UNO – Seamless OSX interface

inconsistent interface

To this day, I have yet to understand the reason for Apple’s decision to create an inconsistent interface across the board for its iApps and system wide Finder. Toss in a little pinstriping (unfocused windows), a little brushed (Safari, iTunes, & Finder), and last but not least, lets throw in a little subtle gradient action (sunken or plastic) for iWorks apps. Completely inconsistent. Until Shapeshifter goes Universal Binary, I assumed I would have to put up with the interface as-is. Fortunately, I came across a handy little application that aims at unifying the pinstriped, brushed, and plastic windows into a consistent iWorks-like interface.

uno windows

The secret to arriving at a consistent Tiger interface? A somewhat beefy utility known simply as UNO [The Sunken Unified GUI] (UB).

The 15.6MB compressed download expands to a beefy 106.4MB which, when run, offers users an intuitive interface for tweaking the appearance of their Tiger operating system. Take the time to read through the included readme taking note of the risks of mucking about with system GUI elements. Rest assured that UNO creates an updated backup of files which can be found within Library/Application Support/

uno interface

Once uncompressed, drag the UNO utility to your Applications or Applications/Utilities folder and double-click to run. Most noticeable are the two utility options: ‘install’ & ‘uninstall’. From this window, users can decide on whether they wish to continue installing the GUI modifier, or to uninstall any previously installed changes. System wide options include:

  • Aqua & Mozilla apps
  • Metal apps
  • Dashboard dock
  • iTunes

UI choices include UNO (lighter sunken UI), UNO shade (darker version of the sunken UI), or the default Aqua appearance. In order to complete the conversion, restart your machine to enjoy the smoothness.

Discuss - 6 Comments

  1. Anshul says:

    Tx for the info but sometimes I actually prefer the subtle inconsistency across the applications.

  2. Derek says:

    To each his own. The differences bothered me immensly. The slightest detail including certain background windows being pinstriped while focused windows were plastic or brushed was annoying enough to force me to hide all other background windows.

  3. jon says:

    I’ve been using UNO for quite some time, and overall I love it (the move to 1.2 streamlined things vey nicely) but I am still patiently awaiting the “decrease the size of the Apple/Spotlight logos in the menubar” to be made optional, If Version Tracker and Macupdate are anything to go buy, so are plenty of others. It just looks so wrong to me. The Firefox theme takes a little more effort, but it does look lovely.

  4. Derek says:

    The menu bar tweak for the Apple and Spotlight icon almost slipped my eye. I thought something looked a little different immediately after running the utility.

  5. Anshul says:

    Hey Derek, what is the IM client that you are using in the images above. Looks neat.

  6. Derek says:

    That would be iChat.