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Before ResEdit: Alert/Dialog, Font, and Icon Editors (1984)


Active member
Before ResEdit shipped as a unified application, Apple had smaller programs that could perform some of the same tasks:
  • Alert/Dialog Editor
  • Font Editor
  • Icon Editor
These were part of a "Software Supplement" that seems to have shipped in the summer of 1984 - for the price of $100.

Below, a July 1984 article from the late, lamented St. Mac:


(And yes, I do believe the author is *that* Marc Benioff... he interned at Apple at about this time!)

A usenet chronicles a developer receiving these disks in October 1984.

I can't locate these utilities on either Macintosh Garden or on early Developer CD's. (Not surprising, since it would have launched a whole five years later - Phil & Dave's Excellent CD ships with ResEdit 1.2.)

We do see both Alert/Dialog Editor and Icon Editor on this disk, labeled "MacStuff 1 2/85". Unfortunately, "MacStuff 2" from February 1985 has not preserved as far as I can tell -- it would have contained Font Editor. All the items in this directory from Vintagecomputer.ca are worth a look, in my opinion.

What does Icon Editor look like? It's early enough to have the @ symbol, instead of the Apple menu:


The Creation and Modification dates are both February 1984, and the Get Info command preserves this tidbit:

Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 1.22.19 PM.png

I'd like to play around with it on my 512k at home with original ROMs -- I have a feeling Mini vMac's Plus emulation is not quite the right timeframe, especially for something so low-level.

How about Alert/Dialog Editor?

Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 1.26.13 PM.png

This software is one month newer, March 1984, and also includes a comment in Get Info:

Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 1.27.39 PM.png

As prototypes of what would become ResEdit, I think it would be neat to preserve these programs. The missing Disk 2 might be found in a developer's private collection of obsolete (and originally expensive) software; perhaps few of those have been comprehensively digitized...

One more thing -- ResEdit itself, from January 1985, is included on one of the February 1985 disks -- it presents itself as "Prototype #0":

Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 1.29.34 PM.png

With their replacement thus already available, I'm fairly certain the February 1985 disks are the last ones on which we could expect to find Alert/Dialog Editor, Font Editor, and Icon Editor.

David Cook

Well-known member
2/85 MacStuff 2 and MacStuff 5 (along with all the others) are posted here: