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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar System 10.5
I hate the way that the desktop background intrudes in the menu bar (due to its translucency), so I have edited every desktop picture I have (my monitor is set to 1920x1200) by adding a horizontal 21-pixel white bar at the very top, and a 1- or 2-pixel black bar just beneath the white bar.

Interestingly, Apple appears to have done the same thing on the main 10.5 installation screen, as its menu bar isn't translucent.

[robg adds: This is one solution to the translucent menu bar issue, but it's a fair bit of work. If you'd like to automate this solution, you might give OpaqueMenuBar a shot -- this piece of freeware (donations accepted) works by modifying the desktop images on the fly. It saves the modified versions to /tmp, and then uses that image for your desktop. While this solution works if you use only one desktop image, it didn't seem to work with my setup, which is set to auto-change the image at regular intervals. I've still got my fingers crossed that someone manages to root out some low-level opacity key we can modify to solve this problem for the menu bar as well as the menus themselves.]
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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar | 21 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: l.balint on Oct 31, '07 08:01:53AM

This effect is Core Image based, so an older Mac without a Core Image capable graphics chip has a plain grey menubar. I think there has to be a file hidden somewhere in the system where people can turn off the transparency even when they have Core Image. Maybe it's a matter of time, and we will have the solution!

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Use CGDebug to disable Core Image on any Mac
Authored by: ammon on Nov 08, '07 07:52:18PM

/usr/local/bin/CGDebug -ci off
(CGDebug is part of the XcodeTools developer package.)

This causes the menubar to default to an opaque white background (and oddly the Apple icon is gone). Hello System 7 menubar!



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Use CGDebug to disable Core Image on any Mac
Authored by: ricardocolonia on Nov 30, '09 07:43:59PM

Please Help
I need to disable core image, and i tried to use the CGdebug command that you posted. But terminal says: command not found, am i doing something wrong? Do i have to run this command trough terminal?. Im kind of noob here, so, will you please explain me step by step how to disable the core image with CGDebug?

Note: I already instaled XCode Tools.

Thanks in advance



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: lar3ry on Oct 31, '07 08:15:14AM

The OpaqueMenuBar freeware app didn't work for me (brand new--purchased last Friday--Mac Mini, Leopard).

I'm not entirely ready to modify my images, mostly because I use many different screen resolutions, depending on which monitor I use with the mini, and I'd need a custom image for each resolution or I'd have a too-big or too-small white strip at certain resolutions.

Apple should have provided at least a "defaults" setting for the translucency, as well as for all the other quirks with Leopard, such as the useless bunching of icons in the Dock's "stacks" folders, etc. However, Apple seems to never add such things afterward, so we're stuck with the status quo for now.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: Anonymous on Oct 31, '07 08:52:21AM

Keep in mind that Peter Mauer (ManySpaces) had created an "OpaqueMenuBar" app that worked in betas but not with the final release; if it was *that* app you tried, then, no, it wouldn't have worked. This appears to be an entirely different app also named OpaqueMenuBar.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: wjv on Oct 31, '07 08:41:40AM

If you make the 21px bar a mid-level grey instead of white, the menu bar takes on a pleasing metallic appearance which blends in well with the look of Leopard's window decorations.

Of course, this hint goes awry if you use monitors with different resolutions, or multiple monitors.

As another commenter has said, there have been numerous reports from all over the net that certain low-specced Macs running Leopard have opaque menu bars. So clearly the system supports this, and (hopefully) it's only a matter of time until someone figures out how to turn this on.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: fry808 on Oct 31, '07 09:01:48AM

On my 12" G4 Powerbook there is no transparency in the menubar or the dock. Without transparency I think the 3D dock looks even worse. There must be a way to trick CoreImage into thinking you have an old Mac to force this to happen?



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: pvaldoni on Oct 31, '07 09:12:32AM

Thanks, I love OpaqueMenuBar !

pvaldoni



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: pvaldoni on Oct 31, '07 09:19:10AM

I forgot to mention that Leopard, on my iMac started with an opaque menu bar since the very beginning. I wonder whi.
pvaldoni



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: ash7 on Oct 31, '07 09:47:13AM

Has to do with Core Image support, I think. I have one that has a normally opaque one too. Too bad you can't just trick the menu bar into entering this mode.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: wluckie on Oct 31, '07 09:13:41AM

This does work if you open system preferences/desktop pictures and select each image you would like to use for your desktop picture. It modifies them on the fly there.
Where is the" /tmp" file located?



