How would I go about theming Mojave?

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,457
USA
I have been a huge fan of GIMP for years and I created numerous GTK and Metacity themes when I was using Linux. Now that I have a Mac mini (Late 2014) running macOS Mojave, I would like to theme it to look more like OS X Mountain Lion. I still think Mountain Lion was the best looking OS X release.

Creating the graphics won't be a problem, I'll just spend some time in GIMP and whip up something to my liking. The issue I face is being new to macOS and not knowing which files I would need to replace.

Can anyone give me any pointers?
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
2,312
3,779
Earth
Uhh, what can I say, prepare for a lot of work. Apple has been really hostile to any kind of theming recently by changing how UI works, every release.

I have only so far learned how to change some aspects of UI, such as window control buttons, check boxes, buttons...those are all contained inside .car files, which are located inside /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemAppearance.bundle.


I hope that some will soon give you more precise information, and help.

Best of luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: revmacian

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,457
USA
Uhh, what can I say, prepare for a lot of work. Apple has been really hostile to any kind of theming recently by changing how UI works, every release.

I have only so far learned how to change some aspects of UI, such as window control buttons, check boxes, buttons...those are all contained inside .car files, which are located inside /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemAppearance.bundle.


I hope that some will soon give you more precise information, and help.

Best of luck!
That was very helpful. At least now I know where to begin looking. Thank you.
I have been told that some of what I want to theme is not images, but source code that I won't be able to touch without re-writing and compiling macOS. But, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
 

blenditall

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2011
22
4
I have only so far learned how to change some aspects of UI, such as window control buttons, check boxes, buttons...those are all contained inside .car files, which are located inside /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemAppearance.bundle.

Best of luck!
Curious to see what you've done here. Do you have any screenshots?
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
2,312
3,779
Earth
Curious to see what you've done here. Do you have any screenshots?
Check the recent modding of window control buttons that I have done.


For other elements, I tried in the past, but I had very little luck. My main problem was alignment issues and unwanted artifacts that can appear (such as text being out of place inside button, check boxes being too big...etc).
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,457
USA
I'm not going to focus on this as much going forward. I was hoping to theme every aspect of the UI and possibly develop a theming app for the general public. What I have found, however, is that theming the macOS ui requires a lot of work and I just don't feel up to it - maybe I'm just lazy, I don't know.

I really wanted the look of OS X Mountain Lion back, that was beautiful. The change from Mavericks to El Cap was a step in the wrong direction as far as the UI is concerned. The beautiful UI was one of the things that set OS X apart from the competition.

Thank you, @StellarVixen , for the help and information you provided.
 

allan.nyholm

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2007
1,162
364
Aalborg, Denmark
Edit.. I need to learn to read properly.. I understand the stance you're taking on theming macOS. I haven't made much theming-wise lately except for a few small theme changes. It's not you being lazy or anything. There's just not much excitement for theming since Flavours. Most people have SIP turned on per default and that's not helping theming. I understand those that turn on SIP or leave it on from when buying a new Mac-computer.

Theming macOS is quite time consuming - that's for sure.

Recently I've become aware of a person on Github who has forked ThemeEngine to be more Mojave compatible. However, there's some way to an actual release I gather.

The link to SpiraMira's ThemeEngine fork: https://github.com/SpiraMira/ThemeEngine
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: revmacian
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.