Many of the applications found on your Mac -- such as Preview and Text Edit -- have an "Open Recent" feature that displays the last six items you've accessed with that program. While many users are completely fine with this, power-users can adjust the number of recent files displayed to their own liking.
This adjustment can be made as a global change to the many native apps found on your Mac, as well as to individual apps you've installed on your machine. All this is done by issuing commands in the Terminal:
Make a global change to majority of your available apps
Access the Terminal by navigating to the Utilities folder on your Mac, or by simply searching "terminal" in Spotlight. Once you have Terminal open, enter the following code:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSRecentDocumentsLimit NUMBER
Replace NUMBER with the number of recent documents you want displayed in your apps.
Make a change to a specific app
With Terminal open, enter the following code:
defaults write com.apple.APPNAME NSRecentDocumentsLimit NUMBER
Along with replacing NUMBER, replace APPNAME with the app you wish to modify (i.e. textedit). To find the app name that the OS will recognize, follow the following steps:
- Open the Finder
- In your Username, select Library
- Open the Preferences folder
- Find the app you wish to modify in the list of com.apple.APPNAME files (remove the .plist prefix from the name)
While the stock setting provided by Apple is sure to be sufficient to most users, having the ability to adjust the number of recent documents displayed may become beneficial to those looking to take full advantage of -- as well as further opening your knowledge of -- the Mac OS X operating system.