Tag Archives: Themes

Big cats and themes

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As of yesterday (Thursday) evening, my MacBook runs Snow Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X. I’m very pleased of the functionality changes, even though I was saddened to see that the user interface hasn’t changed one bit.

There had been rumours of the “Marble” interface, but nothing (I repeat: nothing) has changed visually as regards the general interface (bar a few luminosity adjustments and the changes required by the new functionality). Icons, scrollbars, list headers, the “traffic lights”, …, everything with which Mac OS X themes generally deal, it’s all unchanged.

Except that Apple decided to change a couple of things in the structure of its theme files, which means that a) we can’t simply copy our theme files from Leopard to Snow Leopard, and b) we haven’t a clue how to decode one of the core UI files, “SArtFile.bin”. Hopefully there will be a decoder soon.

In the meantime, I’ll be using my external drive every now and again to boot under Leopard, because the only theming tool we can use (Themepark 4) works only under Leopard.
If you are an iTunesque user, expect a bunch of new packs for Snow Leopard in the coming days/weeks.

Edit: many iTunesque packages are now available. See the iTunesque page for more details.

My Leopard’s Look: part III

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In this series, entitled “My Leopard’s Look”, I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X “Leopard”: icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons, and Part II to read about the Dock and wallpapers.


Themes

I never was interested in themes under Tiger (Mac OS 10.4), partly because I had a 1999 G3 iMac, and partly because the only tool “average users” could use to apply themes was Unsanity’s ShapeShifter (which came at a hefty price for a student, and which is a “haxie” that requires “Application Enhancer” [APE] to run, and APE has caused me a couple of problems in the past).

Then Leopard came along, and while I was very happy with the new unified metal look for all applications, the blue aqua (scrollbars, list headers, …) was starting to feel old.
So I decided to take a look at Leopard theming options.
Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part III

My Leopard’s Look: part II

 

 
 
 
 
 

In this series, entitled "My Leopard’s Look", I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X "Leopard": icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons.


Dock

The Dock itself

The 3D Dock introduced in Leopard was one of its most controversial features. Many users far preferred the 2D Dock from Tiger. But then someone found how to customise the 3D Dock, and now, you can find Dock skins and instructions on how to install them all over the place (LeopardDocks.com and LeopardDocks.net spring to mind).

Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part II

My Leopard’s Look: part I

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There are many things you can do to make your Mac look unique.
You can customise the hardware by decorating it or adding "skins".
But most of the customising comes from the software. Partly because it’s often free, and because it’s less… permanent.

So, what can you do if you have Mac OS 10.5, a.k.a. Leopard?

Until this weekend of mid-May, icons and dock changes (which I’ll detail later) were pretty much all you could do, because Apple has changed the way OS X generates the user interface in many ways. Not completely yet though: it appears 10.6 will be the first to fully use the new "CoreUI".
But enough technobabble. In short, since this week-end, all parts of Leopard are customisable. At least, that’s the theory.
And to illustrate, this is a normal Leopard screenshot. But here is an example of a new appearance, without using any hacks (note that system fonts can also be changed), and here is my personal Leopard’s appearance.

Note: there are still some limits, but for example, window backgrounds are customisable, …

In this series, I’ll talk about the different aspects of customisation, mostly for the sake of those users not entirely familiar with it, but it will contain some advanced customisation information as well.
Part II will concern the Dock and wallpapers, and part III, theming.

Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part I