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[Solved] Lazarus - macOS - How to read macOS preferences

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Joined: 11 years ago
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Sometimes we'd like to read the system preferences, so we can use the information to have our application respond to it.

A great resource, which appears to hard to find at times, is Lazarus Wiki - Mac Preferences Read and Write page which shows you how to use this to store your own preferences and my purpose was reading system settings/preferences. At least this got me started with a simple solution to read system settings, even the not so standard ones.

In my situation I wanted to read the "reduceTransparency" setting, which is found in "" (file: ~/Library/Preferences/

First fo all, your application needs to use the units MacOSAll and CFPreferences;

  uses MacOSAll, CFPreferences;

Note: CFPreferences is not needed if your project already uses CocoaAll.

Next we need two variables, one as a status value (key exists) and one depending on the returning datatype:

IsValid: Boolean; // On return indicates if key exists and has valid data
Pref: Integer;

Reading the value then becomes relatively easy:

Pref := CFPreferencesGetAppIntegerValue(CFStr('reduceTransparency'),CFSTR(''),IsValid);

Note: if the key value does not exist, expect IsValid to be FALSE.

Note: for different datatypes you'll also find:


Using strings and arrays will be a little more challenging.