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Clarus the Dogcow

The dogcow, also known as Clarus the Dogcow, is a bitmapped image first introduced by Apple. It is the shape of a dog, originally created in 1983 as part of the Cairo font by Susan Kare as the glyph for “z.”

Use in the printer setup dialog[edit]

That image was later chosen for the classic Mac OS "Page Setup" print dialog box, where it was used to show the orientation and color of the paper.[1] HCI engineer Annette Wagner made the decision to use the dog from the Cairo font as a starting point, editing it and creating a larger version with spots to be more suitable for demonstrating various printing options. The new dog graphic had a more bovine look, and was soon dubbed "the dogcow",[2] either by Scott Zimmerman or Ginger Jernigan[2] - and later named “Clarus” by Mark “The Red” Harlan, as a joking reference to Claris, Apple’s office software unit at the time.[2]

The sound she makes is “Moof!”,[3] and in early versions of Apple Developer CDs one section was known as "Moof!"[citation needed].

The latest reference to 'dogcow' came in the documentation for the Swift programming language, which uses dogcow as an example of the use of Unicode characters to name constants and variables.[4]

Apple Technote 31[edit]

Apple Technote 31 includes a description of the dogcow.[3]

  • There is a life-size picture of a dogcow conveniently located in the Finder. Look under “Page Setup...” Now look under “Options.” Voila, there is the dogcow in all its raging glory. Like any talented dog, it can do flips. Like any talented cow, it can do precision bitmap alignment.
  • Somewhere along the line I baptized the dogcow “Clarus.” Of course she’s a female, as are all cows; males would be referred to as dogbulls, but none exist because there are already bulldogs, and God doesn’t like to have naming problems. (from History of the Dogcow, part II)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Phin, Christopher. "We miss you, Clarus the dogcow". MacWorld. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c The Moof! in Mind! Site
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "The Swift Programming Language (Swift 3.1): The Basics". Apple Inc. Retrieved 2017-05-05. Constant and variable names can contain almost any character, including Unicode characters: let π = 3.14159 let 你好 = "你好世界" let 🐶🐮 = "dogcow"