Historically, Apple has always been something of a technological control freak company. Apple prefers to decide how both iOS and OS X look and function, and don’t give users many options for customization.
As much as we might like to argue against that controlling methodology, it’s worked well for Apple, and for customers. Still, there are ways to change the Mac’s look here and there, and even add new functions and do both for free.
Free To Customize For Free
At the high end of the scale of customization options for Mac users is CandyBar. It’s been around a few years, and turns a plain, ordinary Mac into one that reflects your tastes. It’s now free but unsupported.
Mac users also have half a dozen or more options to both customize the Mac’s user interface and add new functionality.
Three of our long time favorites are Deeper, Onyx, and Maintenance.
For the most part, all three apps combine to do something that other Mac apps charge to do. Clean, repair, customize, and unlock hidden features in OS X and Mac apps.
Also on the list is the less acclaimed but useful MacUtil. As with other utilities, MacUtil gives you options to change the Dock, modify the Finder, update the OS X interface, and do a few other tricks.
Here are some examples. In the Dock tab you get options to toggle the Dock from 3D to 2D. It’s not better; just different.
One click adds a separator line between Dock icons. You get the idea.
The Finder tab has about a dozen options, including a way to make the Finder quit just like any other app.
Or, disable animations.
In the User Interface tab you control animation speed, toggle iCloud save to disk first, and toggle the Menubar’s transparency (among others).
The Miscellaneous tab can disable the Dashboard, make the Mac’s screen follow the keyboard focus when zoomed in, change the keyboard repeat rate, and even change the LaunchPad’s background image.
Not bad for free, right? Most of these tweaks are innocuous, but a little extra functionality and more customization makes the Mac a bit more personal than how Apple seems to prefer.