Gestalt Selectors List

About this list

The Gestalt Manager is a collection of system routines which allows applications to test for the availability of software and hardware. Because of the increasing number of different software and hardware configurations, this is getting an important issue. It probably already is and known by the term 'compatibility'.
The Gestalt function allows applications to obtain information about the current configuration. Selectors are used to refer to certain information.
A selector is of type OSType (a four byte value) and usually contain four ASCII characters. For example: the selector 'sysv' causes the version of the current system is returned. Other functions, NewGestalt and ReplaceGestalt, allow programmers to install their own Gestalt selectors.
Programmers need to know these selectors beforehand to be able to request and interpret the value returned by the Gestalt function. See for more detailed information on how to use the Gestalt Manager routines Inside Macintosh part VI (old series) or the new Inside Macintosh: Operating System Utilities book.
The Driver Gestalt calls (status calls to device drivers) and Newton Gestalt mechanism are not covered by this list.

This Gestalt Selectors List intends to list all known selectors, but in reality this means it lists all selectors known to the editor. I would like to see this list to be a combined effort by different persons who have together access to a wide area of information.
This list may contain (educated?) guesses and perhaps even false information, so no guarantee is made about the contents.
You may use this information freely (see Legal Stuff section below), but when you find information not included with this list; please tell me. If you have additions, corrections, comments, suggestions, news about available software, etc., mail it me. Please, also mention the source you used, if any.
You can send contributions, remarks, etc. (using the form included below) to this email address: <depricated>
If you want to remain anonymous, please mention this and it will be taken care of.


If you downloaded this list from CompuServe, a BBS, or any other service, you will notice some strange things like 'FTP-sites' which have to do with the fact that this list originates from the Internet. Although the GSL can be found on most networks outside the Internet, you may be able to access the Internet also from AOL and CompuServe. Contact your network provider for information on how to access the Internet or how to send email to an Internet address.

This list is available in the following ways:


Using Finger to obtain the latest version is no longer possible.

The GSL can be found on the Apple FTP server in Utilities/

or, if the URL changed again, start at

Contact: ???

Every minor and major version is submitted to the Info-Mac archives:

ftp://< mirror>/dev/info/gestalt-selectors-*.hqx

Contact: Info-Mac Moderator

This list is too large to post to any of the subgroups of the comp.sys.mac.programmer (c.s.m.p.) newsgroups. Therefore, since version 2.2, only an announcement about the release of a new version is posted to these newsgroups: news:comp.sys.mac.programmer.codewarrior

The GSL can be found at the Northwestern University WWW server, together with other Macintosh FAQs:

Contact: Robert Lentz

The GSL can be found at the home site of the editor at the Vrije Universiteit's Faculty of Biology WWW server:

or direct at:

Contact: Rene G.A. Ros

You can find the GSL on AOL in the "MDV/Documents and Proposals" directory.

Contact: none, who wants to upload it to AOL?

Since version 2.0 this list is uploaded to the Macintosh Developers Forum (MACDEV). Only new minor and major versions will be uploaded once. The GSL is available in the Tools/Debuggers (13) section. Or use the Internet locations by using GO INTERNET.


Because of permissions I granted you may get this list from a CD-ROM or via a BBS from Internet (or any other network) or a CD-ROM. If you do, and the release was more than two months ago, there is probably already a newer version.
You can find the GSL on the latest release or upcoming release of these CD-ROM titles:

Every person on the mailing list automatically receives an update by email whenever there are some changes. If you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to this mailing list you need to send email to this address: <depricated>
Then put in the subject line either 'subscribe' or 'unsubscribe'.

The mailing list is moderated, which means everybody can email to: <depricated>

But only after approval of the moderator the other subscribers will receive your posting. This guarantees that no confidential contribution is distributed before the moderator sees it.
If mail to you bounces eight times you're automatically unsubscribed.

This service is only possible to those who have an account on Internet or any other network reachable from the Internet (AOL, CompuServe, FidoNet, etc.). I can not provide mailing of printed versions or on disk by normal surface mail.

