Solidifying the Menu Bar in Leopard

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Simple Option

The menu bar in Leopard with transparency turned off in System Preferences
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The menu bar in Leopard with transparency turned off in System Preferences

With Mac OS X Leopard on newer computers the menu bar is transparent. With 10.5.2 or later this option can be configured from System Preferences>Desktop and Screensaver>Desktop, by unticking the "Translucent Menu Bar" option.

Advanced Option

However if you want further control over your menu bar's transparency you can still follow the steps below. Note in 10.5.2 or later you must have "Translucent Menu Bar" ticked for the options below to take affect. You do this with a Terminal command.

The menu bar in Leopard with normal transparency
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The menu bar in Leopard with normal transparency

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer 'EnvironmentVariables' -dict 'CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE' 1

This makes the menubar completely white.

Alternatively you can get a menubar that looks similar to how it looked in Mac OS X Tiger by replacing 1 with 0.62 i.e. by typing:

The menu bar in Leopard with 0.62 transparency
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The menu bar in Leopard with 0.62 transparency

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer 'EnvironmentVariables' -dict 'CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE' 0.62


After doing this you will need to restart your Mac for the changes to take effect.

Note that an admin password is required to make this change. In order to return to the default menu Leopard menu bar:

sudo defaults delete /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer 'EnvironmentVariables'

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