MarsEdit’s Secret Title Bar Preference

May 22nd, 2019

Michael Tsai wrote today about the accessibility challenges presented by Mac toolbars that do not have text labels. These are an unfortunate consequence of opting for macOS’s “no titlebar” style appearance, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. As Michael points out, MarsEdit is among the apps that has embraced it. This is how it looks by default:

Screenshot of toolabr icons from MarsEdit with no text labels.

The good news, for folks who don’t prefer this style, is MarsEdit supports a “secret preference” to change back to the more traditional style with a title for the window, and with the option to show or hide text labels. If you’re comfortable setting defaults from the command line, you can run this from Terminal to enable the labels:

defaults write ShowMainWindowTitleBar YES

If you’d rather avoid the command line, MarsEdit should apply the setting for you if you click this link:

Show MarsEdit’s Main Window Titlebar

Now, quit and relaunch MarsEdit. If the toolbar icon labels are not visible, select View > Customize Toolbar from the menu bar, and select the option to show “Icon & Text”. Here’s how it looks:

Screenshot of MarsEdit's toolbar icons with labels.

And if you decide to switch back, this link should do the trick:

Hide MarsEdit’s Main Window Titlebar

Ideally Apple would fix this mode so that some kind of appropriate compromise could be made to support the streamlined title-bar-free mode, while also supporting the display of labels. I’m not holding my breath on that, though. Hopefully this workaround will give those of you who either prefer, or outright depend upon the labels for accessibility reasons, something to tide you over.

One Response to “MarsEdit’s Secret Title Bar Preference”

  1. Ricky Says:

    Hi! I disagree. I think that Apple should just not have this weird “no titlebar” option anymore. I hate the loss of title bars, because now I have nowhere to grab a window by.

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