Adding externals to Pure Data (vanilla distribution)

While playing around with Pd vanilla, I noticed that there were some issues regarding the externals, in my case. I was running it directly from my Downloads/ folder, and all the core objects were running fine, apart from the external ones. This sounds like something obvious, and the solution to that is pretty simple, even though it’s very easy to miss.

Finding externals and setting path

Finding externals is straightforward, as long as you know exactly which ones you want to install. In my case, I’ll install flatgui. Below are the steps:

  1. In Pd, Help > Find externals
  2. Type the external library’s name in the search box and hit the button. A list of suggested libraries will be displayed, and you just have to pick the correct one for your current system. And make sure it’s being installed in the proper folder (and after making sure it’s installed in Applications/)

    Pure Data Find Externals

  3. Make sure the correct path is set! One thing that was wrong in my case, was the path set Pd to search for objects, help, fonts, and other files.
    Pd > Preferences > Path,  then set the root path where Pd will look for needed objects, on Mac, that would be Applications/.
    Pure Data external path
  4. Restart Pd. Now you should be able to work with the installed external objects. It’s also good to know that it’s mandatory to specify the name of the external when creating an object. For instance: [flatgui/knob] or [markex/randomF 1].

Versions used: Pd 0.47.1, macOS Sierra

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