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Hack Mac OS X Leopard Tweaks

Hack Mac OS X Leopard Tweaks

Simple hacks tweaks and plug-ins to help get the best out of Leopard OS to get your Mac looking pimped out

Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard has been out for a few months now and most users have had chance to get to grips with some of the new features like as Stacks, Quick Look, Time Machine, and Spaces. Well now its time to delve deeper into the new version of the MAC OS X, as we take a look at how to further personalize Leopards great new features and revert the annoying ones.

How to Customize Mac OS X Leopard

How to Customize Mac OS X Leopard

Change is often a good thing however some of us are easily stuck in our ways. If you liked the look and feel of the Tiger Desktop, it’s possible to revert some of Leopard’s changes.

Opaque menubar:

OpaqueMenuBar

OpaqueMenuBar

Many Leopard users say that the new transparent menu bar is too difficult to read. To make then menubar opaque again, as it was in Tiger, a free downloadable application called OpaqueMenuBar will do the job.

If you don’t want run a piece of software just to tackle this tweak, you could try editing your desktop image to include a white section which sits as a layer behind the transparent menubar.

LeoColorBar

LeoColorBar


Menubar in color:

If you want to expand your menubar options beyond the adjustable opaque settings, LeoColorBar can help adjust the desktop picture so it doesn’t bleed through the transparent menu bar. It also lets you round the edges of the menu bar and display the whole image.

Rounded Tiger-style Corners:

Displaperture

Displaperture

The nice rounded corners previously seen in Tiger’s GUI gave the OS a sleek appearance and although Leopard still looks cool with the rounded corners gone, some may still want to revert back to tiger-style corners.>

A small application called Displaperture can help you do just that.

Kill the Dock reflection:

Kill Doc Reflection

Kill Doc Reflection

The Mac’s graphical user interface is second to none and the new Dock relefection is no exception. But if you’re finding the new reflective quality too distracting, it is possible to turn it off using two terminal commands (omit the $ prompt when you type them yourself):

  • $ defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES $ killall Dock

Revert the blue dots to Tiger’s black triangles:

Revert Back To Tigers Black Triangles

Revert Back To Tigers Black Triangles

If the glowing blue dots indicating that an application is running, it is also possible to switch these back to the black triangles found in Tiger.

First, download the triangle image; you will need three images as the size of the indicator in Leopard changes as you resize the Dock.

The files are:

  • indicator_large.png (42 x 14 pixel)
  • indicator_medium.png (32 x 11 pixel)
  • indicator_small.png (14 x 8 pixel)

note: make sure the image backgrounds are transparent.

Now it gets tech(but not too difficult), be careful when taking on the next stage as altering Mac system files can seriously damage your personal files.

Close all applications, log out, then back in again as Administrator (root).

Then go to Users>>> your_user_name >>> Desktop

Then take the indicator files and move them to the Desktop in root.

In Finder, select your hard disk (Usually named Macintosh HD), then navigate to System>>> Library>>> CoreServices

Right-click on Dock and select Show Package Contents. (If you don’t have this menu option, unfortunately you will need to install Developer Tools before you can complete this tweak).

Then select Contents>>> Resources>>>

Here you will find the original indicator files, you should rename them to something else for safe keeping, e.g. (e.g. original_indicator_small.png).

Now copy your 3 new indicator files to into this folder.

Reload the Dock (Ctrl + Option + right-click | Relaunch).

Customize Stacks:

Stacks In Draws

Stacks In Draws

One of Leopards great new additions are the popup menus of your folders that can be added to the dock. Here are a few tweaks to get the best out of the new Stacks feature.

Keep Your ‘Stacks’ in Drawers:

Adding drawer icons to your stacks can help you better identify your stack. To do this, simply download the drawer-like icons from Optica Optima, unzip the files and move the appropriate icon to the folder.

Customize Icons

Customize Icons


Customize Icons:

If you would like to customize your icons, you will need Icon Composer. This is available in Apple’s Developer Tools (Xcode, to be exact) on your OS X install disk, or via download from Apple. Using the Icns2Rsrc utility, you can convert any image to the correct file format associated with icons. Then you can really personalize your stacks.

Add Recent Items Stack:

Recent Items Stack

Recent Items Stack

When constantly working on the same set of documents, it’s always handy to have a recent items folder for quick navigations between your files. If you would like to add a recent items stack then, in Terminal, type in the following commands (again be sure to omit the $ prompt)

  • $ defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” = 1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’ $ killall Dock

Customize the login window:

Customize Login Window

Customize Login Window

There are two easy way to personalize your login window. A great application called Visage Login gives you all the tools to change the background image, add an icon, change the name and much more.

Otherwise there is the old fashioned way by replacing the login image with your chosen file. The login image is located at:

  • /System/Library/CoreServices/DeafaultDesktop.jpg

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