Manage third party applications with Profiles

Mac management systems like Profile Manager and Casper include numerous built-in payloads enabling administrators to simply choose from a menu of configurable settings for their Macs. But these built-in payloads only manage Apple’s OS X system software such as the Finder, Mail, System Preferences and the login window.

Profiles can also manage other Apple software such as iLife, iWork and Remote Desktop as well as non-Apple software such as Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and Sophos Anti-Virus. With just a little extra effort an administrator can use profiles to disable application auto-updates, eliminate new setup and welcome screens, centrally manage antivirus settings and more.

Learn the difference between centrally managing preferences and simply deploying default settings. This session will focus on the Custom Settings payload found in both Profile Manager and Casper and using it to manage preferences for non-system and third-party applications.

Key Concepts:

  • The structure of plist files and how to manually manipulate them to affect application behavior.
  • How management systems like MCX and Profiles affect plist files.
  •  How to use tools like Profile Manager and Casper to create profiles for managing third party applications such as Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office for Mac and Sophos Anti-Virus.

Intermediate Lecture – 75 Minutes

 William Smith, 318, Inc.

Bill SmithWilliam lives in Saint Paul and works as a Solutions Architect for 318, Inc. He’s been supporting Macs and various workflows for nearly 20 years with specialties in integrating Macs into Windows environments and helping folks use and manage Microsoft Office for Mac.

Before coming to 318 in late 2012 he managed around 250 Macs spread across three continents for a local print and web publishing company, enhancing his remote management capabilities using tools such as Casper and Remote Desktop. Through scripting and managed preferences (MCX) he was able to spend 50% of his time on non-administrative tasks while still being primary support for the Mac platform.

He’s spoken at Macworld and JAMF Nation User Conferences, written for MacTech magazine and is co-owner of, a site devoted to helping folks with Office for Mac.

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