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Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari Web Browsers
So Apple released the first beta of their Safari browser today. Unfortunately, like all their other recent iApps, it uses the "brushed metal" look introduced with QuickTime Player 4. This use of the metal appearance actually violates Apple's own Jaguar Human Interface Guidelines:
Avoid using the textured window appearance in applications or utilities that are unrelated to digital peripherals or to the data associated with these devices.
Well, it turns out that Safari looks a LOT better without the silly brushed metal look! Here's how to turn off the heavy metal in the browser. Make a backup of your Safari before trying this!
  1. Control-click on Safari to bring up the "Show Package Contents" contextual menu.
  2. Navigate into Safari -> Contents -> Resources -> English.lproj
  3. Open Browser.nib; You will need the most recent MacOS X Developer Tools package to do this!
  4. In the window marked 'Broswer.nib,' select 'Window' and hit Shift-Command-I to bring up the Inspector. The last item in the Inspector is a checkbox labeled "Textured Window." Uncheck that, save, and quit.
Now start up your modified Safari. Now it looks like it should!

[Editor's note: I haven't tested this yet, as I don't have the December Developer Tools on the iBook. However, it's consistent with other hints regarding disabling the brushed metal look. I trimmed the quoted Human Interface Guidelines blurb down to just the last key line; you can read the full text of the comment on textured windows on this page of the online Human Interface Guidelines.]
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Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari | 40 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Works!
Authored by: bluehz on Jan 08, '03 10:22:46AM

This works as described - and it does look much better - more professional IMHO. I never liked the brushed look.



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Less editorializing, more tech stuff
Authored by: AaronAdams on Jan 08, '03 10:24:38AM

"Unfortunately, like all their other recent iApps, it uses the 'brushed metal' look..."

Yeah, so? Some of us like the brushed metal look. I don't consider the use of brushed metal "unfortunate" in any way. Death and starvation and war are unfortunate. Metal-themed windows on a computer screen are not.

"Now it looks like it should!"

I would say it "should" look the way Apple releases it, not how you modify it.

If someone likes the Aqua look better than brushed metal, that's fine. But please don't add the drama of "unfortunately" and the righteousness of "should" to an otherwise useful hint.



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Less editorializing, more tech stuff
Authored by: artistry on Jan 08, '03 01:02:29PM

Agreed - I'm not keen on the metallic lool but it works in Safari IMHO. Neat and minimal.

However, I hear that the developers chose the metallic look so that there is a clear distinction between the interface and the content. A white browser interface would be less easy to view.

I agree with them.



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No editorializing...
Authored by: robg on Jan 08, '03 03:35:16PM
This hint was not written by me. I am not in the habit of changing what other people write, unless it's (a) unclear, (b) profane, or (c) incorrect. This post met none of those criteria, so I left it alone. Since the appearance of an app is a judgement call, this author clearly feels that metal is an unfortunate choice. Those are his or her words, not mine, and I see no need to censor what they wrote. Had they written "Those $&@#$ @#$!%@ at Apple are bunch of $&(@%@^ bleeps for making a metal browser," then I would have applied some editing and noted such in my comments.

In my case, I happen to prefer the metal look. However, if I were to say that in the comments, then I'm editorializing, which is exactly what you've asked that I don't do ... Rock -> robg <- Hard Place ... it's a no-win situation, but I feel that retaining the language of the original post is more important than trying to edit everything to 'neutral gray'.

-rob.

[ Reply to This | # ]
No editorializing...
Authored by: AaronAdams on Jan 08, '03 04:23:40PM

Rob,

That criticism was meant for the hint's author and not you :) I understand the position you're in and I think you do the right thing. I have no complaints about the way you run this invaluable site.

Its a good hint, but I found the author's comments annoying. I personally like the brushed metal theme and to have someone tell me how "unfortunate" my tastes are and how things "should" be is insulting.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Thanks for the clarification!
Authored by: robg on Jan 08, '03 06:00:28PM

I saw the subject and thought it was a general site comment...

