I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

For more, check out the archives.

Leopard Tranlucent Menubar

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding Leopard’s new menubar more irritating than Fox News after a natural disaster. The mix of translucent bar with solid text and icons makes it an illigible mess.

Fortunately, there’s OpaqueMenuBar. Just launch the app and your menubar returns to its full solid glory.

Leopard’s menubar should have been more like MenuShade, in which the menubar becomes solid on mouseover. Simple, elegant, and useful. Too bad, it’s not Leopard compatible yet.

All in all, aside from menubar annoyances and a few other minor bugs, I’m loving the rest of Leopard.

How about you? Do you love or loathe Leopard?


  • Ed

    gravatarOct 30, 2007
    7:15 am

    It widely depends on the background you use – which is irritating for those of us that rotate backgrounds. I went through and kicked out most of the ones that made it look crappy, and I can bare it now.

    However, the new folder icons (specifically within the Home folder) are outrageous. Without color in the icons, it makes it much slower to figure out which one I want.

    All in all, I’m fairly impressed. I’m sure it will grow on me.

  • Kyle

    gravatarOct 30, 2007
    7:56 am

    I’m really loving Leopard, I never really found back-up software to be accessible and always thought the “One Touch Back-Ups” were a joke. With Time Machine my opinion of backing up my stuff has changed completely.

    I love multiple desktops as well! I no longer have to use Expose or the minimize button when using Photoshop or iMovie. I definitely love Spaces!

    Overall, I’m really satisfied with Leopard, It was definitely an upgrade worth getting.

  • Luke Noel-Storr

    gravatarOct 30, 2007
    11:24 am

    Overall, I’m actually rather disappointed. I’m still using Tiger on my main machine, and I think I’ll stick with it for now. My main reason at the moment, is I really am finding Leopard causes much more eyestrain than Tiger ever did. I think the UI is generally just harsher on the eyes, the 3D Dock (with reflections and shadows all over the place) and translucent menu bar didn’t help, luckily I’ve now found hacks to solve both those issues.

    My Top 5 Leopard Niggles: http://luke.thunk.it/post/17502462

    and fixes for 3 of them: http://luke.thunk.it/post/17846369

  • Joshua Kaufman

    gravatarOct 30, 2007
    11:27 am

    Wouldn’t an easier fix be to have a desktop with a menubar background so that you don’t have to run an app just to correct it? First person who makes available all of the system backgrounds with a corrective top menu bar will be a star.

  • Mike

    gravatarOct 31, 2007
    12:54 am

    put the dock on the right or left and there’s no reflection. as long as there’s a white strip at the top of the background you shouldn’t have a problem with a translucent menu bar. This doesn’t fix the drop downs, but it works alright.

  • Guillermo

    gravatarNov 2, 2007
    12:08 pm

    You can just add a white bar on your desktop picture using Photoshop and that’s it. Since that portion of the desktop picture is white, bye bye transparency.

    You can create a workflow using a combination of PS actions & Automator if you’re lazy.

  • Dave Hurley

    gravatarNov 4, 2007
    8:35 pm

    Well, this might sound heretical to those who love to customize, but I have found that it’s best for me to tolerate such changes for a while and see if I simply get used to it. Usually I do.

    There are always little design irritations and things I miss when OSes update. I used to do things like you did and modify them back, but as a post-production freelancer and university instructor who frequently uses machines other than my own, I like to keep things stock and vanilla so that I’m not jarred or disoriented when I hop from system to system. I hate being tied to having to install a bunch of customizations to make a system feel “right” to me.

    Also, on a more philosophical level, I don’t like to let myself become stubborn about these things and “lock in” on stuff that I’m used to. I find that kind of mindset unappealing and counter-productive when I observe it in colleagues.

    I upgraded my non-critical machine to Leopard on Friday and did not like the translucent menu bar (or 3D dock) much, but am already used to it here on Sunday night. No biggie.

  • R. Murdouch

    gravatarNov 7, 2007
    12:29 pm

    Thank God for hacks – the true vote of whats wrong and right. I hate the translucent menu bar even more than watching Shepard Smith rehearse being blown across the parking lot in a hurricane.
    It looks like something from the drivers license DMV office. Good riddance.

  • Joshua Kaufman

    gravatarNov 25, 2007
    1:59 am

    Recently discovered solution: http://jwz.livejournal.com/817385.html