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15 OS X Customization Resources

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Comparatively speaking, OS X users don’t cutomize the interface of OS X as much as their Windows counterparts. I personally love the OS X interface and have no desire to significantly change it, but there are certainly quite a large number of people who do.

Below a listing of some websites that offer resources to pimp your installation of OS X…everything from themes to icons and wallpapers. Enjoy.


If you plan on installing any themes or changing out lots of icons, I highly suggest you take a gander at some of these apps.

ShapeShifter ShapeShifter, by the one and only Unsanity, is pretty much THE app you need if you want to install themes on your mac. It really is a must have and will only set you back $20. If you’re a tad weary of buying it, they also offer a trial of it. So you’ve really got nothing to lose.

ThemePark So you’ve been using customized OS X themes for quite some time and think you’ve got a good idea for your own them? Then checkout ThemePark. It’s completely free and allows you to create themes that are compatible with ShapeShifter. It will even let you modify the interfaces of some of your favorite apps.

CandyBar Panic’s CandyBar gives you the ability to control what icons are used for every item in OS X. It’s the safest way to play around with icons as it’s got a ‘reset’ option so you can always go back to the original should things get out of hand. With it’s simple drag-and-drop interface and $12.95 price tag, it’s a must-have and a steal!

IconBuilder Iconfactory’s IconBuilder is a filter for Photoshop and Fireworks that makes creating icons in the icon format a snap. IconBuilder basically lets you create any type of icon file for any system (OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, etc etc). This is a must have app for anybody serious about creating and distributing icons.


The following are websites where you can download themes, icons, and wallpapers till you drop!

And there we have it! I’m sure there are some other resources I missed, so if there’s one you know about that I missed, just post them in the comments.

UPDATE: Seems I missed the Wallpapers on Iconfactory. List updated.

38 Responses to “15 OS X Customization Resources”

  1. Everitt-

    I am having difficulty opening installing shapeshifter 2.5 I am trying to load the trial to see if I like it. Unsanity installer is unexpectedly closing each time I attempt. ????

  2. Liibsuse

    ShapeShifter does not belong here. ShapeShifter does NOT work for OSX and I ended up paying $20 for a program that I can’t use. It is my own fault for not actually reading through the requirements before paying, but this blog post is very misleading in that regard.

  3. Richard

    It’s realy a nice blog..:) thanks for posting this for everyone but dors anybody know where can I download a original mac wallpapers? I mean like vista it has many original high resolution wallpapers… Thanks…:)

  4. Agreed – Uno may not be the most customizable but it’s perfect for me – it takes all of the design elements of Apple’s nice UI and doesn’t have a lot of annoying idiosyncrasies that themes for programs like ShapeShifter often seem to have.

    Also, I agree with Sophie, really is a great site. Arguably the best.

  5. Bart Hanson

    Tom, to enable tabbing to all controls just open System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts >and enable Full keyboard access-All Controls.

  6. “Is there a way to customise the default button in a dialogue box? I can’t think how many times I have tried to tab across to “Don’t Save” in TextEdit, or pressed “D” to try to activate the shortcut for that button…”

    apple D will do the trick.

  7. Many of those places have users release wallpapers, and icons. is great for icons, MacThemes is great for themes (people modify themes and release them often too), and all the other stuff. DeviantART is also a good resource of wallpapers, icons, and sometimes people host themes and screenshots of their desktops their too, to give you an idea of what is possible.

  8. Is there a way to customise the default button in a dialogue box? I can’t think how many times I have tried to tab across to “Don’t Save” in TextEdit, or pressed “D” to try to activate the shortcut for that button…

  9. Thanks for the kind words Josh! Just for the record, the Iconfactory does indeed offer desktop pictures or “wallpapers”. We started offering them after the 6.0 site redesign back in August. Just head to the Freeware section and check the navigation links in the right sidebar. Thanks again!