Mac users have long languished with a neglected and out of date Skype application, while the Windows version forged ahead update after update. It seemed that Skype may have forgotten about Mac completely, when finally after a long wait, Skype released the all new Skype 5 beta for Mac.
The new beta features some long overdue performance updates all across the board, and would be just what the doctor ordered if it weren't for the fact that it also brings forth the worst fears of many Skype for Mac users, a user interface reminiscent of the latest (horrible in my opinion) Windows versions. One of the things I loved about the Mac version of Skype was the simplicity of the cleaner and tighter user interface. The app was just badly in need of a performance overhaul and new features. Instead, we have received an overhaul of the entire UI featuring inconsistent fonts, ridiculous amounts of wasted space, lack of configuration options. In an effort to take advantage of the performance increases, but make the message displays tolerable, we've done some tweaking.
This is a small snapshot of a few lines of conversation with the default styling
This is after some modifications:
We've created a quick and simple custom style named "RocketTheme.SkypeChatStyle" that incorporates the following:
- Smaller font sizes
- Reduced paddings and margins
- Visible avatars and names for all members of the conversation including yourself
- Lighter borders and colors
The styles can be added to Skype's application support, though you will need to first create the directory as its not created automatically by Skype. First, navigate to the following directory:
Create a new folder named ChatStyles in this directory
Download the RocketTheme style package zip file, unzip, and copy the "RocketTheme.SkypeChatStyle" bundle into the new ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/ChatStyles directory outlined previously. Once copied to that location, restart Skype if it is currently running. Next, in the menu navigate to Skype > Preferences. Select the "Messaging" tab and then select "RocketTheme" in the Style dropdown. You will need to restart Skype after selecting this new style (be advised, any changes or customizations you make to the style require a restart of Skype as well, before the changes become visible).