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: Pedro Estarque on Oct 31, '07 10:00:55AM

It's a folder, and it's located at the root of you boot HD, it is invisible however.
try in the finder "go to folder..." and type /tmp



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: gr8tfly on Oct 31, '07 11:06:20AM

I'm still hoping for a "key" that can be modified.

Aperture, Soundtrack and LiveType all have transparency disabled. I don't think they have their own bitmaps, since the gradient is still Leopard themed. This behavior might have been part of the recent Aperture update.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: tetanus on Oct 31, '07 11:20:02AM
10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: maharbA on Oct 31, '07 03:24:46PM

At the Leopard kickoff last Friday I noticed that, on one of their computers, opening Main Stage would make the menu bar opaque. No other app seemed to do this. When I asked an employee about it he fiddled with it for a minute and moved me along.
This was in San Francisco, not on an iMac, it was just a monitor, keyboard and mouse on a counter. (I don't think it was the "Genius Bar," but I don't really know my way around. It was on the east side of the store upstairs, the curved wooden counter.)

It's possible



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: cycomachead on Oct 31, '07 05:44:28PM

Yeah, Rob- you're not alone. Unfortunately, Apple is moving/ hiding more things from Tiger. When this is a good thing-as less people will screw up their installation-the hints here my become harder and more difficult. We're all frantically looking for a solution - and I have a few new ideas (thanx to the comment about Aperture, I hadn't noticed that it was opaque because I was suing the earth background- to make it opaque). But I'm afraid the digging may be turning into circles. Here's hoping a group effort will fix it or 10.5.1 could simply add a checkbox or two to the Dock/Desktop pref panes. I mean for Apple it shouldn't take more than an hour of coding... anyways off to homework and hacking :-/



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: sipatel on Oct 31, '07 06:12:43PM

As I only use 1920x1200 resolution on both a 24" monitor (G4/MDD) and an iMac 24", the 21px bar at top isn't a problem.

My original submission suggested that the best way to work this is to take a snapshot of the desktop using CMD-SHIFT-3 and then opening that file to determine the number of pixels in the menubar before working on the actual pictures.

I have also added a 1px black line to separate the menubar from the desktop picture.

I saved all my doctored pics by simply adding -A to the name(s) and have retained the originals in the hope that Apple or a third party will produce a better solution for those who don't like the transparent menubar.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: harperska on Oct 31, '07 06:24:50PM

Verifying the opaque menu bar on a low-spec'd mac. (eMac, 1ghz G4). Not only is the menu bar opaque, but widgets in the dashboard don't ripple, and the stars in time machine don't move. Presumably all those are controlled by core image. So fooling leopard into believing you have a low end mac certainly could turn all those effects off. You probably won't be able to have an opaque menu bar AND dashboard widget ripples. But then I am just making wild guesses here, and I suppose it would all depend on the actual mechanism behind the scenes that controls those effects.



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Opacity + anit-aliasing sucks
Authored by: kkL on Nov 01, '07 02:02:49AM

The worst thing is that Leopard has degraded quality of anti-aliasing for menu bar text. It uses the old blurr-o-blocky "CRT" setting for text and menulet symbols.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: rbsandkam on Nov 01, '07 10:28:53PM

The easiest way to make your menu bar opaque is to simply choose a light solid color as your desktop image. I chose the lightest blue, and it makes the menu bar appear as almost white again.

Maybe I'm a dolt, but how important is it for you to have a desktop image anyway? When I am using my computer, I have windows open all over the place, and I am using it. Are people really out there sitting in front of their computers, just looking at an empty desktop and admiring the picture? I'm not criticizing. I'm just wondering aloud.

Please don't take this as a defense of the translucent menu bar. I don't get it either, and I want it to just be opaque, like it should be. I am just offering a really quick and easy way to get the menu bar back to a usable state.



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10.5: One way to create an opaque menu bar
Authored by: alset on Nov 04, '07 07:13:18PM
Interestingly, Apple appears to have done the same thing on the main 10.5 installation screen, as its menu bar isn't translucent.

No, they didn't.

Open the DefaultDesktop.jpg file in CoreServices on the install DVD and you will find the same desktop image used on a fully installed system. Apple is just disabling the translucency of the menu bar on the installer OS. The /System directory on the DVD is invisible, so you'll need to get there from the command line or the "Go to Folder…" menu item.

For those that need assistance, open Terminal and issue this command:

open /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Library/CoreServices/
… or, from "Go -> Go to Folder…" enter the following address:
/Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/System/Library/

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