Certain controls, such as checkboxes and radio buttons, gained animations, whereas animations in other places were removed, such as the "poof" animation when removing an icon from the Dock and the "cube" animation when fast-switching to another user account. Apple changed the system typeface to Helvetica Neue. Yosemite also added a 'dark theme' you can turn on in the settings which makes the dock and menu bar black.
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The white toolbar buttons regained a slightly glossy look, the spinning pinwheel was redesigned and the Vibrancy effect was reduced in certain areas, such as Mission Control. The system typeface was changed once more, to Apple's own San Francisco typeface, concurrent with iOS 9 and following the typeface's release in watchOS in April The Windows version of Safari, in version 3, included a functional Aqua look and feel that was very similar to macOS.
As of version 4, a more Windows-like theme was employed using the standard Windows user interface controls and window border. QuickTime for Windows uses the same theme as seen in older versions of QuickTime for macOS , with brushed-metal windows and Aqua buttons on top. Gray, white and blue are the three principal colors which define the Aqua style.
Window toolbars, window backgrounds, buttons, menus and other interface elements are all found in either of these colors. For instance, toolbars and sidebars are often grey or metal-colored, window backgrounds and popup menus are white and buttons in older systems also scrollbar handles are accented with a bright blue. Users can choose a graphite appearance instead of the default blue one. When using the graphite appearance, controls have a slate -like, grey-blue or grey color, including the primary window controls which are red, yellow and green with the default appearance.
The appearance option was added at the behest of developers and users who found the blue appearance garish or unprofessional. Users can also freely choose a highlight color for text and file selection. Historically, Aqua had two window designs: the default Aqua windows and "brushed metal" windows. Aqua windows typically have a metal-like or gray titlebar with three buttons on the left side for closing, minimizing and zooming or entering fullscreen mode.
Visually, these buttons used to be placed on top, but later appeared 'sunken' into the window. Aqua windows have almost no frame or outside border, instead drop shadows are used to separate and distinguish active from inactive windows. The aesthetic of the window backgrounds changed from pin-striped to white backgrounds. Brushed-metal windows had a thick frame with a metallic texture or dark-gray background and sunken buttons and inner frames.
They had the additional property of being draggable at every point of the frame instead of just the titlebar and toolbar. Apple recommended brushed-metal windows for applications that mimic real-world devices such as iTunes or are used to interface with such devices such as iSync ,  but was criticised by designers for not following its own guidelines or applying it inconsistently it was also used in Safari or Finder.
In addition to titlebars, windows can also have toolbars with separate buttons. Up to Leopard, toolbars were visually separated from the titlebar and had the same background as the window frame or were pin-striped. OS X Yosemite brought a compacter version of the toolbar that fused the titlebar and toolbar together, made it shorter and removed the window title for example, in Safari 8 and later. Drawers are accessory sidebar views that can slide out from any edge of a window except the top edge.
They can be resized perpendicular to their window edge but follow the window's size in the other direction. Drawers were once frequently used to display controls and information that did not need to be always visible, but Apple now recommends against their use. Sheets are dialog boxes that are modal to a specific window.
When opened, they are thrust towards the user like a sheet of paper, hence the name. They are partially transparent and focus attention on the content of the sheet. The parent window's controls are disabled until the sheet is dismissed, but the user is able to continue work in other windows including those in the same application while the sheet is open.
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Menus are backed with a slightly translucent solid gray, and when menu items are highlighted they appear blue. In application menus, which run in a single bar across the top of the screen , keyboard shortcuts appear to the right-hand side of the menu whilst the actual menu item is on the left.
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In Yosemite, the menus are much more translucent and have a blur effect. Drop down menus for use in windows themselves are also available in several varieties. The standard "pop up" menu is white with a blue end cap with opposing arrows, whilst 'pull down' menus only have one downward facing arrow in the end cap. Text boxes are black on white text with a sunken effect border. In addition to regular square text boxes, rounded search text boxes are available. For more extensive text requirements, there is also a multi-line text field. A combined text box and pull down menu is available, which allows the user to type in a value in addition to choosing from a menu.
There is also a combination textbox and picker control, which allows the user to type in a date and time or edit it with directional buttons. Whitespace before and after the tokens is trimmed. Standard push buttons with rounded corners are available in two varieties: white and blue. A blue button is the default action, and in OS releases prior to Yosemite, would appear to pulse to prompt the user to carry out that action.
