This panel is mostly about how things look on the screen: windows, menus, buttons, scroll bars, and fonts. Nothing you find here lets you perform any radical surgery on the overall Mac OS X look—but you can tweak certain settings to match your personal style.

Changing Colors

Two pop-up menus let you crank up or tone down Mac OS X’s overall colorfulness:

  • Appearance. Choose between Blue or Graphite. Blue refers to Mac OS X’s factory setting—bright, candy-colored scroll-bar handles, progress bars, menu, and pulsing OK buttons—and those shiny red, yellow, and green buttons in the corner of every window. If you, like some graphics professionals, find all of this circus-poster coloring a bit distracting, then choose Graphite, which renders all of those interface elements in various shades of gray.

  • Highlight color. When you drag your cursor across text, its background changes color to indicate that you’ve selected it. Exactly what color the background becomes is up to you—just choose the shade you want using the pop-up menu. The Highlight color also affects such subtleties as the lines on the inside of a window as you drag an icon into it.

    If you choose Other, the Color Picker palette appears, from which you can choose any color your Mac is capable of displaying (Uninstalling Software).

Tweaking the Scroll Bars

These radio buttons control the scroll-bar arrow buttons of all your windows. ...

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