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Hide your Mac's menu bar with Menu Eclipse

This simple Mac app lets you black out or dim the menu bar should you find it a source of distraction.

Matt Elliott/CNET

I think I speak for the majority of Internet-connected computer users when I say that I'm easily distracted. I'm primarily a Mac user, and my MacBook's menu bar features an ever increasing number of icons that are useful at various points of the day but not all of the time. Plus, I don't need to check the time or my remaining battery percentage every two minutes.

With Menu Eclipse 2, you can black out or dim the menu bar. The app doesn't let you remove the menu bar entirely to gain a smidge more screen real estate, but it lets you hide it out of sight. The menu bar remains in its hidden or dimmed state until you mouse over it, which brings it back into full view.

Menu Eclipse 2 costs 99 cents in the Mac App Store, but a free demo is available from the developer's Web site. The demo is the same as the paid app but it doesn't save your preferences when you quit the app.

By default, Menu Eclipse 2 dims the menu bar at 75 percent opacity. On the Dimming tab, you can adjust this figure either way, but it's more than likely that you'll want it at 100 percent to black out the menu bar entirely. Personally, I find a dimmed menu bar more distracting than a fully visible menu bar because I strain to view its contents. And with the menu bar completely blacked out, it blends into the black bezel of my MacBook Pro. Also on the Dimming tab, you can adjust the speed of the dimming animation as you mouse on and off of your menu bar.

The Scrubbing tab lets you enable a the world's smallest screensaver. It runs a white and a black line across the menu bar to avoid any pixels from getting burned into your screen. You can choose when to start the scrubbing animation and its duration. If you are worried about going long stretches without mousing up to your menu bar, then I suggest waiting for the longest amount of time (3 hours) to begin scrubbing and run it for the shortest amount of time (1 minute) because the scrubbing animation is more distracting than just using the menu bar as Apple intended.

On the Quickies tab, you have access to the same opacity slider as the Dimming tab, and you can select a color for obscuring the menu bar. Again, any color other than black might be more of a distraction than just leaving well enough alone.

Lastly, on the Application tab, you can enable the app to launch at log-in and choose a keyboard shortcut for turning your menu bar eclipse on and off.

(Via Lifehacker)

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