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Appearance Addons for "Appearance Manager"

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (6 votes)
Year released:

[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
appearanceaddons.sit (4.17 MB)
MD5: 990ce62ed6ae382ffd4c321b8b5bde01
For Mac OS 8.5 - 8.6 - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
forty-appearance-themes.sit (6.25 MB)
MD5: 2dc3465839f4e5ef82c9aab82fd64e39
For Mac OS 8.5 - 8.6 - Mac OS 9
This app works with: SheepShaver,

A complete set of Themes for Mac OS 8/9 using the "Appearance Manager". No Kaleidoscope Needed!

2nd DL: 40 Mac OS 8-9 Appearance Themes, possibly some duplication with top DL, but several additional themes not in the top DL are in here; e.g.; Gizmo.

For a OSX'ish look, check out the "Aqua" and "Liquid" themes. Those ones are based on the first versions of Mac OS X.

If you want to check a partial look of the NeXTSTEP OS, take a look to the "NeXTheme".

If you like the simple paradigms, "Paper" and "Drawing Board" are the ones for you.

QuickTime 4 and Sherlock 2 look so good because of their brushed metal interface. Try out the "QLike" and "QT4 Modoki" themes to style your system after those products.

Mac OS 7 is calling to your nostalgia? Use "Mac OS 7" and "Mac OS 7 (No Icons)"
(In our iHearts we know "the name" is incorrect, but let's avoid Copyright problems).

Would you like Mac OS to do a Windows 98 display? Let "Win Doze 98" do the work for you.

As a bonus, the "Liquid" sound-scheme is included here.

Curiously, in the package comes a theme called "Drawing Board", created inside Apple Computer. It makes the Macintosh look like a sketch of the operating system.

Architecture: PPC

For Mac OS 8/9 with Appearance Manager installed.

Requires Mac OS 8.5 and later. These Themes were not officially released with 8.5, so YMMV


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2015, May 18 - 12:16am

  why show a screenshot of the menu instead of the actual themes??? Smile

Please feel free to help this page out by adding screenshots of your (Appearance Manager) theme driven desktops.

I've added the snap of Mac desktop & Photoshop 5 window under the Gizmo theme... which remained only for the duration of taking this theme's screenshot Tongue

[Edit] Probably got Gizmo from the other "40 Mac OS 8-9 Themes" page. Do these two pages need to merge?

[Edit - 2016/08/11] Merged "40 Mac OS 8-9 Themes" page, with this page. User comments from that page have been added to the bottom of this page.

supernova777's picture
by supernova777 - 2015, April 24 - 5:42am

why show a screenshot of the menu instead of the actual themes??? Smile

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2013, March 12 - 1:55am

Its not possible to use a newer Appearance Manager Control Panel with Mac OS 8.1 or earlier. With the 8.1 and earlier Appearance Manager software, the UI part consisted of a Control Panel and the System component is in the form of a System Extension.

From the unreleased 8.2 and later Mac OS's, the Appearance Manager System libraries were incorporated into the OS. There is no Extension file for the newer Appearance Manager, and libraries the newer Control Panel require are not available in the older Appearance Manager System Extension or OS.

Nicolas Bahamondes's picture
by Nicolas Bahamondes - 2013, March 10 - 3:06pm

OK, I haven't done it, but in theory, is possible to use the Modern Appearance Manager Control Panel copying the necessary files from the modern system to the old one.

But in the other side, it could be problems between 680x0 and PPC code of the Control Panel. I haven't tested yet.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2013, March 10 - 8:32am

How do these work in Mac OS 7 and versions of OS 8 prior to 8.2?

I don't think they do, despite what it says above in the description fields. Pretty sure you need 8.5 and newer. The 8.1 and earlier Appearance Manager's don't know about or use an "Appearance" folder to hold Themes & Sound sets.

[Edit] A good alternative is Kaleidescope which can be be used with pre-OS 8 OS's.

shifuimam's picture
by shifuimam - 2013, March 9 - 7:12pm

How do these work in Mac OS 7 and versions of OS 8 prior to 8.2? The 8.1 Appearance control panel doesn't have the ability to select a theme.

Edit: Sorry, due to external robots changed 'xxx 7' to 'Mac OS 7' - IIGS User

bertyboy's picture
by bertyboy - 2012, December 27 - 4:30am

Well done, I did build up a collection of these many years ago, and I remember a Star Wars sound set. I'll see what I can find in a scan of my disktracker library.

Nicolas Bahamondes's picture
by Nicolas Bahamondes - 2012, December 25 - 5:59pm

nil0bject, thanks for the piece of information. Effectively, the name of the Beta theme is "Drawing Board" and not "Paper". Just a little mistake, sorry.

nil0bject's picture
by nil0bject - 2012, December 23 - 8:48am

Is paper the same as drawing board? I seem to remember the paper theme as well, but not drawing board.