You can retrieve the latest versions of this list and other software by sending email to this address: <depricated>
In the subject line you need to enter 'archive' and then put one command behind it or only 'archive' in the subject line with one or more commands in the body of your email preceded by the keyword 'archive'. These commands can be:

     help             to get some help on using the archive server
     ls <dir>         to list the contents of the specified directory
     get <dir>/<file> to have the specified file sent to you by email.

Your actions may be logged.

If you want this list printed on paper you may want to try a feature included with the LaserWriter 8 software. With it you can print four pages on a single sheet of paper. When you set the page breaks correct, this produces a very neat, little booklet.

Gestalt Submission Form

You can use this form to report information you found on already included selectors. But you can also use it to register new Gestalt selector codes.
If you want to register the selector code your software installs, make sure you registered your code first with Apple Computer, Inc. Also, it is your good right if you chose to keep the meaning of the response value private. If so, still register so that others can at least detect your software by determining if the selector is present.

Software means, in this form, the software which installs the selector code. Not the whole package, just the extension or control panel (perhaps application) itself.
The package is the product name in which the software is included and distributed.
If data is not available or relevant, leave it blank. When the selector contains non-ASCII characters, please also provide the hexadecimal value.

You can also fill in this form on-line because it is also on the WWW pages of the GSL:

Your name:

Your email address:

Your company name:

Do you want to remain anonymous? Yes / No

Software name:

Software type: O application
               O control panel
               O extension (also 'appe')
               O other:

Category:      O Apple System Software
               O Apple Additional Software
               O Apple Software
               O Third Parties Software

Package name:

Author or Company name:

Gestalt Selector:

Constant name:

First version to install selector:

Source of information:

Short description of the returned response:

Additional constant names and values for the response value meaning:

Please email this form to this Internet address: <depricated>


I want to thank the following persons for their contributions and support of this list:

Anonymous contributor(s)
Anonymous contributor 'Fig'
Lonnie R. Abelbeck
Dave Axler
Daniel Azuma
J.D. Sterling Babcock
Jeff Baudin, Micromat Computer Systems
John W. Baxter
Henri Berger, Boca Research Inc.
Gilles Berkovitch
Martin Bestmann
Etienne Bido
Mason L. Bliss
Scott Bronson
Jim Browne
Richard Buckle
Ivan M Cavero Belaunde
Ted Cheney, Daystar Digital
David Cook, Storm Impact, Inc.
Des Courtney
Chuck Crannell
Colen Garoutte-Carson
John Champion
Mike Cohen
David Cook, Storm Impact, Inc.
Marc Cooperman
Paul Cunningham, Teknosys, Inc.
Jean-Pierre Curcio
John C. "Hsoi" Daub,
Mark Dawson
Mark DeNyse, America Online
Anthony DeRobertis
Freek Dijkstra
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
Hans Dorland
Alex Dosher, Apple Computer Inc.
Avi Drissman
Ryan Dumperth
Dave Falkenburg, Apple Computer Inc.
Ruben Fernandez
Jeff Fischer, The Fischer Group
Markus Fritze, Emagic Soft- und Hardware GmbH
Andy Fyfe
Jude Giampaolo
Rick Gansler
Jason Goldman, CircleDream Software
Pete Gontier
M. David Greenspon
Philippe GUEDJ
Jeff Guidice
Aaron Hall
Maynard James Handley, Apple Computer Inc.
Joseph Harpe
C.K. Haun
Michael Hecht
Robert Hess (MacWEEK editor, died on 12 January 1996)
Bill Hofmann
Jeff Holcomb, Apple Computer Inc.
Max Horn
Devon Hubbard, Onyx Technology Inc.
Laurent Humbert
Eric Hustvedt
Don Johnson, Apple Computer Inc.
Mark B. Johnson
Mitch Jones
Miro Jurisic, MIT
Matthias Kahlert
Michael F. Kamprath
John Kawakami, MacTech Magazine
Jonathan Kleid
Jean Klos
Kenneth Knotts, Power Computing
Steve Ko
Peter Kocourek
Rich Kubota, Apple Computer Inc.
Daniel C. Kueng, Blue Line Studios
Arne Kuilman
Roy Leban, Akimbo Systems
David B. Lamkins
Robert Lentz
David Lewis
Nevin ":-)" Liber
Spencer Low
Camillo Lugaresi
Jim Luther
Matsubayashi Kohji
William H. Leininger
Peter N. Lewis, Stairways Software
John Mancino, Decision Maker's Software
Andreas Magnusson
Roland Mansson
Todd McDaniel, Metrowerks, Inc.
Ray Montagne, Apple Computer Inc.
Duane Murphy, Novell Inc.
Masatsugu Nagata
Satoshi Nishi
Fabrizio Oddone
Carl R. Osterwald
Manoj Patwardhan
Marco Piovanelli
Dave Polaschek, Apple Computer Inc.
Kees Pols (Vrije Universiteit, died on 14 December 1997)
Leo Possajennikov
Francois Pottier
Ken Prehoda
Jon Pugh
Quinn "The Eskimo!"
Dave Radcliffe, Apple Computer Inc.
Eric-Paul Rebel
Thomas Reed
Pete Resnick
Paul Reznick
Alex Rosenberg, Apple Computer Inc.
Leonard Rosenthol
Jeremy Roussak
Ray Sanders
Eric Schlegel, Microsoft Corp.
Marc Schrier
Robert M. Seretny
Eden Sherry
Mark Simmons
Ammon Skidmore, Skidperfect Software
David Sowell, DayStar Digital, Inc.
Mark Sproul
Patrick Stadelmann
Brian Stern
Zalman Stern
Tim Swihart
Ilan Szekely
Victor Tan
Nobu Toge
Rodrigo Torres, Berkeley Systems
John Tsombakos
Hans Verbrugge
Cristiano Verondini, PowerSolutions S.r.l.
Maurice Volaski, Flux Software 
Maf Vosburgh, MultiMedia Corporation
Dave Wallace
Ken Ward, Symantec Corp.
John Watte
Jos van Wezel
Benoit Widemann
Gregg Williams (Developer CD Leader), Apple Computer, Inc.
Jonathan Wilson
Terence Worley, Microsoft Corp.
Chris Wysocki
Gerard Ziemski

