Sidebar styling needs/discussion


#1

Sidebar custom styling, especially using the vibrant/blur/style, it somewhat difficult to customize. Getting it right might take more time then is worthwhile at this point. Before I decide to start digging into it I have some questions:

  • Does any Apple app allow for font-size customization in the UI as opposed to a “content” area where you type? I can’t figure any way to customize Finder sidebar font size or Mail sidebar font size… is it possible?

  • Does Apple use a vibrant dark outline view anywhere? Or if not Apple, does any app use it to good effect? Multiple examples would be great!


Sidebar Background and font
#2

http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20110720153625822

setting the Sidebar icon size to small does shrink the font, but setting it to large doesn’t increase it.

Preferable to the bad old days, I think:
https://www.gadgetdaily.xyz/mac-os-x-tutorial-change-the-fonts-of-the-mail-interface/

Basically Apple used to allow it & now they don’t.

IMHO that’s just as well. I think light/dark mode and font size options would be nice for the sidebar, but nothing more than that necessary.


#3

If I recall correctly, MailMate allows users to style the text in all areas of the app. Clicking on the sidebar and then choosing a font, styles that area.

Edit: Just re-read your question. Sorry I didn’t point out any Apple apps.


#4

Apple Calendar (formerly iCal) has a medium grey sidebar background that is a little darker than the light theme sidebar. BusyCal and Mail appears to have the same sidebar backing as Calendar does.

Scrivener has a customization sidebar (called the Binder). You can change the colors. Also, Folders are larger and bolded.

In this discussion I would observe that the sidebar being an issue at all is about TaskPaper3 being a victim of it’s own success. It is only because I can change the editor’s font color, size and contrast with the background, that the sidebar has become a glaring issue. That is only because the eye seeks balance or symmetry. More font control in the editor highlights no font control in the sidebar.

What I don’t like about Apple is the minimalist way Steve Jobs had with all things designed. Don’t misunderstand me, I am a real fan of Jobs and most of what he developed and I am a fan of Apple -for the most part. Calendar is an example of a real lack of creativity from a company that once touted it’s self as thinking different. Having a relatively small font on a sidebar matches the app designers intent for a relatively small font for the main users window. That is one reason I went with BusyCal, more creative options. That, and not having to check two apps (Reminders and Calendar).

I was using Logic for a good while. That was one of Apples Pro apps and it had really small fonts, If I remember correctly that minimalist, small font display was normal for Apple’s other pro apps. I would much rather get productive and customize my user interface where I can than worry about Apple thinking their product conforms to some standard of mythical cool and their forcing their users to be like Steve (bless him, I know he’s gone now). Apples first Superbowl commercial had a runner throwing a hammer into a conformity screen talking conformity to a bunch if IBM-ish suits. I think Apple could used a dose of their own medicine right about now (end rant) :wink:

Gyaz Mail allows total color change of background and font on message, list and mailbox panels, all of them.

I have been using the dark sidebar with white letters and it does greatly improve the contrast. I have a light background on my editor and I have customized text with tags, etc. I would say that changing sidebar background and font size is still nice, but I no longer consider it as vital. The white on black doesn’t really fit design wise but, it’s functional at least.

ADDED: nvalt


#5

Could I ask what the state of play is with styling the sidebar? I appreciate that there are global settings:

NSAppearanceNameVibrantDark
NSAppearanceNameVibrantLight

However, I could really do with being able to change the font size. I have 5k monitor and the sidebar text is pretty tiny.


#6

Those are your only options currently. I do hope to get back to this, but I don’t expect to add more styling options anytime in the near future.


#7

Thanks for the prompt response!

Even if it were possible to just zoom the sidebar that would work.


#8

I would also like to be able to change some things in the sidebar. Just sayin’ :slight_smile:


#9

I’ve posted about this before, but I’ll add my vote here: being able to theme the colors and fonts in the sidebar is important to me.