Jaguar Tip: More than One Way to Skin the Cat

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Date: Tuesday, September 10th, 2002, 00:00
Category: Archive

Love metal skins? Hate metal skins? With 10.2, you can metallify stuff that isn’t or demetallify stuff that is. Read on . . . (And don’t forget to backup packages before opening them with the Interface Builder!) -PK

I don’t especially care for the metallic appearance that is increasingly prevalent in the new iApps, and was happy to discover that Interface Builder lets you deselect it. This is done by (assuming your developer tools are installed, of course), opening the package (Control-click, and select Open Package Contents from the popup) for a copy of each application, navigating to Contents/Resources/English.lproj, opening the .nib files for the windows you don’t want to be metallic, and then deselecting the “use textured appearance” button there. I was even happier to discover that Unsanity‘s cool Metallifizer haxie permits the same behaviour by renaming the little module you download from the “DeMetallifizer.”

Neither procedure works on Carbon apps like iTunes and Quicktime Player, nor, for some reason, on iPhoto. However, you can alter the appearance of iPhoto to your taste by the following procedure:

1: Make a copy of iPhoto
2: Open the the package and navigate to Contents/Resources.
3: Drag out the file new-metal-texture.tif.
4: In your favourite image editor, create a texture more to your liking. I’ve experimented with a green baize look that reminds me of the old pool table I used to sort photos on years ago, and the standard Aqua striped background, obtained from a screen shot of Watson at startup.
5: Crop your texture to 126 by 126 pixels.
6: Save it as a TIF formatted picture. I don’t understand the various compression and ordering options in the TIF format, but I left them all off.
7: Rename the new TIF new-metal-texture.tif
8: Copy it into the /Contents/Resources folder for your iPhoto copy.
9: Close the folders and launch the iPhoto copy. If it doesn’t work, trash it and continue to use the original.

If your new texture is significantly different in appearance from the standard grayish colour, the borders of the window won’t really look right. They’re all controlled by TIF formatted graphics found in the same folder, however, so you can use the same techniques to get a clean, compatible look.

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