[New and Improved] Aqua Window Controls for MacOS (High) Sierra & OS X El Capitan

redheeler

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Aqua Window Controls for MacOS (High) Sierra & OS X El Capitan - New and Improved Version

WindowControls-AquaBlue.png
WIndowControls-AquaGraphite.png


Newly updated with an improved Aqua look. Includes color and graphite versions for both Retina and standard displays!

Download from Dropbox - For MacOS High Sierra, MacOS Sierra, and OS X El Capitan

See the included Read Me file for how to install!

Important: This version supports MacOS High Sierra, MacOS Sierra, and OS X El Capitan. It is not compatible with Mojave and Catalina. The next version will be compatible with Mojave and Catalina (and not High Sierra or earlier), based on the SystemAppearance files from Catalina, and will have another refined look (post #77).​
 
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redheeler

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I've updated the original post with a new zip file containing both SystemAppearance.car and GraphiteAppearance.car (taken from and compatible with the current build of High Sierra).
 

AngerDanger

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Dec 9, 2008
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The window controls (traffic lights) in recent MacOS versions I always thought were very bland, one of the worst aspects of the redesign. I’ve experimented with replacing them since OS X Yosemite. More recently, using Photoshop CS6 and ThemeEngine, I created these Leopard-inspired Aqua window controls and modded the Sierra SystemAppearance file with them.

View attachment 714025

The custom window controls work with any app using the native light-mode MacOS window controls, on Retina or non-Retina displays. The MacOS high contrast mode uses a different assets file, so it won't work if you have "Increase contrast" on.

Tested on:
OS X El Capitan 10.11.6
MacOS Sierra 10.12.6
MacOS High Sierra (Beta)

Download link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4tanbtolpctyaf0/

See the included Read Me file for how to install!

Good way to give your Mac some uniqueness; or just enjoy a touch of Apple's older UI styling, but still new and not just taken straight from the older OS. :)
Excellent work! It looks great. By the way, I think you can also apply the theme without logging out if you use the command killall Finder & killall SystemUIServer.

Now all we need is some way to get a nice compromise between the scroll bars of OS X and macOS… I miss that blue barber's pole masked beneath the bar.

 
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redheeler

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Excellent work! It looks great. By the way, I think you can also apply the theme without logging out if you use the command killall Finder & killall SystemUIServer.

Now all we need is some way to get a nice compromise between the scroll bars of OS X and macOS… I miss that blue barber's pole masked beneath the bar.

I have experimented with Aqua scrollbars and some other UI elements besides the traffic lights. Pretty much impossible to get the the lighting/texture inside the scrollbar to work as it did in pre-10.7 versions of Mac OS X, but it can still be given an Aqua look (although not without some bugs, as you see here the horizontal scrollbar is upside-down and there is no inactive state, meaning they stay blue all the time even with windows in the foreground).
Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.52.46 AM.png
 

redheeler

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Just released an updated version 2 with the DarkAppearance files and an easy install script.
 
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redheeler

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macintoshmac

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It always baffles me to see how fresh that Aqua look still is. One of the greatest achievements. I think that blue also served to bring some subconscious serenity to users. At least it does to me, just looking at screenshots.
 

bhtwo

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Dec 31, 2012
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Great work! Good to see that some theming is still possible on mac.
I'm going to stick with Flavours for as long as I can though.
 

R2FX

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Mar 25, 2010
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Downloaded and installed - grey looks is stunning, but I find the colored bit too saturated? Any chance to tone it down a bit...Mavericks like perhaps?:)

one more thing - are the Aqua buttons same size as the default ones? they seem a tad too big
 
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redheeler

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Downloaded and installed - grey looks is stunning, but I find the colored bit too saturated? Any chance to tone it down a bit...Mavericks like perhaps?:)
OS X Mavericks:
titlebarcontrols.graphite.key.utilwin.variant2.zoom.png

My Version:
Graphite.png

You can see they're pretty much the same color. Sadly mine doesn't match the rest of the UI as well, as Apple switched to a dark gray in OS X Yosemite instead of the original Mac OS X graphite color. Doesn't really bother me as the difference is subtle.
one more thing - are the Aqua buttons same size as the default ones? they seem a tad too big
I chose the Mac OS X Snow Leopard and earlier size over the Lion and later size, which luckily still displays fine in the current MacOS. Have a note about this at the bottom of the read-me file.
 
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R2FX

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Mar 25, 2010
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Sorry my bad! I meant to say the colored, 'semaphore' like version seems bit saturated... grey one is perfect :)

do you happen to have a version of those .car files with Mavericks like size please? or any tips how to make it :)))
 

redheeler

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Experimenting with theming some more elements aside from the traffic lights. This is the recreation of Aqua I've come up with.
Aqua-Recreation.png

Unlike the old Aqua, this recreation is optimized for Retina displays, and white (instead of black) text necessitates a darker Aqua blue for the modern MacOS. Still some work to go before I can release it, though.

Edit:
Not enough room for circular buttons, but this still looks pretty good.
Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 12.31.34 PM.png
 
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Eithanius

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Nov 19, 2005
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The Title Bar can be a little darker shades of grey to match Leopard... The entire interface is still too much white...
 

jgdeschamps

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Dec 18, 2012
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Congrats on your work! Can't wait for you to release the UI button customization script.
I still have a partition with Snow Leopard in my 2008 iMac and I love working on it because of the beautiful Aqua graphics.
Thanks for making public your work.