creator code with Apple helps ensure that it is unique and will not conflict with the signature of any other application.

Q When should I register my creator codes with Apple?

A You should register your codes with Apple as early as possible. Some developers have waited until the application is done and ready to go to manufacturing only to find out the code they have selected is in use, requiring them to select a new creator code and make changes to their application at the last minute.

Q Must a developer be a member of Apple's Developer programs to be eligible for this service?

A No. All developers should register their creator code information with Apple to ensure that it is unique.

Q Can you give me some tips on filling out the creator request form?

A Please list only one product and the associated creator code(s) per form. If you are requesting unique creators for more than one software application, submit one form for each product. Please note, in most cases we register only one creator code per product. Also note that Apple no longer tracks resource or file types.

Q What if the creator code I request is already in use?

A You will be informed immediately on our on-line registration form if the code you request is already assigned. Remember, before filling out the form, you may use our search form to search the creator database to see if the code you are requesting has already been assigned.

Q Are there any creator codes I can't use?

A Apple reserves all creator codes consisting of entirely lower case letters. And of course, any creator type already in use cannot be used by another developer.

Q May I register a range of creator codes, so I can reserve the types I want for future products?

A No, unfortunately, Apple does not permit the registration of ranges.

Q How do I register file types?

A Apple no longer registers file types. When choosing your own file types you should follow the same guidelines as for creator codes - your file type must each contain at least one uppercase character.

Q Can developers register icons and fonts through the Developer Support Center also?

A Apple no longer registers icons or fonts.

Q How will I know my creator codes have been registered properly?

A An electronic mail confirmation will be sent to you within 2-3 business days to the email address specified on your registration form.

Q Will Apple give developers a list of creator codes that have already been registered?

A Unfortunately, no. We don't make the information in the creator registration database available. You should be aware, however, that you can use the online search form to search the database to see if a creator code has already been registered.

We do know of a site outside of Apple Computer that has been assembling such a list. You can browse Ilan Szekely's site at

Q Where could a developer get more information about using creator and file type codes in their applications?

A Please see Inside Macintosh:Macintosh Toolbox Essentials, chapter 7, "The Finder Interface" (ISBN 0-201-63243-8). Macintosh Technical Note #36 also is helpful. And of course, we are available to help answer questions at Apple's Developer Support Center (Internet: feedback, Telephone: 408/974-4897).

Last updated: 30-June-1999

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