At a Glance
I love menu-bar utilities—programs that make their features accessible via a systemwide icon in the menu bar. Most are simple add-ons that do something really useful without taking up room in the Dock. But there’s a drawback to menu-bar utilities: Once you get too many, if your display isn’t big enough, the menus of “real” programs start to crowd out the icons in the menu bar. For desktop Macs, with their ever-increasing display sizes, this isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be, but I still regularly encounter it on laptops.
When this happens, the “solution” is to switch to a program—such as the Finder—with fewer menus, leaving more room for the icons to the right. But what if even the Finder’s menus encroach on your menu-bar extras? That’s the scenario for which NoMenuBar, perhaps the simplest program I’ve ever covered in Mac Gems, was designed. Contrary to what its name might imply, NoMenuBar leaves the menu bar intact. However, the program forgoes all but a single menu of its own, leaving the rest of the menu bar free for other uses. Whenever you want to access a menu-bar icon that’s been overrun by menu titles, just switch to NoMenuBar.
That’s it—NoMenuBar does nothing else. But if your laptop screen is too small to show your menu-bar utilities and program menus at the same time, that may be enough.