How do I shrink sidebar icons in Apple Mail 10.7 Lion?
Upgraded my iMac to Mac OS X Lion and I really like it so far but one thing's driving me bonkers: the icons in the sidebar of my Apple Mail are way the heck too big and I can't for the life of me find where to tweak or change them. It's just not part of the Mail preferences. HELP!
Good question and you're lucky, I stumbled across the answer myself just a few days ago and it's a doozy: the preference has nothing to do with Mail at all and even when I tell you how to fix it, you'll say "really? this is the computing system that's supposed to be easy?"
It's a challenge for an interface designers when they want to have a visual consistency across multiple applications. You and I might think of Apple Mail as a standalone app, a tiny world unto itself, but the developers back at Cupertino HQ see it as one of a number of apps that together comprise Lion. To let people change the appearance of a single app breaks the interface consistency. Getting a glimmer of the solution? The change you need to make is actually through System Preferences. Weird.
First, though, let's have a look at what we're talking about. Here's Apple Mail with really big sidebar icons. Bigger than I want, for sure:
To remedy the problem, we're going to have to go completely outside of Mail. From the Apple menu choose "System Preferences" and look for "General" on the top left:
Click on it, then look half-way down at the new setting for Sidebar icons:
There are three choices: small, medium and large. Pick the one you want and within a second, Apple Mail will see the modification and resize its icons:
That's better. Fixed.
Now, why there isn't a redundant setting in Apple Mail and/or the option of having, say, big icons in Mail but small icons in Finder windows, I can't say. So it goes...
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