Saturday, 30 July 2011

Change Mac OS X 10.7 Lion iCal and Address Book Skins from Leather to Aluminium - Easy Method

Revised: 17/2/12 - Updated to fix new image files included in 10.7.3 Update.

Please note these will not work with 10.8 Mountain Lion.  If you are looking for the Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion skins, either scroll up the blog or go here.

I am not a fan of the new leather title bar in iCal on Lion... what were they thinking? Now all we need is a wood-effect dashboard for our cars and rotary-dial iPhones...

I created new images files to go inside iCal.app and AddressBook.app to give them an aluminium look like previous versions of OS X.

This is a simplified version of my previous post which uses a package installer to apply the skins automatically without you having to manually modify the iCal.app and Address Book.app files.

For the simplified installer based method, continue reading...

DMG files for Automatic Installation (Last updated 17/02/12)
Address Book Skin - 10.7_Address_Book_Skin_Installer.dmg
iCal Skin (v3) - 10.7_iCal_Skin_Installer.dmg

These skins are provided free of charge but please make a donation if you use them regularly :)



IMPORTANT NOTE
Make a copy of iCal.app / AddressBook.app before you start (Copy / Paste them somewhere safe).
If you don't make a backup you will need to reinstall to revert back to the original look.

They look like this: -
and this..
Reverting back
If you decide you want to go back to the original Lion versions and you made a backup before you started, do the following: -

1 - Delete iCal.app or Address Book.app - This can be done in Finder by dragging the application from the Applications folder to the trash can.

If you receive the error 'iCal can't be moved or deleted because it is requires be Mac OS X', go to Utilities > Terminal.app and enter the following command: -

sudo rm -rf /Applications/iCal.app

or

sudo rm -rf /Applications/Address\ Book.app

2 - Copy back the backup of iCal / Address Book you made earlier in to the Applications folder.

90 comments:

  1. Works like a charm, but your Donate button does not!

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  2. thank you - works great. The 'leather' look was distasteful on many levels - threw something in your tip jar!

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  3. Thanks very much! Glad others find it useful. So far I am really liking Lion, apart from the odd choice of style on these two apps, I think apple did a bang up job.

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  4. I guess someon at Apple is a big of Microsoft Bob.

    Thanks for saving the rest of us from their bad taste!

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  5. Follow up - I used the Donate button on the right side panel and made a payment. The button embedded in the blog post did not work for me (Lion, Firefox)

    Keep up the good work!

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  6. Thank you :) I think the donate button is fixed now :D

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  7. Awesome, thanks so much for putting these together... I hated that leather!

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  8. Thank you; that leather... I couldn't believe Apple would do something as crass as that...

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  9. Hi! Thanks I just installed your skin! What was apple thinking. I don't understand the new iCloud logo either.

    There's one more 'problem' though. In iCal, the font of 'Day Week Month Year' 'Timezone' and 'iCal' are still kinda brown/ yellowish.

    Do you know a way to change this?

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  10. Unfortunately not.

    I have looked through all the non-binaries in iCal.app and there is nothing useful there.

    My guess is the colour is set in one of the .nib files, unfortunately, without the source-code, it is very difficult to decompile these.

    Would be great if anyone finds away though.

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  11. it would be good to provide the backup file just in case in the zip file for example...

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  12. I second what Kevin said, I forgot to back up my files

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  13. Those files would be copyright to Apple which is why they are not provided here.

    You shoulda backed up :)

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  14. Thanks much man - this fixes one of four of my major complaints with the new iCal. I can deal with the brown text (for now, until it's decompiled), but any luck on:

    1) Turn off that damn page turn animation! Seriously, that is just terrible, especially when you have a few months forward and backward to flip.
    2) Turn off new events setting to "all-day" events by default.
    3) The weird location of the "today" button - can we get that centered?

    Also, my long standing complaint with iCal is its inability to keep a text field active when switching between app, such as tabbing to Mail to retrieve more info. Every time I tab back to iCal in a field I was typing, I have to re-click to enter data again.

    Don't get me wrong - I love iCal's syncing ability and wouldn't change it for the world. But these issues are a serious hindrance on getting work done.

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  15. Thanks for the good work.

    Found a small improvement for the Address Book.
    The left and right sides have a repeating gradient. This can be changed by removing the vertical gradient in the leatherTile.png in Photoshop eg.

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  16. If I copy from my other computer I should be able to restore...right?

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  17. Fan fuggin' tastic... Lion really has pushed the boat out in terms of polish and finish... All the little niggles I had with OS X's gradually added hodgepodge of functions have been cleared... And I feel that I'm using a dream OS, as near to perfect as is currently possible.... And then they wake me from my slumber with a slap in the face that is these two UI ABOMINATIONS (there is no other word for the monstrosity of egregious UI design displayed here!) and I realise OS X still has some jaggies to smooth.

