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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look Apps
Tiger only hintMany people have been looking at changing the look of the apps that ship with Tiger to the new "unified" look. I've seen how to do it with Safari and that inspired me to try it with Address Book. Whilst not perfect, at least it means that the metal look can be kept for those applications that really should have it -- i.e. the iApps and the Finder (although I would like to make the Finder have the unified look if possible!)

Anyway, on to the hint. You need to have Interface Builder installed (part of XCode, i.e. the Developer Tools). Find the Address Book app in the Applications folder and back it up!. Duplicate it or make a copy in a safe place, whatever, just make sure it is backed up. Close Address Book if you have it open (control-click the icon in the dock and choose Quit). Then control-click on the Address Book application and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu.

Then go into Contents -> Resources -> English.lproj. You should see a bunch of files. Some of them will have a strange icon that looks like a piece of sheet metal. These are the Interface Builder files (they have the extension .nib if you have extensions turned on). Find the file called ABWindow.nib and double click it. You'll see Interface Builder appear. Click just below (under the line) the header of the main window that looks like Address Book's interface (it says "Address Book"), and then choose Tools -> Show Inspector. An inspector will appear; from this, you need to uncheck the "Has Texture" option, and then the "Unified Title/toolbar look" will become active. Check that, hit save, close Interface Builder, launch Address Book, enjoy.

I'm going to try and see how many "metal" apps I can change like this - at the moment I think Safari, Address Book and iChat are do-able but I might be wrong. Anyone want to try out any others?
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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look | 15 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: nofxosx on Jun 07, '05 11:10:59AM

For some reason, is not doing the unified look for me, I'm able to take out the "metal" look, and the unified option does become available, but checking it does not change a thing. I do like the aqua look it has but I wonder why it wouldn't do the new look (like in mail)...

BTW im using 10.4.1 with XCODE 2.1


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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: holo on Jun 07, '05 11:33:50AM

mine does the same thing.. :(

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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: slacks on Jun 07, '05 11:34:00AM

I have the same Problem as the above poster. Some applications don't seem to use the unified toolbar option when it is turned on. Address Book is an example of this and I can't make IChat look unified either. Is there some modification I am missing? Here are the files I edited to make ichat become aquafied is anyone wants them:


I turned off texture and turned on unified toolbar far each. None of the elements seems to take a unified toolbar look though. I wonder why safari so easily adopts the look after undergoing the same process. Oh well, someone will figure it out.

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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: anakin on Jun 07, '05 11:40:16AM

You can do this to any app. I've remapped the key shortcuts in my Safari for a while now. I prefer hitting Cmd+K to do a Google search, more like Firefox, and it's faster than Cmd+Opt+F that is the default.

Just edit the nib and save your changes. Yet another beauty benefit of Apple.

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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: Flux Harmonic on Jun 08, '05 08:47:44AM

This is a great tip, and it works so much better than using system preferences.

What I found, though, is that all the shortcut keys -must- use the command key. Is there any way around this? For instance, I want to set "next tab/previous tab" in safari to "control-tab/control-shift-tab" (a la firefox).

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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: ncc59 on Jun 11, '05 12:30:18PM

whenever I try to open a .nib file located in the resources directory (either of Safari, Address book, etc.) I get this message : "The document xx.nib could not be opened".

No matter what I tried (chown, chmod +777,...) i get the same message. Of course my current account has administrative privilege. And I can't open directly from Interface Builder since it does not want to open package contents, only plain directories.

I'm running Xcode 2.1 and OSX10.4.1, but as you may guess I'm not an experienced user of XCode and Interface Builder.

Anyone else get this annoying error message ?

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Why unified toolbar "won't work"...
Authored by: wootest on Jun 07, '05 11:42:15AM

Address Book does not use a customizable, stock toolbar (the NSToolbar class in Cocoa). Safari just switched to one, and Mail has a tweaked version, but Address Book amongst many other apps do not - those are just buttons and search fields on a row.

The only difference between Unified Toolbar and standard Aqua is that the toolbar extends the title bar gradient, and that you can move the window by empty spots in the toolbar in addition to the title bar (since it 'is' the title bar). Thusly, if you have no standard toolbar, it will look and behave just the same.

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Why unified toolbar "won't work"...
Authored by: wootest on Jun 07, '05 11:45:17AM

By the way, here's how to see if a window uses an NSToolbar or just a row of buttons. Hold down command and click and drag a button - if the button highlights and doesn't move, it's not an NSToolbar and will not be 'unified'.

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Why unified toolbar "won't work"...
Authored by: qwerty denzel on Jun 08, '05 02:45:01AM

Some apps have the toolbar locked. Most will have have the toolbar toggler in the top right corner of the window.

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Why unified toolbar "won't work"...
Authored by: wootest on Jun 08, '05 08:40:38AM

Yep. Even if the toolbar is locked and the toolbar toggling button in the top right doesn't show (Spotlight, System Preferences), you can prove that it is a native toolbar by command-pressing a button - if it were just a real button, it would depress, but if it's a button in a toolbar, the toolbar's "drag mode" will sort of kick in but deny you to move it, thus not depressing the button.

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its much simpler...
Authored by: nick on Jun 07, '05 12:25:36PM use unifier:

i like the unified look of addressbook, safari, ichat... sadly the finder, itunes and ical keep the metal-look.

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its much simpler...
Authored by: zpjet on Jun 08, '05 03:53:50AM

but it is ape, it requires application enhancer from unsanity, no thanks

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its much simpler...
Authored by: ghinteclinn on Jun 08, '05 12:23:53PM

And it doesn't work for Carbon apps like iTunes.

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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: r.d.flynn on Jun 07, '05 03:42:02PM

I wasn't aware that the new look is subtly different to the older aqua look in the way that people have described. However, it is nice to know that there is a reason for this - the technical postings are useful for me as I am starting to think about developing some software on the Mac so any information like this is great.

Apologies to all on the slightly misleading title - I thought it was the new look but obviously it's not quite there yet.

Also thanks for the unifier kit - I used this for Safari but I want to go over the process it uses again and see if I can use the same ideas in other apps!

Lastly - as someone said, I think it's great that Apple allow us this level of customisation - long may it continue!

Thanks for all the comments


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10.4: Change Address Book to new 'Unified' look
Authored by: doutee on Apr 03, '06 08:49:36PM

Is there a way to ger rid of the stripes in addressbook so it is all unified and has anyone had luck with other programs like ichat?

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