Enable Yosemite’s dark mode
Give OS X a moody makeover
Yosemite introduces a colourful new interface with translucency effects to the Mac. It looks great, but many people would rather have a more muted OS X experience. That preference is covered by a visual effect colloquially referred to as ‘dark mode’. With this enabled, OS X’s menu bar and the Dock take a more muted turn.
The Dock switches from its usual bright self to a dark grey. The menu bar at the top of the screen, and the menus that drop down from it, adopt the same effect, with black backgrounds and white text. This isn’t just a snazzy effect. It makes a lot of sense when paired with photo editing software that presents itself in darkened hues, such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, because the menu bar, in particular, becomes less of a distraction from the task at hand.
One word of caution: some menu bar icons don't work well with this effect. So after you switch it on, check you can still see all of your icons at the top-right.
It's really easy to turn on dark mode in System Preferences and, with some extra tweaks, you can more dramatically alter the look and feel of OS X. The appearance setting can be switched from its default of blue to Graphite, which takes out the colour from buttons and other parts of windows. The most noticeable effect is to the Close, Minimize and Full Screen buttons, which lose their red, amber and green colours and fade to greys.
There are additional colour controls in OS X, including the highlight colour and, in the Accessibility pane, an option to remove transparency, radically changing the look of your Mac. Let's try them out. Lucy Hattersley
Dark mode doesn’t affect every window, but it’s complementary to some kinds of app.