Saturday 13 October 2012

Tutorial - making a custom Bin-it theme

When OSX was first released, Apple moved the trash from the desktop to the dock, which upset a lot of people who found the earlier desktop trash more convenient*.

I first made Bin-it in 2006 to add a desktop trash to OSX, and shortly afterwards collaborated with Chris Knight to add a very quick and easy progressive indication of the trash level with a changing icon.

Built-in themes include the standard OSX trash (with added levels of trash) and for the retro look, pixellated OS7 and OS9 cans.

Here's how to add your own:

1. Prepare between two to six images, 128 pixels x 128 pixels with transparent background. Save in a format that preserves the transparency such as .png or .tiff

2. Go to Preferences > Themes and click the [+] button

 3. Drag-and-drop your images into the image wells. You can also add sound files if you like, again by drag-and-drop
 4. Give your new theme a name and OK
 5. If you have only two images (as I have here) you can just fill in the first and last wells. Although if you drop the empty / full images into wells 2 -> 5 you can control the point at which the bin appears full. OK that sheet and use the Threshold slider to further control the point at which the bin appears full.

More information and the latest version of Bin-it is available at, free for existing licence holders, or £4.95 if not.

* The big inconvenience of the desktop trash was that it was often covered with a window. Note that Bin-it allows you to choose its level: desktop, floating or 'keep on top'.

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