Give Safari 4 the GUI it deserves

by Phil Olin

Give Safari 4 the GUI it deserves

by Phil Olin on March 5, 2009

Post image for Give Safari 4 the GUI it deserves

safari4mo1Since the public release of Safari 4 beta, there has been numerous comments about the UI. John Gruber at Daring Fireball has done a detailed deconstruct of the issues with Safari UI, one that you must check out. Among the many issues Gruber points out, window colour is one glaring issue.


The toolbar/title bar in a standard, frontmost Leopard window is a gray gradient that goes from 77% brightness at the top to 59% at the bottom; for background windows, the standard gradient goes from 91–81%. (100% would be pure white, 0% pure black.) Safari 4 displays four different title bar states, for active and inactive tabs in both foreground and background windows. In none of these four states does Safari 4 use the standard gradient colors.

Luckily we can fix most of these problems. User dyfolio over at MacThemes has given us the opportunity to change the way Safari looks and behaves, while keeping the modern GUI.

This edit makes the active tab the same colour as a normal window, makes inactive tabs look like inactive windows, changes the tab glyphs, changes the coverflow scroller to a matte style, etc…

Once you’ve downloaded the file, its an easy three steps to modify your Safari. But before we get started, you need to do the most important thing first. Backup your current Copy it to another folder, archive it, anything. Just make sure you have a backup.

1. Find Safari, right-click and select Show Package Contents.


2. Drag all the files from the folder that you downloaded, and place them in the Contents » Resources folder in Safari’s Package Contents. Be sure to select Replace All when prompted.

3. Restart Safari and enjoy it’s new GUI goodness.

Thanks go to dyfolio for creating this awesome mod. Also, if you want your tabs to go back to the old style, and the addressbar loader to return to the ever filling blue strip, check out these easy terminal tips.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


Very easy to do and it worked great. I like some of the changes in S4β but others have me puzzled. This change was very welcome.


Jonathan Miller

I think Safari 4 is excellent! I really enjoy all the updates Apple has put forth. All this whining is retarded, especially coming from a cocky and extremely annoying person like John Gruber. Seriously STFU!



@johnathan: I think gruber’s article was spot on. There isn’t a bigger fanboy and he’s not the only one with complaints against safari 4. Sure I prefer the tabs on top, but doesn’t mean the current implementation isn’t faulty. The window colour (thNks for the tip Phil) is an important aspect of UI design and apple getting it wrong is not acceptable. So why don’t you shut your whiny excessively apologetic trap and let the sensible people choose what they think and know is right. Huh?



All this obsessing over the exact colors of the gradient would be funny if it wasn’t for the fact that people like John Gruber actually lose sleep over it. That IS sad! So Apple changed the color slightly? Get some fresh air and get over it!!


Milind Alvares

@RealWorld: First of all, it feels really weird replying to ‘the real world’. Secondly, it’s Gruber’s job to lose sleep over something like bad UI design. For something that affects so many of us, I think Apple should have given it a little more thought. And if there isn’t a reaction like this, they won’t know that they need to fix things for when it gets out of beta.


Phil Olin

It’s not that the color was slightly changed, the UI doesn’t react as it does over the rest of the system. It would be fine if the entire system was changed, but only the Safari window was changed.



Love the new GUI, love how simple it is. Great Job

The only think i miss (as a web developer) Is …. The Progress in % of the loading of the page.

yeah the blue bar looked terrible so good riddance – but maybe a % sign net to the spinner?!?



I did just what it said and replaced contents… restarted Safari and didn’t do jack. Safaristand is a joke, safarimasks doesn’t work. Safari just SUCKS. Going back to a REAL browser. Firefox.


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