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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Monday, October 29, 2007

An opaque menu bar!

I know I am posting another Leopard tip, but there is so much cool stuff to talk about (I will come back to Tiger compatible tips soon).  So this is a freeware that lets you change the Leopard semi-transparent menu bar to make it opaque.  A lot of people complained that this was not optional in Leopard, so here is the fix.  The application is called "OpaqueMenuBar".  I haven't actually tried it because I really like the new semi-transparent menu bar, so it is use at your own risk!  You can download it and get more information here on the developer's site.

20 Comments:

Blogger Scott Patton said...

They jury is still out for me. Semi-transparent is cool, but sometimes hard to read, depending on the background. Why would anybody still use Tiger? ;-)

-jsp

October 28, 2007 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Bingo said...

Hey! I still use Tiger cause I'm a poor college kid whose folks have Leopard at home...

But in all seriousness, I think the semi-transparent is a great idea. I use it for programs I use daily like Adium and Terminal, because I like to see what's going on elsewhere on my desktop, and having that little extra sliver of space at the top will be incredible!

October 28, 2007 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I've pondered and, in general, kept up with with the video releases showcasing all the new features that Leopard provides. In the end, I don't have a need for the new OS variant. After seeing the Downloads folder feature in Leopard, I went into Tiger and basically setup the exact same feature...it's just not quite as flashy.
With everything I might have running at the same time, it's not enough to warrant the possible benefits that Spaces could bring. Command-tab and referencing the Dock is convenient enough for me.
Time Machine sounds cool though....hhmm...
Coverflow in Finder? um...a RAM sucker basically, right? my mid-grade MacBook starts running pretty hard when flying through CoverFlow in iTunes, not sure how much I would want to deal with that while just searching through files...and simply using the file icon preview setting in Finder is usually sufficient enough....

...now that I've talked way too long, there are some interesting features with Leopard, but I fear most are simply aesthetic changes that are, for the most part, nice just because it's different than what we have now....some being kinda gimmicky...

Tiger is efficient, and I feel that there isn't too much "flowery" in how it handles itself and its tasks....I'll be sticking with it for now.

:)

October 28, 2007 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Urrgh I feel cheated! I've just switched from PC to Mac and really enjoying it BUT I was told I have got the latest and newest of everything. Been working away with Tiger for the last 3 weeks only to discover that theres something new called Leopard!! Grrr.. Mabye it's because I am in Australia.

October 29, 2007 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I too enjoy the aesthetic comfort of semi-transparent goodness. As a user-interface designer, I personally have always found that subtle transparency with menu's etc provide a more open and flowing interface visually.

To anyone tentative about Leopard's feature set; There are plenty of lovely subtle visual upgrades admittedly, but Apple isn't just telling fibs when it calls Leopard the biggest update to OS X so far. There really is loads of great new features, some big, some more subtle, you really need to do a solid few days work using Leopard to appreciate them but it is certainly worth the upgrade imo.

PS - Cover Flow in Finder probably is fairly RAM hungry, but you don't have to use the view. In some instances you will probably find it very useful. Plus if you are a heavy user sporting a Mac Pro and 4GB of RAM you will have no problem with Cover Flow or Spaces for that matter (which makes it very easy to have stacks of apps open at once without feeling cluttered.)

October 29, 2007 at 12:41 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

ah yes, to have a MacPro....I was to be not so blessed with one. :)

I understand (obviously) that Finder CoverFlow isn't forced on the user; that's a good point to keep in mind. So therefore it could be used sparingly, if and when it would be necessary.

and I guess I'm never really running more than four "serious" programs at once, therefore not so much requiring the workspace division abilities that Spaces brings to the table....

in the end, I'll probably make my way over to Leopard, if nothing else to just keep up with the game. :)

October 29, 2007 at 1:35 AM  
Blogger Awesome said...

