Skin Your Mac OS X Leopard with Magnifique

Tired of the way Mac OS X Leopard looks? No, me neither. Still, if you want a change of scenery, it’s easy to try some new Leopard themes with the Magnifique theme manager.

Magnifique – Main site

To get started, install the Magnifique app (drag and drop). Here’s the main program window:

Magnifique - Main
Magnifique - Main

Themes available for download are shown in the bottom-left corner. There are only about 16 themes available as of this typing, but I expect that number to grow soon. You can get a preview (and download) of the theme just by selecting it.

Once you apply a new theme, you can see its new effects by hitting the Restart Finder and Restart Dock buttons at the top of the app. It’s the same as issuing the killall Finder and killall Dock commands in the Terminal.

One quick note: when applying a new theme, notice that you have a few choices available. Certain themes will allow more choices than others.

Be wary when applying a new theme and choosing the Apply custom mods option (if available). Whether malicious or not, it leaves the most room for the developer to harm your system. Read any and all documentation about that theme before you enable this option!

Some Sample Skins

Here are a few themes that I have tried:


A beautiful, streamlined theme that includes skins for Quicktime, VLC, and Adium.

Nothing drastic, but this is my favorite theme that I have tried so far. What can I say? I appreciate elegance.

Veritas comes with a dock mod, custom mods, and a selection of wallpapers.

Black Mac OS X

As the name implies, this is a dark theme for Leopard. I tend to like dark themes in general, but this one is not as satisfying as I thought it would be.

The blue and black clash pretty hard. If you have some custom icon packs, that would definitely help.

I’d love to see a dark skin that fully enshrouds the Finder, erasing all blue elements.

Milk (Leopard Port)

This is a lighter-colored theme modeled after a popular Linux skin.

Like most of the available themes, the changes are subtle, but noticeable. Actually, if I were to offer any complaint about Magnifique, it’s that most of the available themes don’t offer much striking contrast. Hopefully that will change with the addition of more themes.

To remove a theme and get back to normal, just hit the Uninstall theme button. Your original Leopard theme will be quickly restored.

Do you have a favorite Magnifique skin for Leopard? Do you use a different skinning program? Let us know in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Skin Your Mac OS X Leopard with Magnifique

  1. I am interested in this and any other theme managers or ways to change themes in Mac OSX Leopard or Snow Leopard most importantly because I am thinking about switching to Mac from Windows and I’m use to being able to customize, and I am a graphic design artist and specialize in changing how windows looks in many ways. I wanna be able to do this with Mac OSX Snow Leopard.

    Any chance I could get some links and information about some programs and ways to customize Mac OSX Snow Leopard from you? I search around but can’t find anything. Thank you.

  2. the black mac osx theme looks better when titlebar transparency is disabled, making it black. the apple logo becomes the shiny silver one however the clock is still black, so you can remove it and replace it with iStat menu’s clock in a white font and size 14. it works very well

  3. Magnifique is long gone for good. It was a good tool for Leopard, but messed a few Snow Leopard configurations making impossible to use the system so, the authors retired it from the web. Is no longer available and I DO NOT recommend its use, specially to newbies.

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