-rob.



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No editorializing...
Authored by: bratboy on Jan 14, '03 09:17:34PM

The person probably wrote the tip and comments according to their opinion and not yours. I didn't see a problem with his/her word choice.



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Less editorializing, more tech stuff
Authored by: Glanz on Jan 14, '03 02:29:48PM

There are always reactions like yours when "someone's" good or bad tastes are challenged. "The way they should be" has nothing to do with Apples's choices. The way "something should be" should be decided by each individual as long as it is in the bounds of sanity and possibility. If it wasn't so, Fink would not exist, everyone would still be on the playtime Mac OS prior to OS X, and pasting posters of Stevie boy on the walls. This is not the Monopolo$soft dictatorship. In other words, no-one here has an Apple insignia tattooed on their forehead, or do you?



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August Dev tools
Authored by: djn1 on Jan 08, '03 10:32:26AM

I haven't got around to downloading the December development tools (300mb on a dialup is a bit of a pain) so thought I'd try this with the August version. It worked without a hitch - is there a particular reason that the latest version was recommended?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Download window too
Authored by: ridmaur on Jan 08, '03 10:43:32AM

You should do the same for the Download.nib file.
You better use the latest Developer tools as the format of NIB files has been changed since 10.2. Don\'t know which format Safari is using.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Downloads.nib
Authored by: tobyvoss on Jan 08, '03 10:57:34AM

don't forget the Downloads.nib resource (same location) if you want to be consequent.



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consequent
Authored by: beef on Jan 14, '03 01:53:39PM

hey, i learned a new word. thanks



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Doesn't work on my iMac 333 Rev D
Authored by: avanham on Jan 08, '03 11:17:24AM

When I remove the Textured Window option all of the menu bar(?? the part that has the Forward/Backward buttons, the address URL field and the Favourites etc), gets squished behind the title bar and I can only see the very bottom of the Favourites bar sticking out. So brushed metal look it is.



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I made a Safari for dl without metal
Authored by: jokke on Jan 08, '03 11:55:36AM

Using the same technique described in this hint, I made a 'normal' Safari, about 10 minutes after Apple released it, without the metal look. It can be downloaded here: http://jokke.dk/software/.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A much easier way...
Authored by: dm2243 on Jan 08, '03 12:09:07PM

Install unsanity's freeware metallifizer.

http://unsanity.com/haxies/metallifizer/

It allows you do metallifize or de-demetallifize any cocoa app
from a preference pane.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Actually
Authored by: fireproof on Jan 08, '03 12:39:25PM

While I'm not crazy about the brushed metal look by itself I do appreciate the way it makes Safari stand out from the sea of pinstripes and semi-transparent aqua title bars. One of my biggest problems with Aqua is the way everything (Finder Windows, Application Windows, etc) is white, or nearly white -- it makes it very difficult to tell in a glance if something is an unselected scrollbar, a title bar, or a window background for a webpage, or a word-processing document, or what have you.

It's one of the reasons I like the BeOS Theme from swizcore.com -- though I don't use that much anymore either, as I'm trying to stick to vanilla installs so updates go more smoothly.

I also find that the text in the "bookmarks bar" to be much easier to read than the Toolbar bookmarks in Chimera (which uses the pinstripe Aqua background).

Which should underscore Aqua's faults, I guess, not the brushed metal theme's strengths.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Actually - Chimera
Authored by: fireproof on Jan 08, '03 07:47:21PM
I've just applied this tip to Chimera (turning on the brushed metal) and it looks great! Tabs look fine, the sidebar is consistent, and the toolbar text is finally readable! All I've got to do is figure out which bit controls the background for drop-down menus in the toolbar...

[ Reply to This | # ]
Looks Great.
Authored by: ChrisMMF on Jan 08, '03 12:55:32PM
I did this to my copy of Safari, you can see the results Here. Unfortunately it doesnt make Safari my main browser. They need to add tabs, and fix the CSS rendering bugs before I can use it.

