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

jbarley

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Jul 1, 2006
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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.
View attachment 738825
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.
View attachment 738869
Bump:
Has this recreation of Aqua ever come to fruition?
I'd really like to try it.
 
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redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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I believe it will be possible to provide updated Aqua window controls for Mojave, both light and dark. Will work on that when Mojave gets closer to a final release.

Not sure about the UI elements though, as Mojave's use of an accent color is a different behavior from prior versions of MacOS. The OS may just apply different tints to the UI elements stored in SystemAppearance.car or DarkAquaAppearance.car (light or dark mode), in which case UI customization is still possible. I will look into this further.
Bump:
Has this recreation of Aqua ever come to fruition?
I'd really like to try it.
Sadly no, as making a complete theme requires a lot of work. MacOS features a light and dark version of Retina and non-Retina sizes of large and small sizes of a variety of UI elements.

I was also never quite satisfied with the look of my version of Aqua, though it certainly looks better than some of my earlier attempts.
 

redheeler

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Mojave dark mode version.
Mojave-Dark-Window-Controls.png

hi i am interested in the theme for mojave public beta but i wanted to ask if you could create a gui theme manager such as flavours to be used when changing themes. here is the link for the software i used but is no longer supported since yosemite's release of the software. http://flavours.interacto.net/#0
My Aqua window control project has a simple install script (so it isn't necessary to place the files manually), but a GUI theme manager is a whole other project in itself. Don't think I have the time or know-how necessary to build something like that.
 

bhtwo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
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Mojave dark mode version.
View attachment 770767

My Aqua window control project has a simple install script (so it isn't necessary to place the files manually), but a GUI theme manager is a whole other project in itself. Don't think I have the time or know-how necessary to build something like that.
That is looking very nice.
I like the installer idea, don't fancy manually swapping out .car files.

Still on Yosemite using Flavours meself.
 
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samechler192

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2018
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Atlanta, GA
Hey! I really enjoy your work, and appreciate the time and effort you have into this project! Any idea when you will add Mojave to the installer? I am running the latest beta version and find it to be very stable. Can't wait to add some aqua theming to my MacBook Pro!
 

StellarVixen

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You are still actively developing this? That is awesome!

I cannot thank you enough for this!


[doublepost=1533114076][/doublepost]
Mojave dark mode version.
View attachment 770767

My Aqua window control project has a simple install script (so it isn't necessary to place the files manually), but a GUI theme manager is a whole other project in itself. Don't think I have the time or know-how necessary to build something like that.
In a post before you wrote: "Coming up with a version that looks good in the dark mode is not going to be easy though."

And then you create this eye candy!

You rock! :)

Initially, I hated the look when the Yosemite came out. Then, somewhere during the Sierra, I taught myself to love this new design. But, I just love these glossy Aqua graphics. I have to install this.

Now this are my two cents, traffic light buttons do not contrast that good against the current window color. It looks to me that the Leopard had darker shade of gray for its windows, thus the traffic light buttons looked better, more contrasted against the background.
 
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redheeler

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You are still actively developing this? That is awesome!

I cannot thank you enough for this!
Absolutely. The next version won't be compatible with MacOS Mojave just yet, as Apple is still polishing Mojave's appearance and I only want to modify the SystemAppearance files once. But it will have a look close to the one shown in posts 32 + 34 (along with Graphite + non-Retina versions), and work with High Sierra back to El Capitan.
[doublepost=1533222842][/doublepost]
Now this are my two cents, traffic light buttons do not contrast that good against the current window color. It looks to me that the Leopard had darker shade of gray for its windows, thus the traffic light buttons looked better, more contrasted against the background.
The lighter color is closer to one in the Mac OS X Tiger, the Yosemite appearance was a throwback to Tiger in several ways.

So that is part of the reason I decided to leave it unchanged, along with better consistency across different apps (already an annoyance that some apps don't use the native window controls, and therefore look out-of-place with the Aqua ones installed).
 

redheeler

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Updated the project and first post with the new and improved Aqua styling. No version for MacOS Mojave yet, but that is coming soon. Enjoy.
 

redheeler

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Only traffic lights, right? No other Aqua elements (I see that you have experimented with those)?
Just the traffic lights. Making a complete theme is something that would take many hours, and justify starting an entirely new thread.

So I'm happy with just a complete set of window controls that cover Retina, non-Retina, color, graphite, light, dark, large, and small.
 

MrSLML

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2018
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Hello. I'm new here. I just tried the patch from the first post here. Works great on my Sierra. But the buttons still doesen't look like those in Snow Leopard. Is there a way to make it look exactly identical to SL?
 
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StellarVixen

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Hello. I'm new here. I just tried the patch from the first post here. Works great on my Sierra. But the buttons still doesen't look like those in Snow Leopard. Is there a way to make it look exactly identical to SL?
These are not buttons from the Snow Leopard, but the one that redheeler made to look similar to that of SL, but still modern, to match macOS GUI.

If you want SL window control buttons, you will have to find SL traffic light buttons, and add them manually though Theme Engine. However, there are limitations, for an example, Snow Leopard doesn't have buttons for Retina resolutions, and on High Sierra, they seem out of place, IMO, like they do not belong in this new GUI.
 
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StellarVixen

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OP, do you have any idea from where does the OS gets window control buttons when the "Increase Contrast" is turned on?

It is the only case where custom buttons do not work.
 
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redheeler

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OP, do you have any idea from where does the OS gets windows control buttons when the "Increase Contrast" is turned on?

It is the only case where custom buttons do not work.
The high-contrast light theme elements are stored in AccessibilityAppearance.car, AccessibilityGraphiteAppearance.car.
 
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brainkilla

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Dec 3, 2013
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Just the traffic lights. Making a complete theme is something that would take many hours, and justify starting an entirely new thread.

So I'm happy with just a complete set of window controls that cover Retina, non-Retina, color, graphite, light, dark, large, and small.
Any chance of a release soon? Mojave is round the corner, so some beta testing should be in order :). Thanks in advance!
 
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StellarVixen

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Any chance of a release soon? Mojave is round the corner, so some beta testing should be in order :). Thanks in advance!
Me too, I am anxiously awaiting. Since I installed these buttons, I never looked back to default ones, and these kinda became natural to me. Can't imagine going back to default ones.

Please, OP, give us the Mojave ones, pleeeeeaaaaaaseeeee! :)))
 
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