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Darker Inactive Tabs in Chrome for Mac

I've recently made the switch from Firefox to Chrome as my default browser and by and large I'm very happy with the decision.

One thing that was niggling me though was that when you have a lot of tabs open, it can be tricky to tell which tab is active. I tried playing with some of the available themes but didn't really like any of them - all I really wanted was the default theme but with slightly darker inactive tabs. So eventually I decided to just do it myself.

Confession time - I didn't do it from scratch all by myself, but instead used the excellent tool over at ChromeTheme.net, although on looking at the files generated it seems really easy to make your own themes if you're familiar with JSON.

Installation instructions

  1. Download the theme
  2. At the bottom of the window, click on "Continue" Theme permission alert
  3. You're done! Theme permission alert

More info

Ironically, seeing as this theme is meant to enhance usability, there is one slight usability issue - the "close tab" buttons are quite hard to see on inactive tabs. Sadly Chromium and thus Chrome don't let you skin them yet so there's nothing I can do for now. However I think it's a minor loss for a big win - the buttons are in the same place as always and are perfectly visible on active or hovered tabs.

As the theme was made for personal use, I've only tested it on OS X Lion but as far as I can tell Chrome on other systems does a much better job of distinguishing inactive tabs anyway.

That said, if you find any issues let me know and I'll see what I can do to fix it up!

Tags: Browsers Chrome Usability


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