|Resource Editing, Rezilla & Helix|
|What is a resource editor?||
There are a number of modifications that can be made to the Helix programs by modifying resources. Resources are small files that are stored in the resource fork of an application or file. Resources typically control specific behaviors of an application and by editing them, you can customize the way an application works.
Resources have been de-emphasized in macOS, but Helix still relies on them. This is the situation we inherited when we acquired the Helix product family. We are working to move these settings into a "preferences" dialog, but until that is finished, modifying the behavior of Helix in these ways requires a resource editor.
The complete list of resources that are available for end user modification is found on this page.
Rezilla is an open source resource editor for macOS. Resources are internal bits of code or other types of instructions that a program reads in order to function. By modifying these resources you can change the behavior of a program.
There are other resource editors available for the Macintosh as well. Examples on this web site use Rezilla primarily because it is macOS native and it is free. You can download Rezilla here.
If you want to purchase a professional level resource editor, any of them will work. One particularly good one is Resourcer from Mathemaesthetics.
Helix applications are created in ‘package’ format, with the resources being found in a file within the package. If you are familiar with package manipulation, you can open the application package, navigate to the resource, and drag/drop it onto Rezilla. For those less technical, here are instructions:
|About resource IDs||
Within each resource type, there are one or more distinct resources, identified by a resource ID. Each ID is associated with a particular function within the program code. When changing a behavior in Helix, you must be careful to edit the resource with the correct ID for the function you are trying to change.
Do not change resource IDs! A missing resource can result in crashes or wrong behavior by Helix.
Rezilla can also present resource data in a user friendly format, if a resource template is available. A template describes the layout of a specific resource, enabling Rezilla (or any resource editor) to format the data for easy reading. Here is a picture of the same resource shown in Step 8 above, using a template.
Rezilla requires that templates be placed in a specific folder (~/Library/Application Support/Rezilla/Templates/) on your computer or it can not use them. Here are step by step instructions for setting this up:
All of the templates we offer for download are packaged in zip, hqx, or sit format. Be sure to expand downloaded templates before putting them in the templates folder or they will not work.
A single file (‘Helix_templates’) containing the user editable resources in Helix 6.1 (and later) products can be downloaded here. Just place the (un-zipped) template in the templates folder (see above) and relaunch Rezilla.
If you still have the Expert Tools folder from the Helix Express 4.x days, the Resources file found in that folder contains many templates that work with Classic Helix products. Just copy this file into your templates folder (see above) and relaunch Rezilla.
Some individual templates are available from our FTP server or maybe through your web browser. These are mostly legacy files, as they are either obsolete or incorporated into the ‘Helix_templates’ file. We have no plans to add to this list.
Specific tutorials are available for editing some resource types. See the Editable Resource List for links to those technotes.