Theme Mac OS X with an Ultra-Minimalist & Clean Silver Appearance

Jul 3, 2012 - 7 Comments

Greyscale Mac OS X desktop UI

Mac OS X doesn’t really have “themes” in the traditional sense, but you can create themes of sorts yourself by applying a few system tweaks. We’ve shown you how to do this before with a retro-inspired Classic Mac OS appearance and making OS X look like iOS, and now we’ll show you how to bring a nice looking modern minimalist greyscale appearance to OS X:

  • Black Menu Bar: Get a dark OS X menu bar with the free MenuBarFilter tool.
  • Graphite Buttons & UI Elements: Open System Preferences and click on “General”, then look for “Appearance” and set Graphite to change the window action buttons to silver. Under “Highlight color” pick Silver or a variation of grey.
  • Greyscale Wallpaper: Pick a minimalist greyscale wallpaper, the screenshot uses “Light” from DizzyUP that we’ve covered before, but Subtle Patterns is a great collection too.
  • Hide the Desktop Icons: To push the minimalist aspect, either disable the desktop icons through a Terminal command or with a menubar tool like DesktopUtility
  • Auto-Hide the Dock: Hit Command+Shift+D to enable auto-hiding, and then make auto-hiding even better by removing the show & hide delay using the following defaults write command:
  • defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0 && killall Dock

With the menubar black and the graphite UI elements enabled, everything in the user interface gets a nice modern silver and greyscale appearance. It’s not a complete transformation but it looks very clean and matches the greyscale Finder sidebar icons quite well.

Custom grayscale Mac OS X appearance

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Customize, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. Ian W says:

    Here are all of the Subtle Patterns in high res, I use this with Graphite too.

    http://hrbrt.me/subtle-papers-ii-for-the-retina-ipad

  2. Michael S says:

    Looks good, love the black menu bar.

  3. Visitor says:

    Nice article. You missed a great tip:
    Right-click on the Finder window toolbar and select, “Customize Toolbar…”

    Then you can remove a lot of the extra icons and even the search bar if you wish (which can still be accessed using CMD+F)

  4. Diego Acevedo says:

    Excelente tip, mi iMac se ve espectacular!!
    Muchas gracias!

  5. Axel says:

    Good article. Try MagicMenu to auto-hide the top menu.

    http://www.cynosurex.com/Software/MagicMenu

  6. crafty says:

    love the black toolbar thnx a million

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