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Snow Lepoard’s Blue Glow

Snow Leopard is great. I installed it yesterday and everything worked perfectly—somehow I even got around 20GB of space back though they advertise only 6-7GB. I think that’s partly due to the fact that I used Migration Assistant to transfer from my old MacBook Pro to my new one. But with the combination of upgrading and cleaning out old files from Migration Assistant, I recaptured around 90GB of free space. Not bad for $30.

So- only two complaints:

  1. “Leopard” is an incredibly difficult word to spell
  2. Selected windows in Exposé now have a blue glow that melted one of my retinas

What you probably didn’t know is that John Harmon*, a designer who was laid off at Microsoft in Q4 of 2008 was hired by Apple to their OSX design team in May of 2009. His first assignment was on Snow Leopard, and tasked with creating a way for Exposé to more easily indicate which window was about to be selected. And the Blue Glow of Death was born.

Seriously, I’m surprised Apple gave the go-ahead on the glow. It’s not that big a deal, but it doesn’t match anything else in the OS and just feels strange. And since I couldn’t really stand it, I bet it makes you squirm a little bit, too.

So here’s all you need to do to fix it. You can design your own “glow,” or just download and use mine. They’re just two really simple PNG files. I didn’t get too creative because I just wanted something simple and background-ish, but you could probably come up with some pretty cool effects by experimenting. I created two sets. They’re very similar, but you might be able to tell a difference if you click to enlarge:

Thin Bright:

This theme makes the window highlight just one size.
Download Thin Bright

and Hefty:

This theme has both a large and small window highlight size.
Download Hefty

To swap these for your Blue Eye-Burning Glow, just go like this:

  1. Click on Macintosh HD
  2. Click on System
  3. Click on Library
  4. Click on CoreServices
  5. Right Click on Dock
  6. Select “Show Package Contents”
  7. Click on Resources
  8. Find and delete “expose-window-selection-big.png” and “expose-window-selection-small.png”
    – you will need to authenticate (using your log on password)
  9. Drag your new images (Thin-Bright, Hefty, or your own) in to replace
    – again, you’ll probably need to authenticate
  10. Log out (or restart if you want) and then log back in to activate your new eye-pleasing Exposé selection windows

That’s all there is to it. Hope you found it helpful. If you mess around and decide to create your own, feel free to post ’em here, I’d love to take a look.

*Technically, I made that Microsoft John Harmon story up, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.


1 The Other Drummer { 09.06.09 at 9:47 pm }

THANK YOU. The blue thing was killing me. It looked like something they were testing and forgot to polish before they shipped.

2 Brett { 09.06.09 at 10:26 pm }

I’m glad you found it helpful Dave!

3 goffgough { 09.07.09 at 12:01 am }

Best download since ive installed the new os. blue is ugly, black is hott.

4 Brett { 09.07.09 at 8:09 pm }

Glad you liked it JG. Although I expect you to create something pink and black and post it back.