Yosemite Tip: How to Turn Off the Annoying Translucency

One of the big design features in OS X Yosemite is translucency, also known as “blurring the interface for no reason other than because it looks cool.” It does look cool; for about five minutes. After that, it’s just annoying. It’s hard to see things clearly, especially in menus. There’s no justification for this in a user interface, other than the fact that it may look cool.

Fortunately, you can turn it off, but the setting isn’t in an obvious location. Open System Preferences, then click the Accessibility icon. Click Display, then check Reduce Transparency.


com.apple.preference.universala.png

Note that the correct term is translucency, not transparency. Apple did use the correct term in the earlier betas, and uses the word translucency on its website, but for some reason they changed it here.

Have a look and see how much easier Yosemite is to use when you can’t see through windows and menus.

12 thoughts on “Yosemite Tip: How to Turn Off the Annoying Translucency

  1. This was the first thing I had to figure out after installing Yosemite! I didn’t even give it 5 minutes before trying to get rid of it. The rest of the UI changes are rather good I think. But I’ve noticed MatLab doesn’t work now…

  2. This was the first thing I had to figure out after installing Yosemite! I didn’t even give it 5 minutes before trying to get rid of it. The rest of the UI changes are rather good I think. But I’ve noticed MatLab doesn’t work now…

  3. Thanks for this fix.

    There are a couple of other annoying things which Apple hasn’t fixed in Yosemite (though I have complained). Clicking the green button at the top left of windows now automatically enters the window to full screen (everything else is blacked out), rather than zooming to the screen (everything else is displayed still). I finally discovered that Option + click will zoom the window, though not all apps do. I have found that Microsoft products have a “zoom window” command. However, I used the green button a lot and it is very annoying to have to change my behaviour especially when Full Screen has its own little button (arrows pointing in both directions diagonally). I have yet to find an option to choose what the green button should do, having searched through System Preferences where some other features have been moved around too.

    • I have since discovered that (in most) applications triple clicking on the top bar at the top zooms the window to fit the screen. Safari zooms vertically but not horizontally, but I have a script which will zoom Safari to current screen so that does not matter.

  4. Thanks for this fix.

    There are a couple of other annoying things which Apple hasn’t fixed in Yosemite (though I have complained). Clicking the green button at the top left of windows now automatically enters the window to full screen (everything else is blacked out), rather than zooming to the screen (everything else is displayed still). I finally discovered that Option + click will zoom the window, though not all apps do. I have found that Microsoft products have a “zoom window” command. However, I used the green button a lot and it is very annoying to have to change my behaviour especially when Full Screen has its own little button (arrows pointing in both directions diagonally). I have yet to find an option to choose what the green button should do, having searched through System Preferences where some other features have been moved around too.

    • I have since discovered that (in most) applications triple clicking on the top bar at the top zooms the window to fit the screen. Safari zooms vertically but not horizontally, but I have a script which will zoom Safari to current screen so that does not matter.

  5. Many thanks Kirk, this is really is a fabulous article! singing: *I can see clearly now*
    Many thanks JF, Option + click does the trick!

  6. Many thanks Kirk, this is really is a fabulous article! singing: *I can see clearly now*
    Many thanks JF, Option + click does the trick!

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