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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

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Appearance

After—what’s it been, 20 years?—of calling this panel General, somebody at Apple finally realized it’s mostly about how things look on the screen: windows, menus, buttons, scroll bars, and fonts. So in Panther, it’s the same stuff on a renamed panel.

Nothing you find here lets you perform any radical surgery on the Aqua interface—the overall Mac OS X look stays the same—but you can tweak certain settings to match your personal style.

Changing Colors

Two pop-up menus let you crank up or tone down Mac OS X’s overall colorfulness:

  • Appearance. Choose between Blue or Graphite. Blue refers to Mac OS X’s factory setting—bright, candy-colored scroll-bar handles, progress bars, Changing Colors menu, and pulsing OK buttons—and those shiny red, yellow, and green buttons in the corner of every window. If you, like some graphics professionals, find all of this circusposter coloring a bit distracting, then choose Graphite, which renders all of those interface elements in various shades of gray.

  • Highlight color. When you drag your cursor across text, its background changes color to indicate that you’ve selected it. Exactly what color the background becomes is up to you—just choose the shade you want using the pop-up menu. (The Highlight color also affects such subtleties as the lines on the inside of a window as you drag an icon into it.)

    If you choose Other, the Color Picker palette appears, from which ...

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