Safari 4 beta tweaks

In this, the 100th installment of the Macworld Video, I take a look at some tab tweaks for the Safari 4 beta—specifically, how to move the tab bar back below the bookmarks bar. And for those who prefer the new top tabs, I show you how to use color to make the active tab more distinguishable from the inactive tabs.

Download Macworld Video #100

• Format: MPEG-4/H.264

• Resolution: 320 x 240 (iPhone & iPod compatible)

• Size: 17.1MB

• Length: 8 minutes

Show Notes

In the video, I refer to Safari 4 Modifier, which you can read more about in Dan Frakes’ Safari and iTunes Tweakers post in the Mac Gems blog. I also mention this OS X Hints blog entry, which contains many of the same tweaks you can do with Safari 4 Modifier, except I present them in their raw Terminal command form.

To colorize Safari 4 Beta’s tabs, you’ll need a graphics editing program, such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. One free alternative—and one that’s basically as powerful as Photoshop though with an interface that’s nowhere near as Mac-like—is GIMP, a Linux image editor. Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated Mac enthusiasts, you can easily install GIMP yourself, using this GIMP OS X package—it even includes a QuickLook plug-in, so you can QuickLook your GIMP files in 10.5.

To run GIMP on OS X, you also need to have X11 installed. This is an optional install when you install OS X, so I include some basic instructions for installing it from your OS X install disc in the video. Once you have X11 installed, GIMP will run with a double-click, like any other OS X application (although there are some major interface differences once you’re in GIMP, as you’ll see).

Finally, here are the actual files that need to be modified for this hint—as noted in the video, these are found within the Safari application bundle, in the Contents -> Resources folder.

  • To colorize the active tab, copy and edit these files: AW_ActiveTabCenterFill.png, AW_ActiveTabLeftCap.png, AW_ActiveTabLeftCapFirstTab.png, AW_ActiveTabRightCap.png. If you’d like to use the exact shade of blue that I used, the three values I used in the Color Balance panel were -82, -25, and 14.
  • To colorize the inactive tabs, copy and edit these files: AW_InactiveTabCenterFill.png, AW_InactiveTabLeftCap.png, AW_InactiveTabRightCap.png, AW_TitlebarCenterFill.png, AW_TitlebarLeftCap.png, AW_TitlebarRightCap.png.

Although it’s stated clearly in the video, please remember to make a backup of these files before you start editing—in case you make a mistake, or want to revert to the stock files at some point in the future.

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