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  1. #1


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    Question Help modifying appearance of Snow Leopard.
    Please could someone help a noob? I'd like to alter the appearance of Snow Leopard on my Macbook Pro by modifying the theme, dock and icons but I'd like to do it my self as in not just download a pre made theme ect. So if someone could please explain how I'd go about this or just point me in the direction of somewhere that does it would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    Tom

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    The easiest way is to use a utility that allows you to change icons, dock appearance, theme, etc. Candy Bar 3 works real well and all changes can be undone if they don't turn out the way you want.

  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    The easiest way is to use a utility that allows you to change icons, dock appearance, theme, etc. Candy Bar 3 works real well and all changes can be undone if they don't turn out the way you want.
    Yes but correct me if I'm wrong but Candy Bar only allows you to change the theme, dock and icons you still will have needed to use an external program to create a theme, dock and icons. So what I'd like to know is how I go about altering the colour of the menu bar, windows and dock, and also how to retrieve the default icon images and export them to Gimp or some other free image editor?

  4. #4

    McYukon's Avatar
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    All the OS icon files, menubar, buttons, windows, scrollbars are contained in an encoded data file which you can't open without a specialized application called ThemePark.
    ThemePark - Geekspiff
    The big problem right now is that ThemePark was written for 10.5. While it was released for 10.6 it is very unstable (You can only use the arrow keys to navigate or it crashes) and a lot of features are missing.
    The other problem is that because the files are encoded some of the contents aren't discovered/decodable yet.

    Once you have ThemePark, you can open the edit the ArtFile, SArtFile and Extras data files that specify the OS's appearance.
    Editing iTunes 10

    You can then use a application like GIMP of Photoshop to edit/create your own icons and replace the old ones.
    The way this is done is by making a new icon, or copying the old style. Editing it, and saving it as a .png and then using ThemePark to change the icon by dragging the new icon onto the old one.

    Applications icons are always stored within the application so editing those is easier and doesn't require special software to see the icons.
    To see the icons of apps, right click on the application and choose show "Package Contents"
    The icons are almost always stored in the "Resources" folder. The applications dock icon ends in .icns and usually is called the same as the application.
    To edit these you copy the .icns file to the desktop and open it with Preview. Then you save it as a .png file and open it in your image editor.
    Then you need to save it as a .icns file again, this can be done with Apple's "Icon Composer" (Included in the Developer Tools)

    All in all, a very laborious and time consuming undertaking.
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  5. #5


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    Quote Originally Posted by McYukon View Post
    All the OS icon files, menubar, buttons, windows, scrollbars are contained in an encoded data file which you can't open without a specialized application called ThemePark.
    ThemePark - Geekspiff
    The big problem right now is that ThemePark was written for 10.5. While it was released for 10.6 it is very unstable (You can only use the arrow keys to navigate or it crashes) and a lot of features are missing.
    The other problem is that because the files are encoded some of the contents aren't discovered/decodable yet.

    Once you have ThemePark, you can open the edit the ArtFile, SArtFile and Extras data files that specify the OS's appearance.
    Editing iTunes 10

    You can then use a application like GIMP of Photoshop to edit/create your own icons and replace the old ones.
    The way this is done is by making a new icon, or copying the old style. Editing it, and saving it as a .png and then using ThemePark to change the icon by dragging the new icon onto the old one.

    Applications icons are always stored within the application so editing those is easier and doesn't require special software to see the icons.
    To see the icons of apps, right click on the application and choose show "Package Contents"
    The icons are almost always stored in the "Resources" folder. The applications dock icon ends in .icns and usually is called the same as the application.
    To edit these you copy the .icns file to the desktop and open it with Preview. Then you save it as a .png file and open it in your image editor.
    Then you need to save it as a .icns file again, this can be done with Apple's "Icon Composer" (Included in the Developer Tools)

    All in all, a very laborious and time consuming undertaking.
    Thanks McYukon this was really helpful, I just have few questions what's the difference between the ArtFile, SArtFile and Extras data files? Also do you know where the trash and folder icons are located because I've looked but I can't find them anywhere? Thanks again McYukon.

    Tom

  6. #6

    McYukon's Avatar
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    Each of those files in part contribute to the complete OS X look.
    This wiki has catalogued almost all the contents of the files and what part of the OS they style.
    MacThemesWiki

    Use the Go command in the Finder to get to the locations faster.
    Most of the icons are located in,
    /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources

    While the trash icon is in,
    /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources
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  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    @Tom Blow

    Before you go about making any of those changes, I assume you intend making a verified backup of your entire system.... (Just a friendly reminder if you haven't already thought of that.)

  8. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by McYukon View Post
    Each of those files in part contribute to the complete OS X look.
    This wiki has catalogued almost all the contents of the files and what part of the OS they style.
    MacThemesWiki

    Use the Go command in the Finder to get to the locations faster.
    Most of the icons are located in,
    /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources

    While the trash icon is in,
    /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources
    I had actually already looked at the wiki but for Snow Leopard it only covers the SArtFile so am I correct in assuming that the ArtFile and Extras are non applicable for Snow Leopard?

    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    @Tom Blow

    Before you go about making any of those changes, I assume you intend making a verified backup of your entire system.... (Just a friendly reminder if you haven't already thought of that.)
    Thanks for the "friendly reminder" how do I go about making the necessary backup?

  9. #9

    chscag's Avatar
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    Thanks for the "friendly reminder" how do I go about making the necessary backup?
    The best way in my opinion is to use an external hard drive and "clone" your internal drive to it. The external can then be used to start the machine and restore in case of difficulty. I use and recommend "Carbon Copy Cloner". It's listed as donation ware. Free to use.

  10. #10

    McYukon's Avatar
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    I had actually already looked at the wiki but for Snow Leopard it only covers the SArtFile so am I correct in assuming that the ArtFile and Extras are non applicable for Snow Leopard?
    Yes, I am pretty sure that the ArtFile is Leopard, while the SArtFile is for Snow Leopard.
    The Extras file is used for PCC applications and Rosetta, but there is also a Extras2 (Intel) file and that is also used by Snow Leopard.

    So for a custom theme you have to edit the SArt and maybe Extras2 files if some element you want to customize is in there. But usually all the themes are just a edited SArtFile.
    I haven't tried making my own theme, but from what I read from the MacThemes Forum those are the 2 files that SnowLeo modders use to make a theme.

    iTunes uses another separate file for it's GUI, /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/iTunes.rsrc
    That one I have played around with and have had luck customizing my iTunes to my tastes.
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