    Nice work, mate!

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  18. worked perfectly, thanks! It also fixed the issue I was having with the right window of the to-dos!
    I will send $$! c

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  19. Very well done - works great! Will donate now...

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  20. Thank you, what a relief! I cannot understand, how Apple developed such a bad taste.

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  21. I Dont mind the leather of Lion, but Black leather please!! Not that horrible brown.. So to your Alloy mod for now. Will Donate, many thanks.

    R.

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  22. in the day view, the text on the left side seems to have a display problem. can you fix this? (date on the top to large, entries for next days half readable). i can send you a screenshot if helpful.

    marcel.bernet(at)gmail.com

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  23. That ugly "western theme" had been making me itch every time I looked at it. Thank you SO much for this patch!

    (What WERE they thinking?)

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  24. Awesome! Just donated.

    If you can ever bring back iCal's Calendar list so that it shows ALL the time (like in all previous OS versions), I'll donate again!

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  25. Love it :) I have happliy donated. Thanks dude.

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  26. FYI Time Machine will have the original iCal and Address Book. You do use Time Machine, don't you?

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  27. THANK YOU! that was hideous and i'm so glad i don't have to suffer it anymore. i will donate as soon as i can afford to, just waiting for some checks to clear :D

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  28. This didn't work on my Mac. I did exactly what was outlined and my calendar and address book are still the same ugly skin that came with Lion. Someone help me please!

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  29. Sorry---I did the installation one more time and it worked. I have no idea why it didn't work the first time.

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  30. It worked just fine. I have already made my donation. Thank you!

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  31. Thanks.....will follow your blog for more updates! One thing I have been looking for is the ability to change timezones for events on my iPhone calendar. We can do this on iCal but not the iPhone calendar. Have you come across anything that enables this?

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  32. I customize my Ical to carbon fiber instead of the plain silver.
    and my address book to an Aqua Blue...looks Awesome!!!!
    screen shots here:http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q296/spoonciv/TO%20show/ScreenShot2011-08-23at91451AM.pnghttp://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q296/spoonciv/TO%20show/ScreenShot2011-08-23at91434AM.png

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  33. I customize my Ical to carbon fiber instead of the plain silver.
    and my address book to an Aqua Blue...looks Awesome!!!!
    screen shots here: http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q296/spoonciv/TO%20show/ScreenShot2011-08-23at91451AM.png AND HERE: http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q296/spoonciv/TO%20show/ScreenShot2011-08-23at91434AM.png

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  34. Thanks - works like a dream. Donation made with pleasure
    Now, can you (or anybody) fix another major gripe I have with iCal Lion?
    In Snow Leopard iCal I could add line breaks to an entry by pressing “alt-Enter” and the lines would be separated in the entry:

    Item one
    Item two
    Item three etc

    iCal Lion still allows you to press “alt-Enter” during editing an item, but when you view the calendar later it looks like this:

    Item one Item two Item three etc.

    Not a big deal for some, but I am a surgeon and use iCal to plan my operating lists … each patient had a separate line in a single entry (my operating list) … now each entry is just a confusing block of text.

    I contacted Apple and the answer was a polite but frustrating “that’s the new interface …” This is really frustrating. WYSIWYG was a basic tenant of computing decades ago … why the step backwards with Lion?

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  35. Thanks a lot this – this was a disgrace.

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  36. Thanks a million, the esthetics of simplicity reign once more on my MacBook!

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  37. thank you! that was so ugly! i was almost in tears today when my lion arrived.

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  38. I didn't only like the information on the site but I also liked that you have provided the way to revert the changes made in the system as if in case some one didn't like it he or she can make changes accordingly

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  39. Merci!!!!! This leather look WAS a disaster

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  40. I don’t know where to post this but I keep getting some doubles in Address Book and how I knew this was by the number of contacts on the bottom of the page. Now there doesn’t seem to be a count of addresses any more. Is there a way to see this or does your update have this in there? If so, I would love to donate and apply your changes.

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  41. No, this doesn't alter the functionality of iCal / AB in anyway, purely it's visual appearance. Re. Duplicates in AB, I would suggest you back up / export your contacts, quit AB, from Finder, click Go to Folder.. type 'Library', then go to 'Application Support' delete the 'Address Book' folder. If that doesnt work, also delete Library > Preferences > com.apple.addressbook.plist. After either of these you will need to reimport the backup you made earlier. HTH

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  42. thank you very awesome! my eyes don't hurt anymore!
    only one thing. the text in the top bar of iCal is still dark brown. should be dark grey.. just to be picky ; )

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  43. Thank you so much, totally didn't like the leather look and was so happy when I saw your post! The installation was a breeze too boot! Thanks!!!