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Looks Great.
Authored by: Nafai on Jan 08, '03 01:30:47PM

Ditto that. Gimme tabs, and don't advertise that you are compliant with CSS standards when you aren't. Hello!! Explorer. Opera. Omniweb. Get with it. These standards date back to 1995. Sheesh.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Looks Great.etc etc etc
Authored by: Squeak on Jan 10, '03 01:09:45AM

Well, in the Browser.nib in IB, you can select the main window and turn on the tabs. Though this
isn't much like chimera's excellent tabbed setup, it put the bookmarks in one window,
and the tabs in an another...looks like it's time for a Safarichanga.....



[ Reply to This | # ]
Submitted bug to Apple
Authored by: andrewz on Jan 08, '03 01:08:26PM
You see the little bug icon in the top right corner of the Safari window? I've submitted a feature request asking them to reconsider the metal look for Safari, or at least make it optional. I mean, it is optional if you have the Developer Tools installed, but you know what I mean... :-)

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So Basically...
Authored by: JT on Jan 08, '03 04:03:01PM

...you wasted apple's time in asking them to reconsider a trivial feature when they could be using that time to improve the browser in other ways?

good one...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Don't forget to move the buttons around
Authored by: splattertrousers on Jan 08, '03 02:55:31PM

If you remove the metal look, the buttons get squished up too close to the title bar. In Interface Builder, you can select the button bar's background, open the inspector, choose "Size", choose "Top/Left", and change the "Top" value to 3 or so. That makes it look a lot better (in my opinion).

I wish Apple would have a systemwide preference for allowing the brushed metal look. Or else get rid of it completely. One UI standard is enough. Oops, I'm editorializing...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Just a beta thing?
Authored by: thinkyhead on Jan 08, '03 03:17:06PM

I'm crossing my fingers that this is just a beta thing, and the final version won't have the brushed metal look. However it can be justified if you think of the Internet as a media peripheral. ;->



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Just a beta thing?
Authored by: EricW on Jan 10, '03 05:41:20AM

Address Book, iCal but not mail. iTume, iPhoto all have brushed metal and no skins.
One exception is Top calculette pro.
I actualy wouldn't mind a clear perspex Safari.



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Why the hostility towards textured windows?
Authored by: mistercow on Jan 10, '03 05:25:00PM

I don't understand why people hate the textured windows so much. Since apple introduced the metal look with QuickTime, people have complained about it. I have never actually heard a reason for people's hatred of the metal theme. People assume that everyone hates the brushed metal, yet I have always thought it looks great.

In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of a single interface element that Apple has designed that I thought looked particularly bad.



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Why the hostility towards textured windows?
Authored by: beef on Jan 14, '03 01:51:47PM

for me, it's just personal preference.

If your furniture is mostly wood, I don't think you'd want a metallic rack/table/chair (or whatever) sitting in your living room.

I like black, I don't like red, and I can't really justify that either.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Why the hostility towards textured windows?
Authored by: mistercow on Dec 08, '03 08:28:18PM

Point taken.

I guess there are really two things that generally bother me about it.

First, many of the people that complain about Apple's newest designs end up embracing them (and acting as though they always did) down the road, only to complain about more new designs as they come out. This may not be you of course, but it is something that I have noticed with many people.

Second, people act like it's Apple's responsibility to change away from the brushed metal look because of the vocal handful of people who don't like it.

Maybe I should be thankful that hints like this exist. I guess I'd rather have people customize their own version of Safari then have Apple take away it's coolness.

Still, it comments like "the brushed appearance suxors!" bug me, because we don't all feel that way.



[ Reply to This | # ]
other apps with metal
Authored by: beef on Jan 14, '03 02:12:19PM

can you remove the metal look from other apps using similar method?



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other apps with metal
Authored by: bluehz on Jan 30, '03 11:14:15AM
Yes - this works the same in other apps. Although - I am trying to remove the brushed look in a time/billing apt called iWork (which BTW is a REALLY nice app with tight OS X integration) and unfortunately I have been able to debrush all but the main project window. I edited every .nib file there is and its still brushed. Could these resources be hard-coded or kept somewhere else?