@ Vanessa
If you bought your Mac new after 1 October 2007, you can get a free upgrade to Leopard (you will pay Postage and Packing), contact AppleCare in your country and see what they can do.

October 29, 2007 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Hi Awesome - thanks for that. Unfortunately I got in just before 1 October - there was a bit of a wait on the orders as well.. Anyway.. Tiger's pretty good but very annoying to make that discovery! cheers

October 29, 2007 at 5:36 AM  
Blogger Rick and Kelly said...

aaron should you be able to move something behind the menu bar so that you can see it through the menu bar? I have Leopard installed and I can't do that, is there a way to turn that on? Thanks.

October 29, 2007 at 5:49 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

to Rick and Kelly:
i deleted my previous post for it was...simply just wrong....i think i'm tired.

anywho, as far as i know (which is limited) the Leopard menu bar is "semi-transparent"...i guess translucent would be a better term for its appearance...
i believe that to be the only available "factory" setting for Leopard.

what MacGeek posted in his original post was a link to a freeware proggie that would allow you to set the menu bar's appearance as it is in Tiger; opaque - completely non see-through.

so, if you are asking to be able to see even more so through the menu bar....i wouldn't know where to go for that one...

October 29, 2007 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Sneve4u said...

I got a new MacBook TWO WEEKS before the 1 October so I have to buy it retail at the normal price.

I mucked around with Leopard my local store and I must say it's like having a new Mac altogether. Just a few days till I get paid.

October 29, 2007 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Klaus said...

Why is everybody so amazed about the "new" semi-transparent menu-bar?
I am using 10.4.10 and it is already slightly transparent. The effect is just very weak. So they just increased the transparency. That's all.

October 29, 2007 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Klaus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2007 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Scott Patton said...

I don't think anybody here has been overly excited about it, just think it's neat? Actually, I don't like it. Now, the Mosaic screen saver... that is the bomb-digity!

October 29, 2007 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jason J. Kogler said...

I find that the transparent menu bar suits some desktops and is terrible for others. Any image that is quite busy tends to display under the bar as a mess. It certainly makes things hard to see. The bar seems to work well with desktop images that have a mostly solid colour at the top, although the drop shadow is excessive and distracting when displayed over a white desktop.

My solution for problematic desktop images is to drop them in Photoshop and add a black strip to the top that is the same height as the menu bar. This way the bar takes on a nice solid look that is quite similar to the unified look of the finder and all apps.

October 29, 2007 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Nessuno said...

I think that semi-trasparent menu bar and the Dock are great and I like them so much. Menubar is "camaleont" and if you set your desktop to change background image every minute (for example) you can see the menubar changing "color" based on the image colours ;)

For VANESSA:
You bought a Mac with Tiger 3 weeks ago and now there's Leopard? Don't worry. Go to any Apple store, or Apple Store online and for everyone who bought a Mac in the last month, like you, you can buy Leopard by payin it only a few dollars (here in Italy costs 9.90 euros!) ONLY for those who bought a Mac in the last month.

October 29, 2007 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

NESSUNO - Thank you for that info. I will see what i can do here in Aus or online.

October 29, 2007 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger RobertC said...

I'm really disappointed with where things are going: more glitz, less substance.
One workhorse I use all the time is column view in the Finder. It would be VERY useful if columns kept the width I give them (it could be a property of the folder the column displays). It's so annoying that some columns are too wide and others consistently too narrow. I asked for this feature way back in Panther. What does Leopard offer me? A semi-transparent menu bar. I really needed that.
And they STILL have not corrected the bug in the international panel that does not let me set my number format independently of the country I live in. Wow. I could do it in Panther, then it disappeared in Tiger.
Progress, progress. I guess I have to try to move the International panel over from Panther again and hope it will work...
Robert
(and why does this blog speak French to me? Just because I happen to have .fr at the end of my domain?)

November 7, 2007 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Chris Gaffan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 20, 2007 at 9:32 PM  

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