How to Change Mac Snow Leopard Appearance Settings

By Mark L. Chambers

Snow Leopard’s System Preferences window is the personalization section of the operating system, where you can customize the appearance and operation of your Desktop and login account. The Appearance group enables you to change colors and specify details like how your scrolling should work.

To Access the Snow Leopard Appearance settings, just click the System Preferences icon (which looks like a number of gears) on the Dock, and choose the Appearance tab.

Personalize colors and more in the Appearance pane.

Personalize colors and more in the Appearance pane.

These settings are

  • Appearance: From this pop-up menu, choose a color to be used for buttons, menus, and windows.

  • Highlight Color: From this pop-up menu, choose a color to be used to highlight selected text in fields and pop-up menus.

  • Place Scroll Arrows: Select either radio button here to put the scroll bar arrow buttons together (at the bottom of the scroll bar, in the lower-right corner of the window) or at the top and bottom of the scroll bar.

  • Click in the Scroll Bar To: By default, Mac OS X jumps to the next or previous page when you click in an empty portion of the scroll bar. Select the Jump to the Spot That’s Clicked radio button to scroll the document to the approximate position in relation to where you click.

    You can also choose smooth scrolling, which looks cool, but many folks think that it’s too slow compared with the default scrolling speed. If you select the Double Click a Window’s Title Bar to Minimize check box, you can minimize a Finder or application window by simply double-clicking the window’s title bar.

  • Number of Recent Items: The default number of recent applications, documents, and servers is 10. To change the default, click any of the pop-up menus here and choose up to 50.

  • Use LCD Font Smoothing: By default, this check box is enabled, making the text on your LCD flat-panel monitor appear more like the printed page. If you’re using an older CRT monitor, you can turn off this feature to speed up text display slightly.

  • Turn Off Text Smoothing for Font Sizes: Below a certain point size, text smoothing isn’t much good for most on-screen fonts. By default, any font displayed at 8 point or smaller isn’t smoothed, which is suitable for a high-end video card and monitor. You can speed up the display of text by turning off text smoothing for fonts up to 12 point.