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other apps with metal
Authored by: xSmurf on Feb 26, '03 03:47:59PM

some apps have a hardcoded brush metal appearence, the best example is iTunes...

---
PM G4 DP 800 / 256Mb / 80Gb+40Gb /SuperDrive / SCSI: AGFA SnapScan 1236s / Jaz 1Gb / Zip 100Mb
- The only AAP Smurf ;P



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Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari's download manager
Authored by: xSmurf on Feb 26, '03 03:44:29PM

If you're like me and have a theme install, you probably don't see the close/minimize/zoom buttons in safari, removing the brush metal fixes that. But the download manager stile has the same problem...
repeate the operation of this hint on this file to fix the problem.
Safari.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Downloads.nib

---
PM G4 DP 800 / 256Mb / 80Gb+40Gb /SuperDrive / SCSI: AGFA SnapScan 1236s / Jaz 1Gb / Zip 100Mb
- The only AAP Smurf ;P



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari
Authored by: stephen007 on Nov 01, '03 11:52:47PM

How do I get this working in Panther (10.3)? I have grown to love Safari with Aqua when all of the sudden MacOS 10.3 changed it back to brushed metal.

Stephen



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Is there another option?!
Authored by: slamex on Nov 20, '03 04:13:29AM

I really don't like either of the Aqua or Brushed metal theme. Is there a way to replace them with something that look like an actual OS instead of a device made of metal or that fancy-looking aqua gayness? As a graphic designer, I want my interface neutral. Also, I think 128x128 32bits icons, athough really sweet to look at, are a complete waste of video memory and system resources.

Thumbs up for windows XP's 4-click (more-or-less) visual theme removal!

...oh boy am I going to get flamed... I actually mentionned PC...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari
Authored by: slamex on Nov 20, '03 04:14:41AM

I really don't like either of the Aqua or Brushed metal theme. Is there a way to replace them with something that look like an actual OS instead of a device made of metal or that fancy-looking aqua gayness? As a graphic designer, I want my interface neutral. Also, I think 128x128 32bits icons, athough really sweet to look at, are a complete waste of video memory and system resources.

Thumbs up for windows XP's 4-click (more-or-less) visual theme removal!

...oh boy am I going to get flamed... I actually mentionned PC...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Re: alternatives to metal and aqua
Authored by: mclbruce on Dec 08, '03 12:58:16AM

Modifying the look and feel of the Mac is possiblee. One place to start looking for alternative OS X themes is here:

http://www.resexcellence.com/themes/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hint is still valid for 10.3
Authored by: mclbruce on Dec 08, '03 01:04:23AM

I sucessfully de-metaled my copy of Safari in 10.3. The instructions are the same except for one sentence:

"You will need the most recent MacOS X Developer Tools package to do this!"

The Developer Tools are now called XCode Tools. Install that and you are set.

While I was modifying the flie I moved the location window and the buttons down a smidge so they are centered between the two horizontal lines. It helps the looks a lot.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari
Authored by: yakirz on Dec 25, '03 01:59:30PM

I tried this today, and it worked, sort of. It killed my address bar and bookmarks bar.

If I tried displaying them, the top of the page moved down, but they didn't appear.

I tried re-metallicizing, but I still didn't get my address or bookmarks bars back. So I trashed Safari, and will re-download it later.

I don't know if it makes any difference, but I was using Duality (v. 4, I think), and the snow theme when I tried this hint.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari
Authored by: greenldr on Jun 11, '07 08:54:44PM

I like the way iTunes 7 looks, is there a way to get that toolbar look for Safari?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove brushed metal appearance from Safari
Authored by: yang on Jul 11, '07 08:34:35PM

Perhaps you can try applying one of SafariStand's themes.

Screenshots at Pimp My Safari:
http://pimpmysafari.com/blog/safaristand-themes



[ Reply to This | # ]