Skin Your Mac To Look Like A Leopard

by Tanner Godarzi Oct 05, 2007

10.5 Leopard is nigh upon us, and while the visuals may have improved from previous releases, there are those who want the GUI goodness of the new OS while maintaining support for older Macs. This guide will show you step by step how to skin your cat (10.4) into a Leopard.

There are multiple ways to do this. You can use some dirty hacks and run the risk of effectively killing your Mac; well, at least you can do an OS restore. Or you might want to run the free route, avoiding every bit of donation or shareware you can find. Better yet, you can go down the easiest route, which I am going to focus on here. True, if you like what you see you’ll have to pay for it, but that shouldn’t be a problem because you’ll be supporting some awesome Software.

The very first thing you’ll want to do, no, will need to do, is install ShapeShifter. I don’t care if you need to take the cat out, upgrade your OS, or get in a bit of brushed metal nostalgia, just install ShapeShifter. Oh, and don’t forget to disable all third party theme hacks.

The reason I decided to use ShapeShifter, besides simplicity, was for customizability. While the software requires $20 after the demo period, almost every add-on is free. If you’re not happy with some of the things mentioned in the article you can tweak it to your heart’s content.

Next off, you’ll want to download Clear Dock, a little add-on for ShapeShifter that allows you to customize your dock, and in this case will allow to install a Leopard-like Dock. It won’t include the seizure inducing blue, electrically charged particles that show if an app is running or not.  Just remember, you’ll want to make the dock clear so the background image doesn’t conflict.

Now onto the meat of it all: Liger. No, it’s not a new OS X update, but the theme itself with all the awesome goodies. It’s a cross between Leopard and Tiger but it’s more Leopard at the core.

So you’ll want to download that here and install the GUI theme. Once applied, go ahead and run the package installer to get everything going. Now you’ll be rocking a Leopard look-a-like, but what about the nitty gritty and some extra stuff? We can’t really imitate the new OS, but we can use some add-ons and substitutes.

If you just love stacks you can run them in this way. First, drag a folder down to the dock next to the Trash Can, click and hold, then voila, you have a list of all the things in that folder.

Now wallpapers: if you want the Grass version, hit up here and the space themed one here.


  • Wow, that was useless

    Habadasher had this to say on Oct 05, 2007 Posts: 20
  • Much like your comment Habadasher…

    Cool article, though I’m suprised that you didn’t mention using Menushade to replicate the semi-transparent menu-bar.

    Solsys had this to say on Oct 05, 2007 Posts: 1
  • with Liger You don’t need Menushade…

    mat!-) had this to say on Oct 06, 2007 Posts: 13
  • Why pray would you want a leopard-like dock?

    simo66 had this to say on Oct 09, 2007 Posts: 78
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