Tweaking Mac OS X Leopard’s Dock, Menu Bar, and more

Usingmac.com offers some simple, useful Terminal commands for tweaking Mac OS X Leopard, including:

• Dock
– Stacks, Activate Mouse Over Gradient
– Stacks, Deactivate Mouse Over Gradient
– New Stacks Folder, Recent Application
– Two Dimensional Dock
– Three Dimensional Dock

• Safari
– Font Size, Set Minimum Value
– Font Size, Disable Minimum Font Size
– Safari Bookmarks, Disable Fav-Icons
– Safari Bookmarks, Enable Fav-Icons

• Menu Bar
– Solid White Menu Bar
– Grayish Menu Bar
– Translucent Menu Bar

• Finder
– Sidebar, Change Headings

Full article, with the command codes, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note: We have been experiencing technical difficulties this morning. Thank you for your patience.

28 Comments

  1. This recent spate of Dock hacks should send one very clear message to Apple: People are not happy with the Leopard dock in a way never seen during past OS upgrades. I hope Apple provides some supported options in the future as third party mods often cause havoc when upgrading.

  2. CLEAR! Gotta pulse. Whew. That was close. Now get some grapefruit juice and take a few deep breaths, MDN.

    Back on topic . . . I’d like to be able to adjust the transparency levels of drop down menus and the menu bar. And my MBP still shows the sleep light after shutting down and closing the lid (10.5.1). I have to convince it that it’s not sleeping.
    Small annoyances.

  3. I agree with Brau, the Dock is my least favourite part of Leopard.

    A soon as I discovered the hack to allow the 2D dock at the bottom I did it, and it is much much better than that horrible 3D look.

    My $0.02

  4. Dark gray backgrounds, gratuitous translucency, autistic interface unification, everywhere style without substance. The message is clear: Apple has gone downmarket. Lowest common denominator. They’re obvs. attempting to appeal to PC users, who are not exactly known for their delicate aesthetic sensibilities.

    But wasn’t this what we wanted all along, we diehard Mac users? Perhaps we should have been more careful what we wished for. We are the architects of our own demise.

    Dear PC users: Please fuck off and die. You leave Macs to Mac users, and we’ll leave beige to you.

  5. What’s so bad about about tweaking some settings to your own satisfaction? I say open that sucker up and rework it to your own taste. Hey, if you want garish colors, flat graphics and opaque menus that should be your right and opportunity to embrace the new world. Come on, Apple give the power to the people! More power to those who venture into the deep recesses of the OS to provide these useful alterations.

  6. None of the mods described in this article are “third-party mods”. These are all modification options included in the OS by apple…they just didn’t make any pretty checkboxes for them in the System Preferences screen.

  7. Maybe I am just numb but I don’t care whether the new dock is better or worse than the old. I keep it hidden away 99.9% of the time. However if it, for some reason, is important to someone, then so be it. I care more about applications suddenly quitting which, although not a big problem, has increased a lot with Leopard over Tiger, even with the update.

  8. Okay, seriously, what is everyone’s problem with the new Dock and Menu Bar? IMO, there’s nothing wrong with them. The Menu Bar is about 30-40% transparent, which leaves plenty of menu bar to be seen, no matter which background is present (I have hundreds, and have OS X set to change it every 5 minutes, and I’ve yet to see a background impair my ability to see/read the Menu Bar). The 3D Dock? Eye candy that doesn’t make it any less useful. For the people complaining that they “can’t see the little glowing dots,” get your eyes checked. The little dots are close to (HEX) EEEEEE, while the dock is somewhere around 9F9F9F. That’s plenty of contrast. If it’s not, increase the contrast on your display, it’s part of the accessibility tools.

    Stacks are the only thing I have a problem with, and that’s only because you can’t navigate them like you used to be able to navigate dock folders, although I’m sure that’ll be fixed or hacked eventually. It also wouldn’t kill Apple to make the fan-out stacks scrollable.

  9. The big dock deal for me is the lack of hierarchical dock menus 🙁 🙁 🙁 Normally I have my apps folder, my internet apps folder, my docs folder, my favorites folder, etc all in the dock for drill-down hierarchical access to the contents. Much more compact than having all those icons in the dock, much faster than opening a finder window… Quay is an app in development that is returning hierarchical folders to the dock — I just have to remember to left click the damn things rather than right click.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.