Customize the Mac Menu Bar Clock Appearance in OS X with Emoji
The Mac menu bar clock isn’t particularly fancy nor is it meant to be, but if you’re a tinkerer and like to customize things, you might find some enjoyment in adding some time-changing emoji characters to the clock as an addition to the standard AM / PM indicators that show up alongside the time. It’s a subtle customization with no third party utility needed to accomplish, it’s just a simple change you can make yourself through the System Preferences of OS X.
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu and choose the “Language & Region” control panel
- Select the “Advanced” button in the corner
- Choose the “Times” tab
- Look for the “Before noon” and “After noon” sections, then pull down the “Edit” menu and select “Special Characters” to access Emoji
- Drag and drop the emoji you want into their respective places to place them next to the AM / PM indicators in the menu bar clock
When satisfied, choose “OK” to set it. You’ll instantly see the emoji character alongside the clock according to what time it is. For the example shown here, a moon character is used for PM, and a sun character is used for AM, and yes they change automatically when noon and midnight roll around.
OS X has many unique emoji characters to choose from for Mac users, so explore the collection if you’re not into the sun/moon thing. Each tap of the spacebar is also recognized, so you can create gaps in the menu bar by hitting the spacebar repeatedly, or just put tons of emoji in the menu bar if you’re looking to add some decoration and don’t mind your Mac looking a bit kitschy.
One side effect is that you’ll also get the Emoji character placed in the file name of screen shots that are timestamped. You can either accept the emoji as part of the file name, or get around that by changing the default names.
This specific customization won’t work with the analog or 24-hour clock settings, but you could adjust the clocks appearance with different emoji to work with those settings within the same preference panel, they just won’t change throughout the day with the time.