Brushed metal (interface)

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Brushed metal is a discontinued graphical user interface, design language and visual theme in the Mac OS X operating system. The first application to support it was the QuickTime Player released as part of QuickTime 4.0 in 1999. Alongside it, a Pro theme was also released, used in video, music and image production and editing software.

The interface has a few functional differences differing from Aqua; another theme introduced in 2000. Brushed metal can be moved by clicking any part of the window background which is not occupied by an element; Aqua windows can only be moved by clicking within the title bar.

Its replacement started in Mac OS X v10.4 and was fully replaced in Mac OS X v10.5.


Apple's Human Interface Guidelines state that the brushed metal interface be used for programs that mimic the operation or interface of common real world devices (skeuomorphism).


Brushed metal was met with criticism,[1] and it was noted that Apple frequently violates its own rules for the use of the brushed metal interface, and that Apple's guidelines for the use of brushed metal are inconsistent.[2] The most notable of the supposed violations are of Safari and the Finder. In Mac OS X v10.3, Apple updated its list of acceptable uses for brushed metal to include windows that navigate lists of information.


  1. ^ "Interface Hall of Shame: QuickTime 4.0 Player". Interface Hall of Shame. Archived from the original on June 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Gruber, John. "Brushed Metal and the HIG". Daring Fireball. Archived from the original on March 26, 2015.