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I've been using Windows since the 80's. A month ago I got a Mac for a side project I'm working on. Despite my best efforts, I haven't gotten used to the fact that the menu bar of windows aren't attached to the window and instead are on top of the screen. Also haven't gotten used to the close/minimize/maximize buttons being on the left.

If this were Linux, I could change that and have it look and behave like Windows. Is there a way I can do it on a Mac? Either by downloading and installing a program, or through some preferences modifications?

  • The menu bar is designed to be at the top so it would be standard for all apps. For any app, you would automatically know where the options are. When you say that "the menu bar is attached to the window", do you mean its like in Windows where you press alt to show the menu bar if its hidden? – PoisonNinja Mar 25 '14 at 21:14
  • Can I ask what kind of project t you are working on that would require a seasoned Windows (and, ostensibly, Linux) user to have to switch. I can only assume it is a OS X or iOS development project. If not, what other systems have you looked at? – Chad Kemp Mar 25 '14 at 23:02
  • @ChadKemp You hit the nail on the head. iOS dev. – Nullqwerty Mar 26 '14 at 16:11
  • @AnonymousAppDev in Windows, the file/edit/help, etc options are apart of the window. Not at the top of the screen. Likewise, close/minimize/maximize are on the right side. A 30 year habit is hard to break. – Nullqwerty Mar 26 '14 at 16:13
  • I was a Linux-as-a-desktop user for years (7 or so. Mostly SuSE/openSuSE, more recently Ubuntu) on my personal computer, and Windows for work. I switched jobs and had to switch to OS X 3 years ago. I found the learning curve was not nearly as steep as expected. It actually became quite intuitive. In fact, Ubuntu Unity attempts to replicated that experience. I think you will come to appreciate the consistency in no time. I still use Ubuntu on my personal laptop for Android development and I find myself getting 'frustrated' when an application doesn't take full advantage of the Unity framework. – Chad Kemp Mar 27 '14 at 5:34
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Way back in the OS 9 days, we could install hacks to do crazy things like recolour windows and move around those window controls, but now they are simply buried too close to the metal to do system-wide. Back in those days too many of these hacks would cause system instability. I'm sure Apple could have built in such customization cleanly in OS X, and indeed in the very early versions I recall some rudimentary functionality for "skinning" — but today having a consistent user interface is viewed by the company as a feature, not a liability.

I found this article with a fairly nice summary of utilities that bring some of the best features of windows to OS X. But unfortunately (fortunately?) adding extra menu bar clutter to every single window or moving the window controls isn't one of them.

  • PS. I feel your pain in an opposite way. As a long-time OSX user, Mavericks' new feature of a menu bar on each monitor bites me sometimes. When I'm using an application on the second monitor and try to select a command from the menu on the primary monitor — oops! That's a different application's menubar! – ghoppe Mar 25 '14 at 22:56
  • yep...it's what you're used to. Thanks for the link and thanks for the insight. Found it really interesting. It's similar in the iOS world. Thought there might be a chance OSX could be different since it's roots are in the BSD world. Thanks again – Nullqwerty Mar 26 '14 at 16:16
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There is MenuEverywhere, which adds a menu like this on top of windows:

It's not really usable in my opinion though. It looks a bit glitchy when you move or resize a window, and sometimes the menu does not appear at all. It doesn't remove OS X's normal menu bar. If a window is at the top of a screen, the menu is shown over the title bar. It also adds the menu over full screen windows in applications that use custom full screen windows.

If you want easier access to the menu bar, you can press command-? to select menu items by searching. You can press control-F2/fn-control-F2 or command-? to move focus to the menu bar.

  • Thanks @user3936 I'll check it out further. Too bad about the glitchy-ness. Thanks – Nullqwerty Mar 26 '14 at 16:17
  • looks like it at least identifies the window(albeit the glitches you mention of it not appearing)..though worse, but I get this error "You can't use this version of the application 'menueverywhere' with this version of macOS. I am on 10.12.6 – barlop Dec 29 '18 at 2:47

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