Friday, December 8, 2023

Bartender 5

Surtees Studios:

With support for macOS Sonoma and a multitude of innovative features, Bartender 5 represents the pinnacle of Mac menu bar mastery.


Conceal select menu bar items while retaining quick and easy access through intuitive methods. Swipe and scroll within the menu bar to unveil hidden items instantly, simplifying access to multiple screens of concealed items with a simple swipe.


With its revamped trigger system, Bartender 5 elevates menu bar item interaction. Apply presets or reveal menu bar items precisely when they demand attention. Whether at work, on a specific Wi-Fi network, monitoring battery status, or using custom scripts like VPN or AirPods connectivity, Bartender 5 ensures you’re always in control.

Surtees Studios:

Bartender 5 introduces a novel feature known as “Menu Bar Item Groups,” which facilitates the consolidation of sets of menu bar items beneath a single, fully customizable menu bar item. This feature serves as an ideal solution for categorizing and conveniently accessing related menu bar items with a simple click or hover. This innovation is particularly advantageous for MacBook Pro users seeking to optimize their menu bar space efficiently.


Perhaps the fanciest new feature in Bartender 5 is the ability to entirely customize the way your menu bar looks. Bartender 5 now lets you change the color of the menu bar, add a border or drop shadow, or even change the way it fills the top part of your screen.


With the release of macOS Sonoma, Surtees Studio had to face a technical challenge. macOS now displays a purple badge in the menu bar whenever an app is capturing part of the screen. This is, of course, a welcome privacy feature, but it meant Bartender would have to work around its reliance on screen capture to rearrange icons in the menu bar. I’m happy to report that this challenge was successfully tackled and the purple badge only shows up when navigating Bartender’s settings and when you’re actually recording your screen.


Bartender 5 is $16 if you buy it directly from Surtees Studios and is priced at $8 for anyone upgrading from a previous version.

Krishna Sadasivam:

Thankfully, starting with Bartender 4, menu bar item search was added. And what if you don’t remember what the menu bar item’s icon looked like? No problem! Type in the first few letters using Bartender’s search bar, and your menu bar item is served to you, lick-ity split.


5 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Corentin Cras-Méneur

By far, my favorite feature is the Item Groups!! Great app! With all the apps that now offer a menu bar item, I needed something to keep the layout under control and I couldn't live without Bartender.

I've used Bartender for years and it has worked flawlessly for me.

I *love* the new item groups too! What a great improvement to an already very good app! And the ability to choose any SF glyph as the group icon is just brilliant....

I guess I'm a bit mystified about the notch "problem," though. I'm fortunate to have a 16" MBP, so obviously it doesn't come up often, but the one app I regularly use that overflows the available menu space to the left of the notch is GraphicConverter, and the menus just pick up where they leave off to the right of the notch without anything "disappearing." Am I missing something? Don't all apps automatically gain that functionality for free?

Obviously, if it's causing practical problems, Apple should address it. But I've seen a lot of notch hate that seems based purely on aesthetics. I get that it's not pretty, but I like to think of it as *gaining* two 42-ish pixel strips where before we just had a larger bezel.

@Erik When I used a 16" MacBook Pro, I also thought about it as gaining screen space. It’s a really different experience with a smaller screen. Then it’s really easy to have “too many” icons, especially with the increased spacing in recent versions of macOS. They don’t overflow. You just can’t access those items at all, and you can’t even see what’s being hidden so that you can rearrange the icons to prioritize. And they don’t work like menu items. So if you have empty space to the left of the notch, the icons won’t wrap to there. macOS will just put them in the notch so they’re invisible even though you had space for them.

Thanks for explaining, @Michael. I'd assumed from what I'd been reading that people were talking about the menus on the left overflowing. I guess the combination of Bartender kwhich I've used since v2) and the 16" screen have meant that it hasn't affected me. Apple clearly has sime work to do here!

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