A license consists of two values, the owner name and the actual license key.

TextMate will read these values from its ‘defaults’ which translates to these files on the disk/network:

  1. ~/Library/Preferences/com.macromates.textmate.plist
  2. /Library/Preferences/com.macromates.textmate.plist
  3. /Network/Library/Preferences/com.macromates.textmate.plist

Normally you enter the owner name and paste in the license key in the registration window which greets you when you launch TextMate, but it is also possible to make it a registered copy either by using the shell command defaults to write the values directly to the defaults file (location #1) or place a property list either in location 2 or 3 with the correct values.

Such property list would (in the old-style format) look like the following:

{ OakRegistrationOwner = "BigCo Inc.";
  OakRegistrationLicenseKey =

If all your machines have access to a shared /Network/Library then it is recommended to place the license file in location #3, otherwise location #2 can be used so that all users created on the machine(s) will automatically see the license.

Hint: After creating a custom com.macromates.textmate.plist file you can validate that the format is correct using the pl shell command.