journal: mac

A first look at CandyBar 3

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Believe it or not, I’ve never used CandyBar ($29, $24 to upgrade) until now. I’ve never really had the need to tinker with the appearance of OS X.

Well, until Leopard, anyway. I switched off the 3D Dock, and have even modified the 2D Dock to something, uh, less white-border-y (I use the so-called Niqu Dock, but with the standard divider and active app indicator). And with the mixed reactions to Leopard’s folder icons and semi-transparent menubar, there’s no better time for developers of Mac UI tweak apps (ShapeShifter aside—Unsanity’s still working on that). So let’s take a quick look at this tasty morsel known as CandyBar.

The delicious chocolate coating

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Icon Quick Look in CandyBar 3.

First and foremost, CandyBar is Leopard-only, as it makes use of some Leopard-only technology. At first glance, it certainly looks like a Leopard application: no side window borders, blue sidebar, medium-gray window theme.  Beyond that, CandyBar 3 includes support for Leopard’s monster-sized 512 x 512-pixel icons, Quick Look for icon previews (it also includes a Finder Quick Look plugin for previewing icontainers), and Dock modification support. Sweet!

The soft nougat filling

Modifying the Dock is simple: drag replacement images into their respective image wells, and click the Apply Dock button. No mess, no hacking. Dock modification has a couple other nice touches: you can also modify the divider and indicator lights for the 2D Dock. And if you change your mind, just click the Restore Images button. Nice! But there is one more thing: some Icontaners (The Icon Factory’s file format for icon collections) made with Leopard in mind also include Dock styles, simplifying the delivery of Dock themes. Cool.

Previous versions of CandyBar were designed to simply allow you to change system icons. CandyBar 3, however, merges the functions of CandyBar with Pixadex, which is Panic and The Icon Factory’s icon index application (think iPhoto for icon collections). I just have to ask, what took you guys so long? The merger of these two applications just seems like such a common-sense move. I’m surprised the two weren’t merged back at version 1.0.

My first impressions? I like it. CandyBar 3 is a cool little app. I’ve spent maybe a half hour poking around with it, and it’s already making me hungry for more icons. I’m not even much of a tweaker! If you have even a passing interest in tweaking your Mac, give CandyBar a look.

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My take was that it was a bit expensive for a program that just changed your icons.  It almost seems like it should be freeware, or something nominal.


I can’t believe I wrote this and neglected to link to the CandyBar page on Panic’s site. Here it is:

Also, for those who are curious, CandyBar 3 is $29 (if you already own CandyBar 2 or Pixadex 2, it’s $24).


Hello there

How do you add the standard divider and active app indicator to a pre-configured theme such as Niqu Dock?



Tracked: Peniuary

Deep Thought: A first look at CandyBar 3

Tracked on: Peniuary at 01-Feb-13 08:50 AM

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