And the members of the Computer Department of the Biology Faculty at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for their help and support. Also special thanks to Marco Piovanelli for his support and comments about preliminary versions and updates.

The persons mentioned above provided information used in this list. They did this on personal title, NOT on behalf of their employer, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

I assume information you mail to me about Gestalt selectors may be used in this list. Information made available to the general public (e.g. a posting to a USENET newsgroup) is also included and the persons name added to this section.

I will mail you back to thank you and include the parts from the list which were changed, according to the information you provided, to let you check it.

Legal Stuff

(C) 1992-1999, Rene G.A. Ros

Notice Of Liability

The information in this list is distributed on an "AS IS" basis, without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this list, neither the editor nor any contributor nor any publisher, providing this list on any type of media, shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this list or by the computer software and hardware products described herein.
In addition it should be noted explicitly this list is NOT a product of Apple Computer Inc., like any other publisher, NOR are they responsible for any problems you may encounter in its use.


Throughout this list trademarked names are used. Rather than put a trademark symbol in every occurrence of a trademarked name, I state I am using the names only in an editorial fashion and to the benefit of the trademark owner with no intention of infringement of the trademark.


The information in this list may be used freely, but the list is NOT public domain.
When you use the information in this list for COMMERCIAL purposes, you may consider sending the editor a donation to help pay in the costs.

It is not allowed to use excerpts of this list with your documentation, or in any other way, without giving proper credit by using this line:

"This documentation lists information provided by the Gestalt Selectors List, edited and maintained by Rene G.A. Ros On the World Wide Web go to"

If you use excerpts you are advised to subscribe to the mailing list to be notified about errors and the latest news. Or, when your software makes extensive use of the information provided by this list, please use this line in your documentation:

"This software uses information provided by the Gestalt Selectors List, edited and maintained by Rene G.A. Ros On the World Wide Web go to"

Please also mention this list in the About window of your software, if possible.


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