The action of a blue button can usually also be invoked with the return key. White buttons are usually associated with all other actions. Also available are rounded bevel buttons, designed to hold an icon; standard square buttons; glass square buttons and round buttons. In addition, circular, purple online help buttons are available which display help relative to the current task when clicked. Disclosure triangles , although technically buttons, allow views of controls to be shown and hidden to preserve space.
In macOS, empty check boxes are small, white rounded rectangles. When they are checked, they turn blue and a checkmark is present. They are essentially buttons which can be toggled on or off. Radio buttons are similar in appearance and behaviour except they are circular and contain a dot instead of a check. Radio button are classed into groups of which only one can be activated at a time. Tables and lists can be broadly categorised in three ways: A standard multi-columnar table with space to enter values or place other interface elements such as buttons; An outline view that can contain disclosure triangles to show and hide sets of data; and a Miller columns view akin to the column view in the Finder.
All table views can use alternating blue and white row backgrounds. The progress bar itself is available in two varieties: indeterminate, which simply shows diagonal blue and white stripes in animation with no measure of progress; or determinate, which shows a blue pulsing bar against a white background proportional to the percentage of a task completed.
The spinning wheel indicator, also found in the Mac OS X startup screen since version Many other interfaces have adopted this device, including the Firefox and Camino web browsers and many Web 2. In Yosemite, the progress bar was changed to a thin, light gray. The "indeterminate" variation kept the pulses, but slower and spaced out. A progress indicator now appears during boot, replacing the spinning wheel indicator found in earlier versions. Sliders are available in three types: one with tick marks and a triangular scrubber, one with a round scrubber and no tick marks and a circular slider which can be rotated.
All are available horizontally or vertically. The circular slider is simply a gray dot on a white circle which can be rotated to set values. When clicked, it shows the standard macOS color palette. Tabs in macOS are nearly identical to push buttons, with the unselected tab s being white and the selected tab being blue. Image "wells" are also available: a small, sunken container into which image files can be dropped. New icons appeared across the system, including a new flatter, glossier Finder icon and a new System Preferences icon.
Mac OS X Tiger brought more subtle changes, including the unified titlebar scheme. Tabs were altered to appear as normal segmented buttons. The Apple menu icon was toned down to a more matte appearance and the new Spotlight search utility was permanently bound to the very right of the menu bar in the same color and gradient of the Apple menu. Aqua windows and "brushed metal" windows obtained the same metal-like, gray look, pin-striped backgrounds were removed entirely, toolbars and titlebars were fused into a whole, differences between active and inactive windows became more distinct through thicker drop shadows and a monochrome appearance of inactive windows, the color of the menubar was changed into gray with an optional semi-transparency look on capable Macs and the Dock obtained a 3D look with a reflective glass-like 'floor'.
The Dock 's design, when placed on the left or right side, changed to a black translucent background with a white border and rounded corners. Context menus had slightly-rounded corners and numerous icons were redesigned, including folder icons and System Preferences icons. Most notably, the context menu of Dock items changed from a solid white to a translucent black.
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Scrollbars were removed and scrollbar handles turned into thin, semi-transparent bars that disappear when not used. The corner radii of push buttons were reduced, giving an appearance similar to Mac OS 8 and 9. The gel-like appearance of most components was replaced with a slightly glossy and flatter look. Window backgrounds became slightly brighter and window corners were rounded.
Lion also added more animations. OS X Mountain Lion brought only minor changes and changed the Dock's appearance into a frosted-glass style, with rounded corners, rectangular indicator lights, a new diagonal separator and a new Trash icon. OS X Mavericks dispensed with several rich and ornamental designs, reflecting the design overhaul in iOS 7. The applications Calendar , Contacts and Notes respectively lost their leather, book and notepad appearance all introduced in Lion. Linen textures in Notification Center and Launchpad were removed as well and replaced with simple gray backgrounds. Apple incorporated the same saturated frosted-glass effect, called "Vibrancy", across the system.
A similar effect was applied to toolbars, but they maintained their gray appearance. Toolbar buttons became white and Apple introduced a more compact type of toolbar that removed the window title, but retained the toolbar buttons for example, in Safari. Certain controls, such as checkboxes and radio buttons, gained animations, whereas animations in other places were removed, such as the "poof" animation when removing an icon from the Dock and the "cube" animation when fast-switching to another user account.