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  44. We've gotta find out who the microsoft boob is that did this and weed him/her out! :)

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  45. Who would want to go back? I didn't back up anyway. How can I go back if need be?

    -C

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  46. great for iMac but does not work on iPad
    any solution??
    thanks

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  47. Thanks! However the dark brown print on the gray background looks a little odd :(

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. Thanks so much! I've just switched to 10.7, and was glad to get rig of the awful brown colour.

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  50. Thank you for saving me from that hideous brown throwback to the days when just any old graphic was cool. The last thing I would have expected from Apple! Or at least if they offered it as an optional skin and let you choose something better ... truly hideous. My blood pressure went up just looking at it. You've probably saved my life.

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  51. Thanks a million. Those leather look graphics are hideous!

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  52. I'm hoping that they completely remove storage limits. Do it for April Fools Day. Then buy Dropbox and do the same thing.

    PC optimization
    Setup, Configure and Troubleshoot Wireless Network (Wi-Fi)
    operating system support

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  53. Changed the skin using your .dmg files, but know I cannot accept invitations that I receive via e-mail. I get an error message where ical tells me that it cannot access the ical archive? PLEASE help!!!!

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  54. This worked perfectly at first, but after my recent update to 10.7.3, my iCal has reverted to a weird in-between of the 2 skin colors. Here's what I mean: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28956267/iCal_weird.png

    Hopefully you can help :)

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  55. Same here with the update to 10.7.3 - otherwise this worked great. Thanks a lot!

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  56. Thanks for the great utility.

    May I add another voice to the request for a fix to the iCal problems following the OS X 10.7.3 update?

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  57. Hey guys, just posted a revised version of the iCal skin to account for the changes in 10.7.3 update.

    Just download the v3 Skin from the main article on this blog.

    Those pesky guys will do anything to sneak in some leather :D

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  58. anybody else not able to custom format phone numbers? Seems to work only in leather

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  59. Love these mods. The leather look is atrocious, have no idea how it was approved. Someone is sleeping at the wheel.

    Does not work in Mountain Lion. (And yes the atrocious leather is still there in ML).

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    Replies
    1. I think these UI designers are getting away with crap because Steve Jobs is not around. Have you seen the Reminders and Notes apps in Mountain Lion? One has a black window and the other has a brown one, bordering faux leather. Totally inconsistent!

      Delete
  60. Thank you! A small donation from Norway is hereby made with pleasure :)

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  61. Great! Thanks. I really have no idea what they were thinking. They have been doing a great job for years taking a lead having lean, slick and consistent UI's - but this was a rediculous step in the wrong direction.

    Great fix!

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  62. Loved the fix. It's worked great! But I just updated my software and it's no longer working ... the buttons on ical are showing through brown and Contacts is all the way back to the original look. Any insight into why this happened?

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  63. Thanks a lot! Too bad the window fonts in iCal stay in that fugly brown color. I don't know what the hell was Apple thinking when they did this.

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  64. What a bunch of wimps. The silver Mac theme is so so Windows. The leather is so classy and Rich. }:-)

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  65. What do we do in 10.7.3, as this doesn't function. How do we revert to other look and get the functionality back???? Or just make this work in Mountain Lion! :)

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    Replies
    1. Just download the updated version at the top of this article, it was fixed to work with 10.7.3 some time ago :)

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  66. There is now a 10.8 / Mountain Lion version up

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  67. I don't care much about leather looks (ugly OK) but I have issues with the fonts for days and the thin lines separating days and the light grey on white typeface... is there any way to modify that, I would make a donation for that!
    Thanks a lot.

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  68. Works great. So much better than the Apple default. Donation made, thank you!

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  69. So many thanks, that fake leather gold thing - it reminded it me of Mercs from the 80s

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  70. The installers are not available now that mobile me has closed. Can you please repost?

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  71. Yes, please update the mobile me link. Thanks for doing this.

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  72. I can't get this to work on my retina MBP. I download and run the install app. All goes well, but no change to the hideous leather. Any ideas?

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  73. My guess is there are different textures included for Retina.. Maybe you could send me your retina MBP and I'll fix it?!

    Seriously though I have one on order which may (or may not) arrive this week, once it does I'll take a look :D

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  74. I haven't got a Retina but the same thing happened on my MBP with Mountain Lion… Have you got an update in mind ? ;-)
    Thanks.

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  75. Those who hate the leatherlook.. why accept the brownish Contacts-icon in the Dock??
    It's easy to change with some basic knowledge of photo-editing.
    In Finder/Applications right click the Contacts app, get info, click the topleft icon, ⌘ + C, open any photo editor, open new file from copy, desaturate the picture, select the picture without the wite background, ⌘ + C, and paste this in the topleft icon in the "get info" window.

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  76. Thank you so much for that skin

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  77. hi...Im student from Informatics engineering nice article,
    thanks for sharing :)

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