"Apple widely demonstrated two Appearance Themes which override Apple Platinum, Hi-Tech and Gizmo. Hi-Tech is based on a shades-of-black color scheme that made the interface look like a contemporary piece of audio-visual equipment. Gizmo is a "kids" interface, using lots of bright colors and "wiggly" interface elements. Both changed every single element of the overall GUI leaving no trace of Apple Platinum. A third theme was later introduced, Drawing Board, developed at Apple Japan. This theme uses elements that make the interface look like it has been drawn in pencil on a drafting-board, including small "pencil marks" around the windows, a barely visible graph paper grid on the desktop, and "squarish" elements with low contrast. Although none of these themes were included with a released version of Mac OS, the files can be copied from the pre-release versions that contained them and be successfully used on retail versions."

Below this line added from merged "40 Mac OS 8-9 Themes" page — MikeTomTom

papa's picture

by papa - 2014, June 7 - 12:48am


The themes may not support Japanese file and folder names out-of-the-box, BUT I just found the "Fonts" tab on the Appearance control panel. Setting the Finder font to one that supports Japanese, like "Osaka" (My home town! Yay!), fixes it right up.

I'm bumping my rating of this up a little.

papa's picture

by papa - 2014, June 6 - 2:02am

@Protocol 7: There are two very interesting-looking Drawing Board themes, but unfortunately neither displays Japanese characters correctly. However, I did find one theme in this collection that could handle Japanese: NexTheme.

Protocol 7's picture

by Protocol 7 - 2014, June 5 - 7:47pm

@papa: If the archive includes Drawing Board try that one. It was made by Apple Japan so that one at least should display correctly.

papa's picture

by papa - 2014, June 5 - 1:42pm

Cute, but when I apply these themes to a Japanese environment (OS J1-9.2.2), Japanese text in file and folder names is garbled.

TheComputerKid's picture

by TheComputerKid - 2011, November 7 - 8:33am

Thanks! Smile Been looking for this...

MikeTomTom's picture

by MikeTomTom - 2011, November 4 - 10:22pm

@Protocol 7: there is a "Mac OS 8.2 d8 (Mac OS 8 beta)" here, but I don't know if this is do-able on 68k Mac, "soudesune" says he couldn't get it onto BII (I haven't tried it for myself). Not everything introduced with the stable 8.1 worked on 68k Mac either - booting from a HFS+ drive and some 3rd party contextual menu plug-ins come to mind.

by wazeem - 2011, November 4 - 1:09am

@MikeTomTom: many thanks. I originally downloaded these using OS10.4 which seems to have taken the "file type" tags off. Reading your text, I downloaded again using XP and then transfered to OS8.5, filetype tags are good. Then I transfer to OS9 to use Stuffit 5 and that did the trick. Stuffit 4.5 says corruption. Phew!

Once again - wow these are really good! There seems to be so much really good software for these old Macs.

Protocol 7's picture

by Protocol 7 - 2011, November 3 - 8:02am

8.2 introduced theme support and IIRC it runs in Basilisk II (I'm sure I had 8.2a2 running before Sheepshaver got ported to Windows). As it was the first version of the engine it might have some bugs but I think it handled some of the 8.5+ themes OK.

MikeTomTom's picture

by MikeTomTom - 2011, November 3 - 7:41am

@wazeem: Works for me. DL'd from the main top link (amazonaws). Unstuffs correctly with Stuffit Expander version 5.5 - no need for FileTyper, just dragged the ".sit" file onto icon of the Expander and it launches & extracts it OK.

24bit's picture

by 24bit - 2011, November 3 - 7:40am

I downloaded the file from amazonaws and it inflates fine with The Unarchiver or Stuffit5 on a classic Mac (emulator).

by wazeem - 2011, November 3 - 4:43am

Can anyone confirm this archive (sit) is valid? I have downloaded both versions of the file and Stuffit says corrupted file and cannot use Sad - I used FileTyper to give the file same types as sit files that open but alas in my OS8.5 - can't un-stuff. What version of Stuffit is needed?

MikeTomTom's picture

by MikeTomTom - 2011, September 16 - 10:58am


There are some very good themes in this archive. I had read about them years ago but until now hadn't been able to try them out. Similar to Kaleidoscope & they work well with the host OS. Thanks.

[Edit] tho' AFAIK, Macintosh Themes are only supported on OS 8.5 - 9.2.2, which would negate their use on Basilisk II (just tried on B-II, Mac OS 8.1 and there doesn't appear to be any way to use the themes on this OS) - Still, perfectly fine on PPC Mac OS 8.5 and later and SheepShaver.