Apr 27 2009
It’s unanimous! Everybody loves Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard! The afterglow has worn off and yet we all still love it without there being one single thing we miss about Tiger.
Even before it was officially released, some Mac geeks who had gotten their hands on the Apple Developer Connection seeds (either legitimately or otherwise) were already complaining about the esthetics of the translucent Menu Bar, the 3-D reflective Dock and the lack of any option to retain the hierarchical folder listings in docked folders (now called “Stacks”).
You can never please everybody.
The easy solution is to simply stick with Tiger; and that will work for many for a while. But what happens down the road when all the cool software starts requiring you to be running under Leopard? And what about the people who buy new machines that simply will not run Tiger?
What follows is a list of third-party applications that will allow you to change Leopard’s spots. And what’s more, it will change them from spots to Tiger stripes.
These apps will help you change the Leopard Dock to something more pleasing to your eye.
PimpMyDock (FREE): http://www.malcom-mac.com/pimpmydock/
Offers a Quickstart Guide, but is pretty non-intuitive.
DockDoctor Widget (FREE): http://innermindmedia.com/dock_doctor_widget.html
This one puts the power to choose either Leopard’s 2-D or 3-D Dock into a Dashboard widget. I can’t see it getting much simpler than this.
DockDoctor (FREE): http://innermindmedia.com/dock_doctor_app.html
From the same people that brought you the DockDoctor Widget, the DockDocktor App toggles the 2-D and 3-D dock, makes hidden application icons appear translucent in the Dock, turns off the Dashboard (weird since they make a Dashboard widget) and, most importantly, comes packaged with a handful of Dock themes you might like better than the Leopard one (it requires a restart to see the new Dock, unfortunately). This one is my pick.
DockEdit (FREE): http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/26299/dockedit
Don’t like Dashboard widgets? Fine here’s the same function of DockDoctor as a stand-alone app.
TigerDock (FREE): http://riotgames.se/riotgames-se/tigerdock.html
This one adds the ability to display hidden applications as transparent icons in the Dock…otherwise the same as the DockEdit.
DockChanger (USD$10): http://www.whimsplucky.com/Whimsplucky/Software/Software.html
This is my favorite. It works simply and lets you chose Dock themes including active application indicators and the separator bar.
CandyBar 3 (USD$12.95) http://www.panic.com/candybar/
Replaces the Dock graphics with those of your choosing. Also replaces System icons with pre-baked themes.Â
If you’re comfortable using Terminal, you don’t even need another application to help you. Here are some links to show you how:
Use Tiger’s Dock in Leopard: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20071031111443331
Banish the 3D dock from 10.5: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2007101815375480
Menu Bar Manipulators
The list below shows some applications that will let you customize your Menu Bar and getting looking much the way it did in Tiger.
LeoColorBar (FREE, and no affiliation with Mr. Laporte): http://homepage.mac.com/mdsw/md%20softworks.html
This doesn’t mess with the Menu Bar at all really. What it does is tweak your desktop picture to have a colored stripe just below where the Menu Bar is, thus making it appear to be colored due to its unaltered transparency. This allows you to put white beneath the Menu Bar and make it appear to be opaque. By not actually tweaking the system, this means you can change the look of your Menu Bar without restarting. LeoColorBar also does the 3-D to 2-D Dock switch. This one is my choice for Menu Bar Manipulators.
Leopaque (FREE): http://www.macparc.ch/mirror/Leopaque/
Leopaque makes adjustments to system settings that you can access via Terminal (see below) to set the opacity of the Menu Bar. All setting changes require a restart to take effect.
OpaqueMenuBar (FREE): http://www.eternalstorms.at/utilities/opaquemenubar/
Allows you to adjust the opacity of the Menu Bar
Again, if your “Terminally Inclined,” you can follow the instructions here and tweak your Menu Bar without the need for third-party help:
Get rid of the translucent Menu Bar :http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20071115135215262
Subdue your Stacks
Some people long for the old hierarchical folder listings of Tiger’s docked folders. Here’s some help to get you there.
Quay (In beta. Might cost about USD$10 when finalized): http://www.brockerhoff.net/quay/
This does a great job of taking you step-by-step through the process of adding a folder to your Dock that shows a hierarchical list when selected. Even if they do decide to charge for it, Quay is my choice.
HierarchicalDock (FREE): http://www.eternalstorms.at/utilities/hierdock/
HierarchicalDock does much the same thing as Quay, but not quite as elegant. I like Quay’s interface more and docked folders from HierarchicalDock have .essdocker file extension which is kind of lame.
Giving Tiger Spots
Now what happens if you are absolutely in love with Leopard but you can’t upgrade. You’ve seen John from the Apple Store in that video demonstrating all of Leopard’s new features and you are clamoring to get in on that 10.5 action. But maybe your current system won’t support Leopard or your most used applications are not ready for 10.5. You have your reasons and they’re good onesâ€”but maybe you can still enjoy some of Leopard’s features without leaving the comfort to Tiger.
Here are some Leopard-like applications that will run under Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”.
ClearDock (FREE): http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/8808/cleardock
It won’t make the Dock 3-D or make it reflect your Desktop, but it will make it transparent. It requires Unsanity’s controversial Application Enhancer ( http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/ape/ ).
Hesitantly Mentioned: Liger (FREE) http://spiderlama.deviantart.com/art/Liger-57706188
This ShapeShifter() theme is a bit buggy and no longer being developed, it seems, but it does somewhat accurately emulate the look of Leopard under Tiger.
WebClip for 10.4 users
Dash Clipping Widget (FREE): http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/22442/dash-clipping-widget
A simple Dashboard widget that requests a URL, allows you to position the web page displayed in an adjustable frame and then lets you lock in your work. Functions just as well under Leopard.
VirtueDesktops (FREE): http://virtuedesktops.info/index.php/downloads/
No longer under active development, but a really good app. I know a few Leopard users who prefer this over Spaces and want it updated NOW!
QuickLook for Tiger
MacGizmo (USD$20): http://www.hyperbolicsoftware.com/MacGizmo.html
It’s not as slick and sexy as Leopard’s QuickLook and it doesn’t work on as many file formats, but it’s slightly better than nothing. The USD$20 price tag seems a bit steep though.
ChatFX (USD$20): http://www.scriptsoftware.com/chatfx/
Works on 10.4.9 and below!
CamTwist (FREE): http://allocinit.com/index.php?title=CamTwist
Okay, technically this one doesn’t countâ€”it doesn’t work in iChat. It does work with Stickam, Yahoo, Ustream.tv, Operator11, amsn and Skype(though, don’t use it when you call in to The Lab)
Screen Sharing from Tiger with Leopard
VINE Server (FREE): http://sourceforge.net/projects/osxvnc/
Chicken of the VNC (FREE): http://sourceforge.net/projects/cotvnc/
As Mac OS X Hints explains ( http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20071028163313650 ), Leopard’s Screen Sharing uses standard VNC protocol to do its magic. So, all you need to do is get VNC running on your Tiger Mac and it should show up as a shared screen in the Finder windows of Leopard users.
That’s it for this stripy, spotty installment. Next time I’ll make both OSs paisley!