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Stickies - How to get them to appear on screen at startup?

6168 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2011 8:14 AM by Linc Davis RSS
El Deanio Level 3 Level 3 (735 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 15, 2011 2:05 PM

I want a simple message to appear onscreen whenever any member of my family uses my iMac when I'm away at work.


Nothing elaborate. Just something along the lines of "I installed this software today. Read 'such and such' to use it" or "So and so is not working.  Don't use it. I will attempt to fix it when I get home" sort of thing.


Stickies makes the ideal messages. I can play around with the font, style, even add complex shadow effects to my text and stuff, to my hearts content using spectacular 3D effects that I couldn't even imagine on the PC at work.  Great stuff!


That aside, I want them to display when I am not around (i.e. at work).  But they appear only to display when Stickies has booted.


To get these onscreen messages to appear when someone other than myself starts up my iMac, is my only option to set Stickies as a 'Start Up item' ?  Or is there another, more elegant, way to achieve this? I would like to be able to set a schedule for the message to appear, then vanish again when the need has dissipated.  Can this be done using iCal?  It would be marvellous if I could.

PowerMac 6500/300 (603e) MacOS 9.1: eMac 1.25hz G4 MacOS 10.4.10, Mac OS X (10.6.7), iMac 24" 2.8ghz G6 Intel 750gb HDD, WD MyBook 2Tb RAID 1, Airpor
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (84,255 points)

    Not elegant but Stickies will launch whenever the Mac is booted.


    System Preferences / Accounts - Login Items


    Click +


    Navigate to the Applications folder, select Stickies


    If it works for you, why not leave the Mac in sleep mode with the Stickie displayed...

  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,125 points)

    Couldn't find where Stickies keeps its memos - probably in a .plist somewhere.


    However, what you can do is to create the memo in Stickies (if that's your preferred way), then save it as an RTF file - use the Export Text item in the File menu to do that. This will create a TextEdit file with all formatting and styling intact. I'd send it to the Desktop for convenience.


    Then drag that TextEdit file to the Dock (at the right end with the folders) - pause for a space to appear, and place it on the Dock.


    Then right-click or Control-click that item in the Dock, and choose the Open at Login item from the Options submenu. You may also need to choose the Keep in Dock item in the same submenu.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Carolyn's method works, but will need adding for each user account.


    To get it to open on startup whatever account is opened, put an alias to the Stickies app in Macintosh HD / Library / StartupItems.


    As for the timed closure, I should think one of our AppleScript or Automator wizards might be able to help there.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,995 points)

    To get it to open on startup whatever account is opened, put an alias to the Stickies app in Macintosh HD / Library / StartupItems.


    That won't work at all.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,995 points)

    If everyone is sharing the same account, then simply adding the Stickies application to the login items is all you need to do. If you have multiple users, there's no really simple way. Dare I suggest that you write out an actual paper sticky note and paste it on the monitor?

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Thanks Linc.


    Yes, I realised that after I'd gone to bed.


    No use just opening the application, it needs to reference the OP's ~/Library/StickiesDatabase as well. Not sure if that's possible. Would probably need a script rather than an alias to the app.


    Interesting exercise though; I'll have a play with it later and see what I can find.

  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,125 points)

    You can also create your note directly in TextEdit - it has a reasonable array of formatting and styling stuff, so you can get an attention-grabbing display:

    Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 6.14.33 AM.png


    Just experimented with placing that in the Dock and setting it to show at login - works fine, popped right up as soon as the Desktop appeared.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Yes! That was OS9 though; one of many useful features that never made it into OS X.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,995 points)

    Would probably need a script rather than an alias to the app.


    StartupItems are long deprecated and should be avoided entirely. They have to be in a special format that you now can't easily find documentation for. I used to know it, but have forgotten. They run only once at system startup (not when users log in), and as root.


    What the OP wants could be accomplished with a LaunchAgent if he has multiple users, but that's more trouble than I think it's worth.


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