En­able Yosemite’s dark mode

Give OS X a moody makeover

Mac Format - - IMPROVE | SYSTEM -

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.

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