I'm using Mac OS X Lion. When I press a keyboard shortcut, the corresponding item in the top menu gets blue background for a brief moment and then returns back to it's default gray background. It somewhat irritates me. Is there a way to disable this blinking?

  • 3
    I'm afraid you'll have to get used to that. It's always been like this and it's core OS functionality.
    – slhck
    Jun 21, 2012 at 21:46
  • No, because it's not actually "blinking". The menu is being selected by the shortcut, and that's what you're seeing.
    – user3463
    Jun 21, 2012 at 21:48
  • Not only is that a core OS feature, it's been that way since the OS 9 days, possibly as far back as OS 7. While the blinking is annoying, it's a handy way to indicate to a user where the keyboard shortcut they just executed can be found by menu.
    – Green
    Sep 7, 2012 at 13:54

2 Answers 2

  • If Blue is the problem, and a darker greyish Graphite would do the job for you and won't irritate you as much, you go to System Preferences, click on General, and change the appearance from Blue to Graphite. It's more towards the default Grey you want, but a little darker. Attaching a screenshot of the same.

  • In System Preferences


  • How it actually looks


  • If this is not what you want, and disabling it or making it a transparent highlight is what your looking for, then you might have to wait till ShapeShifter is made compatible for OSX Lion.

  • Or you can hack OSX by going to this path and figuring out how to manipulate the XML in this folder: /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/HIToolbox.framework/Versions/A/Resources/English.lproj/. Since these files help us edit the menu options, there has to be an option to enhance the highlighting on the MenuBar also.

  • You will need Xcode to do this ofcourse, but at your own risk!


I figured out how to change the background graphic on Mountain Lion, but it also removes the highlight when menus are clicked manually. And I don't know how to change the text color.

  1. Compile sartFileTool or download a complied binary
  2. cp /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreUI.framework/Resources/SArtFile.bin ~/Desktop/original.bin
  3. sartFileTool -d ~/Desktop/original.bin ~/Desktop/art
  4. Make 49-1.png (or 49-2.png for HiDPI modes) transparent
  5. sartFileTool -e ~/Desktop/art ~/Desktop/new.bin
  6. sudo cp ~/Desktop/new.bin /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreUI.framework/Resources/SArtFile.bin
  7. Open a new application or reopen some application

A few graphics were also drawn incorrectly after I replaced the SArtFile.bin.

Adding a key for NSMenuItemHighlightColor to .GlobalPreferences.plist didn't work. I tried changing some attributes in Extras2.rsrc with ThemePark 3.1, but it didn't seem to have any effect either.

There's another question about changing the selection color at Ask Different.

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