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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items Apps
Tiger only hintWith the release of Tiger, the new Mail.app's toolbar look is the subject of great controversy. I think the change that I dislike the most is the new toolbar -- mainly because it just looks plain weird. An easy way to disable the toolbar backgrounds is to move or rename the following files (I put them in a "Disabled Toolbar Images" subdirectory) within the application's resources:
  • "Inner" files: TB_Segment_InnerLeft.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerLeftInactive.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerLeftPress.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerLeftRoll.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerRight.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerRightInactive.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerRightPress.tiff, TB_Segment_InnerRightRoll.tiff
  • "Left" and "Right" files: TB_Segment_LeftCap.tiff, TB_Segment_LeftCapInactive.tiff, TB_Segment_LeftCapPress.tiff, TB_Segment_LeftCapRoll.tiff, TB_Segment_RightCap.tiff, TB_Segment_RightCapInactive.tiff, TB_Segment_RightCapPress.tiff, TB_Segment_RightCapRoll.tiff
  • "Middle" files: TB_Single_Middle.tiff, TB_Single_MiddleInactive.tiff, TB_Single_MiddlePress.tiff, TB_Single_MiddleRoll.tiff
To get to these files, control-click on Mail.app and choose "Show Package Contents" from the pop-p menu. Open the "Contents" folder in the new window, then open "Resources." Be careful not to modify any other files, otherwise unexpected results may occur. To be really safe, create a duplicate of Mail first, and then modify/test the duplicate.

I haven't experienced any adverse effects from "removing" these files, but your mileage may vary. I've also created a free application called DeButtonizer that does the task for you.

[robg adds: I also received a submission from omnivector with a pointer to his free program called Cage Fighter, which does the same thing. Personally, I actually like the new buttons, but I know the look is quite controversial -- some love it, some hate it, and there are very few in the middle.]
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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items | 7 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items
Authored by: lenbudney on May 03, '05 10:47:17AM

There is one side-effect, at least when using Cage Fighter: the toolbar buttons don't "push" anymore. They work like buttons, but they don't respond visually when pushed.



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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items
Authored by: fitzage on May 03, '05 11:43:47AM

Debuttonizer does the same thing. I changed mine back because I don't dislike the buttons enough to give up visual click feedback.



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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items
Authored by: Pais on May 03, '05 01:43:23PM

I'm unhappy about this, too. If I get the chance, I'll add support to Debuttonizer for replacement graphics to make sure there's visual feedback of some kind.



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HID Guideline Violation
Authored by: lullabud on May 03, '05 11:46:55AM

I didn't have a problem with the new look of Mail, I just used it. Then a friend of mine pointed out that it was different from the other apps, nonstandard. So it is. Big deal, right? Well, it might be, actually, because not doing things in a standard way doesn't set an example of consistency in the OS, as well removing familiarity, which is one of the first rules of general UI design. On top of that, the new Mail layout violates Apple's own Human Interface Design Guidelines which were set in place precisely to provide that familiarity and visual connection with the UI. And more still, I noticed that the UI switches from the smooth metal look when it's in the foreground to the pinstripe look when it's in the background... what's with that? Tiger definitely has some sharp edges that need to be smoothed out.

More info about it here: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/3

I used cage-fighter to put the familiar icon's back on the toolbar, but they are still tied together in their sub-groups.



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HID Guideline Violation
Authored by: obsidian on May 03, '05 04:25:59PM

Actually, the look is Aqua using the "unified titlebar/toolbar" look. The switching to a striped look when not the foreground application is normal for all Aqua windows. However, it's the title bar that does this. Since Mail 2.0 treats the toolbar as a title bar now, it's just easier to spot.

Personally, they should get rid of the stripes when it's not a foreground window since the stripes have been removed from the foreground titlebar in Panther. It made since in Jaguar but now it's just out of place and feels weird.



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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items
Authored by: sigma8 on May 04, '05 01:36:20PM

I don't mind the new buttons so much as I hate that giant empty area above the folders list. The Ars Technica review bashes the old-style drawer, but I preferred how the old "drawer" utilized real-estate in this regard. It's a lot better than a few square inches of empty, metallicky blue.

For the time being, I've hid the display of the folders, and I think Mail.app looks a lot better this way, but naturally there seems to be no way to navigate to the different folders (aside from the apple-1 thru 6 keys, which only go to certain defaults). So I just hope they do something a little smart for a change. UI-wise.



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10.4: Disable Mail.app's button-style toolbar items
Authored by: Barney-15 on May 05, '05 06:50:19PM

To remove the space, just Choose Customize Toolbar… from the contextual menu and drag the flexible space off of the toolbar.

---
Jim



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