Apple - Trouble opening plist files in text editor
plist files are not necessarily plain text so they need to be run through a converter. Finder and Xcode (which has a plist editor) do this without telling the user
The binary format is documented in this C code so any application can convert it and someone has written a format description in English and more Apple documentation here but note that it references old paths in
The command line program plutil can convert to and from XML
e.g. to view a binary property list in XML format on stdout:
plutil -convert xml1 -o - <file name>
Also to convert a binary to a XML plist in place and then leave it so that the user program can read either.
plutil -convert xml1 <file name>
You can also edit plist files with PlistBuddy, which is a command-line program.
PlistBuddy is located at
Since you mentioned Sublime Text, there is now a plugin you can use which automatically does the conversion for you: