(Obsolete) Exploring the Leopard-esque look

Aqua-like scrollbars?

  • Yes

    Votes: 27 90.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 10.0%

  • Total voters
    30

allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 22, 2007
962
253
Aalborg, Denmark
Made a new thread here: (Theme) Exploring the Leopard-esque look again

Update regarding macOS High Sierra compatibility 1:
It does not fully work. Button elements are missing in many cases. Though the appearance is there - this project must be re-made for High Sierra. There are images that show the situation in a nutshell here #53 <= a link to the post in this thread where I have uploaded two images of my macOS High Sierra Finder and System Preferences.app Note: these are hi-dpi images and the 1x images look the same.. macOS High Sierra doesn't crash with this .car file.

Older description:
Lately I've been making a Leopard-esque theme for El Capitan.

Beta 2 here in its new rather permanent location:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjS7xphB5gYl22SH9cBPZ8v_Vaqv (OneDrive link)

My progress so far:

Traffic lights .. @1x + @2x done
Windowframe .. @1x + @2x done
Buttons for Finder/Mail/Safari etc. .. @1x + @2x done

What isn't done:
Scrollbars (Aqua no aqua?)
Checkboxes/radio buttons and so forth (will remain default El Cap look)


Screenshot:
SoFarSoGood.png
 
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allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 22, 2007
962
253
Aalborg, Denmark
How would one apply such a theme?
It's one file (as of this moment) called SystemAppearance.car

This particular file should be copied to
Code:
/System/Library/CoreServices/SystemAppearance.bundle/Contents/Resources/
The path is most easily accessible with Shift-Command-G in Finder

Requires that SIP is off for the file system with El Capitan or by using the command
Code:
csrutil disable
when booted from the Recovery Partition.

After that the theme applied to non-open programs - log out for all apps to take on the appearance.
 
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ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
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It's one file (as of this moment) called SystemAppearance.car

Test it out from here: http://d.pr/f/18XhL (betaware)


This particular file should be copied to
Code:
/System/Library/CoreServices/SystemAppearance.bundle/Contents/Resources/
The path is most easily accessible with Shift-Command-G in Finder

Requires that SIP is off for the file system with El Capitan or by using the command
Code:
csrutil disable
when booted from the Recovery Partition.

After that the theme applied to non-open programs - log out for all apps to take on the appearance.
So that's all that is required to change the theme in OS X? Could you teach us how to create/open a .car file and how to make the graphics required for the theme? I have been designing graphics for years and have created skins for a lot of things while I was using Linux for 14 years.
 
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allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 22, 2007
962
253
Aalborg, Denmark
So that's all that is required to change the theme in OS X? Could you teach us how to make a .car file and how to make the graphics required for the theme? I have been designing graphics for years and have created skins for a lot of things while I was using Linux for 14 years.
Sure, there's only one application available for making themes(that I'm aware of) for El Capitan and Yosemite for that matter, macOS Sierra is unexplored atm.

Download ThemeEngine from here https://github.com/alexzielenski/ThemeEngine/releases

The most recent version there is for El Capitan and possibly higher. The .car files are still present in the same directory.

Open the SystemApperance.car with ThemeEngine and explore. There's graphics for everything there. And lots of them.

Explore the Retina and Regular graphics by themselves by choosing the sort by Scale on the button toward the bottom of the main ThemeEngine window and go from there. If you have Photoshop installed you can send and retrieve directly from that app by using hotkeys shown inside the ThemeEngine app menu. Making a theme more enjoyable to make if you will.

The one thing about themes for El Capitan is dark themes. It's not impossible to do but takes some tinkering with often not the best results. I've stopped doing them as it's not worth it right now. Perhaps in the future.

You can take a look at the GraphiteAppearance.car too. Also the High Contrast themes are possibly worth a look. Due to their more vivid color scheme per default.

Colors can be changed for each button element but for the Sidebar it's another story. Personally I have not been able to change that part of the Finder yet.

Let your imagination run wild but try and keep within dimensions on the buttons and 'traffic lights' in particular. There's no way to set margins like that of the window graphics.

There will be plenty of replacing the same .car file so make sure to have return points - copies of the file you're working on.
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
2,142
1,195
Sure, there's only one application available for making themes(that I'm aware of) for El Capitan and Yosemite for that matter, macOS Sierra is unexplored atm.

Download ThemeEngine from here https://github.com/alexzielenski/ThemeEngine/releases

The most recent version there is for El Capitan and possibly higher. The .car files are still present in the same directory.

Open the SystemApperance.car with ThemeEngine and explore. There's graphics for everything there. And lots of them.

Explore the Retina and Regular graphics by themselves by choosing the sort by Scale on the button toward the bottom of the main ThemeEngine window and go from there. If you have Photoshop installed you can send and retrieve directly from that app by using hotkeys shown inside the ThemeEngine app menu. Making a theme more enjoyable to make if you will.

The one thing about themes for El Capitan is dark themes. It's not impossible to do but takes some tinkering with often not the best results. I've stopped doing them as it's not worth it right now. Perhaps in the future.

You can take a look at the GraphiteAppearance.car too. Also the High Contrast themes are possibly worth a look. Due to their more vivid color scheme per default.

Colors can be changed for each button element but for the Sidebar it's another story. Personally I have not been able to change that part of the Finder yet.

Let your imagination run wild but try and keep within dimensions on the buttons and 'traffic lights' in particular. There's no way to set margins like that of the window graphics.

There will be plenty of replacing the same .car file so make sure to have return points - copies of the file you're working on.
Thank you so very much! I didn't know this sort of thing existed.

I'm good with graphics, that's the easy part for me. Now that I'm able to create/open .car files, there is nothing really standing in the way of theming the UI in El Capitan.

I've always loved the look of Mountain Lion, so Aqua scrollbars gets my vote. In fact, a total ML look would make me a happy camper.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,403
6,969
@allan.nyholm Your traffic lights look very nice, I almost like them better than the ones I made for my 5K iMac running El Capitan. I also implemented Aqua-like scrollbars to match, but they don't behave exactly like the ones in Snow Leopard. For example, there is no different state for inactive windows, the scrollbars stay blue.
I've always loved the look of Mountain Lion, so Aqua scrollbars gets my vote. In fact, a total ML look would make me a happy camper.
Mountain Lion? Aqua scrollbars went out with Lion.
 
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ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
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@allan.nyholm Your traffic lights look very nice, I almost like them better than the ones I made for my 5K iMac running El Capitan. I also implemented Aqua-like scrollbars to match, but they don't behave exactly like the ones in Snow Leopard. For example, there is no different state for inactive windows, the scrollbars stay blue.

Mountain Lion? Aqua scrollbars went out with Lion.
Yes, I should have said Lion.
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
2,142
1,195
Is it possible to change the Dock back to the look it had in Mavericks? I'm thinking this might not be possible.. the Dock background might be hard-coded.
 

b0fh666

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2012
903
647
south
Is it possible to change the Dock back to the look it had in Mavericks? I'm thinking this might not be possible.. the Dock background might be hard-coded.
my dock look in el cap looks like... snow leopard dock I guess, but I use a side dock. search the web for 'cdock2'

cheers
[doublepost=1469293226][/doublepost]is there a version that changes only the traffic lights not the colors or buttons? curious about how that would work.
 

Eithanius

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2005
1,419
285
This made my Mac look so much nicer! Please add the Aqua scrollbars, it'll make it even better.
How did you manage to make your contextual menu look more 3D-ish...?
[doublepost=1476625061][/doublepost]
Thanks. That is some oldschool setup right there :) The scrollbars will be looked after soon.
How about a darker Title Bar (perhaps bolded text) and Toolbar...?
 

allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 22, 2007
962
253
Aalborg, Denmark
How did you manage to make your contextual menu look more 3D-ish...?
[doublepost=1476625061][/doublepost]

How about a darker Title Bar (perhaps bolded text) and Toolbar...?
I have to be honest and say that I have not looked to see if that with Sierra, I can change the colour of the menubar to something darker other than using dark menubar(as a setting)

It has not been the case that the menubar can be changed using the theming tool called ThemeEngine on OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan.

I will however take a second look and see if there's changing going on in the Sierra .car files(the theme files)

The Bold text could be done I believe - with a shadow outline or something
 

vista980622

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2012
361
162
I have to be honest and say that I have not looked to see if that with Sierra, I can change the colour of the menubar to something darker other than using dark menubar(as a setting)

It has not been the case that the menubar can be changed using the theming tool called ThemeEngine on OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan.

I will however take a second look and see if there's changing going on in the Sierra .car files(the theme files)

The Bold text could be done I believe - with a shadow outline or something
OP, this is beautiful.

I've been using this mod on macOS Sierra with a Dock and menu bar mod, and it runs mostly fine without major issues. If possible, please keep amazing mod this updated for future macOS releases. You have no idea how much pain the glaringly white interface has caused me. This literally saves me.

Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 11.14.54 AM.png


Sidenote:
- Is it possible to change the search bar color through updating this .car file, or is it coded into the applications/frameworks themselves?
- When a window that includes multiple tabs is inactive, it appears a bit glitchy. Is there any fix for this issue?
Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 11.16.27 AM.png


Thanks again, OP!
 

hadobac

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2016
3
0
OP, this is beautiful.

I've been using this mod on macOS Sierra with a Dock and menu bar mod, and it runs mostly fine without major issues. If possible, please keep amazing mod this updated for future macOS releases. You have no idea how much pain the glaringly white interface has caused me. This literally saves me.

View attachment 677269

Sidenote:
- Is it possible to change the search bar color through updating this .car file, or is it coded into the applications/frameworks themselves?
- When a window that includes multiple tabs is inactive, it appears a bit glitchy. Is there any fix for this issue?
View attachment 677270

Thanks again, OP!
You set up looks amazing bro!
Would you mind sharing the desktop and menu mods you are using?
 

allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 22, 2007
962
253
Aalborg, Denmark
OP, this is beautiful.

I've been using this mod on macOS Sierra with a Dock and menu bar mod, and it runs mostly fine without major issues. If possible, please keep amazing mod this updated for future macOS releases. You have no idea how much pain the glaringly white interface has caused me. This literally saves me.

View attachment 677269

Sidenote:
- Is it possible to change the search bar color through updating this .car file, or is it coded into the applications/frameworks themselves?
- When a window that includes multiple tabs is inactive, it appears a bit glitchy. Is there any fix for this issue?
View attachment 677270

Thanks again, OP!

Thanks for commenting and praise. The things you mention is me being overly lazy - promises left and right.

Finder inactive tabs is changeable and fixable.

Also the search bar is color changeable too. Do you prefer it to be in a grey style throughout with either slightly heightened look like a rounded corner searchbar and a sharp shadow like the buttons have already? or a sunken in look?

Personally I like the heightened look. But I ought to remain silent :p

In reality its color and style changeable to whatever you like but we have to keep in mind that the font color is harder to change. ThemeEngine doesn't list in detail where the various color lurks(and often swaps the colors around so no one can really sit down and 100% trust in ThemeEngine) so that's one of the reason I'm becoming lazier with doing themes lately.
 
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Troy2000

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2009
199
74
Excellent work!

I am curious as to how you have managed to change the Finder sidebar color to that light blue. I spent a few weeks working on a similar theme earlier this year but couldn't find the corresponding resource or string.
 

vista980622

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2012
361
162
Thanks for commenting and praise. The things you mention is me being overly lazy - promises left and right.

Finder inactive tabs is changeable and fixable.

Also the search bar is color changeable too. Do you prefer it to be in a grey style throughout with either slightly heightened look like a rounded corner searchbar and a sharp shadow like the buttons have already? or a sunken in look?

Personally I like the heightened look. But I ought to remain silent :p

In reality it's color and style changeable to whatever you like but we have to keep in mind that the font color is harder to change. ThemeEngine doesn't list in detail where the various color lurks(and often swaps the colors around so no one can really sit down and 100% trust in ThemeEngine) so that's one of the reason I'm becoming lazier with doing themes lately.
Woah. Thanks for the reply!

The inactive tabs in Safari and Finder seem a bit jarring when switching from app to app. I'd suggest if you only get to fix one issue, fix that one. The search bar is a matter of individual preference. I respect your preference and after a few days, the current look for search bars have grown on me a bit:)

From what I understand, the color of sidebar and sidebar font are coded into each application, so it would require memory injection to change them. I can be wrong, but they do seem to fall out of the scope of .car files. I really wish I know how to do that.

P.s: I tried to toy around with ThemeEngine before. I struggled to change simple gradients for the window chrome, lat alone button mask, shape or text color. Being able to pull off what you did is a miracle to me.
[doublepost=1481582685][/doublepost]
You set up looks amazing bro!
Would you mind sharing the desktop and menu mods you are using?
Thanks for the praise.
  • The menu bar mod is called Menu Bar Tint, as pointed out by BTTF_DeLorean.
  • The Dock mod is called cDock. After downloading cDock, choose "10.8" in "Theme". If cDock refuse to work, see giantspeck's reply in Issue 68.
  • The icons can be manually replaced with older counterparts.
  • The graphite window control widgets and other system widgets are a part of XRevert (behind paywall).
  • The notepad texture in Notes app is located under /Applications/Notes.app/Contents/Resources/Assets.car. I replaced it with a light yellow texture, akin to its Mavericks counterpart.