Now you can skin Mac OS X.. but why?


As a Mac user the thought of skinning my OS feels strange. Skinning an OS is usually something you’re more likely to want to do on your ugly copy of Windows and Linux and in my mind usually goes hand-in-hand with those crazy email programs (like Incredimail) that add flashing images and other eye candy to your important correspondence.

Still for those that want to add custom skins and themes to Mac OS X an easy-to-use app now exists.

The free app is called Magnifique and uses an open format which according to the developers ‘makes it easy to see what you are putting on your computer.’

The theme file comes in the form of a .mfq.plugin package that contains the custom files for applications plus info on the theme and a preview.png file.

As you’d expect from Mac software Magnifique actually manages the whole theming process. You download themes via the built in theme chooser and then apply the theme by clicking on the ‘Apply Now’ button.

After Magnifique has applied the theme you’ll need to use the ‘Restart Finder’ and ‘Restart Dock’ icons to apply the theme effects.

There’s also a big ‘uninstall theme’ button in case you tire of the custom themes.

For those creatively minded skinners you can also use Magnifique to create your own themes or mix different themes into one.

Creating themes requires you too package all the relevant theme files in to a folder and then add appropriate metadata like Theme Name Author Description and supply a PNG.

Mixing themes is easier than creating your own. Simply click on ‘Theme Mixer’ and you can set different elements of your theme from other themes that are already in your library.

The ‘Disinmaso’ theme that I installed worked as expected and uninstallation was also smooth. While the theme isn’t radically different you’ll notice the open minimise and close buttons are different.

Call me old fashioned but even though Magnifique lets you skin OS X I’m still not sure why you’d want to.

  • jayh

    Biased much? Windows and Linux are so much more flexible than crap,ugly OS X.