While Apple provides numerous ways for Mac users to customize and change hundreds of features and preferences – from desktop images, to the default Dock position, to advanced Terminal hacks – some third-party developers have provided even more ways to personalize, enable, and disable hidden functions.
Titanium’s Deeper personalization utility for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion is one the best programs I know of to make tweaks to your Dock, QuickTime, Safari, iTunes, log-in window, Spotlight, and much more (we have also previously covered a similar program called MainMenu). Some of the changes you can make with Deeper can also be done in the Preferences options of the Finder and other Mac applications, but let’s check out some of the unique hacks that can be done using Deeper.
Deeper has over a hundred functions that you can customize on your Mac. In the General category, (I’m using the Snow Leopard version of Deeper for this review. The Lion version has some slight differences. Both downloads here) you can specify the default image format for screen captures, and where you want them saved.
Among the other functions, you can also select to have Deeper display one of a dozen animated backgrounds on your desktop. It’s like running a screensaver on your desktop as you’re working in any application.
Also, if you’re annoyed by those alert messages you get after downloading and opening an application, Deeper allows you to disable that message.
Most of the function changes in the Finder category require you to restart the Finder in order to have the changes applied. Be careful, selecting some of these functions will immediately relaunch the Finder.
In this category, you get options to make the background of the menu bar transparent, grey, or white. You can also show or hide the “Eject” and “Burn to Disc” functions in the drop-down File menu.
Another interesting change you can make is to the folder content previews for Quick Look. Selecting this option “allows you to display a transparent folder icon as well as the preview items located in the selected folder. When the folder contains more than one item, a small animation rotates the various previews.”
In addition to the existing options you have for controlling the Dock, Deeper provides even more. You can select to change the appearance of the Dock to a 3D with mirror effect or 2D transparency effect. You can also select to have the Dock show only running applications.
In addition, you can lock the size of the icons in the Dock, as well as selecting and enabling what is called Single Application mode. This function works like iOS apps. When you click the icon and application in the Dock that is already launched, it will appear in the foreground and hide the other applications simultaneously.
The five other categories in Deeper include function changes that can be made in QuickTime, Safari, Mail, log-in, Spotlight, and several other native OS X utility applications. A few changes unique to Deeper include the ability to change the background image of the log-in screen of your Mac.
If you have one or more Macs that are publicly used, say in a school, Deeper can disable the Restart, Shut Down, and Log Out menu items in the Apple menu. You can choose a different Start-up Mode for your Mac – either Normal, Safe Mode, Verbose, or Single user.
For iTunes, you can disable the iTunes Store and Ping in the side menu bar, as well as enable half-star ratings. When this function is applied, you just have to click beside a point or a star to assign a 1/2 notation.
There are a couple of dozen other functions you can enable with Deeper, including debug menus, setting the Help Viewer window to “floating mode”, and enabling the developer mode of the Dashboard. Deeper is clearly for Mac users who want to get more out of their computer. The application’s Help documentation explains every category and function, and it’s easy to restore functions to their default status.
Let us know what you think of Deeper. If you like it, consider giving the developer a donation. If you use another program like Deeper, let us know about it.