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The Planet Suite is a set of six color schemes for Kaleidoscope 1.5 which, for no particularly good reason, are named after the classical planets in the Solar System

All six schemes share an identical design but have different color palettes. Which color scheme you choose is a matter of personal preferences, although reports from beta testers indicate that Venus, Mercury and Luna are the most popular.

The Planet Suite design makes use of 3D elements that highlight when pushed, but tries to do away with the usual "button" design. Interface components such as scroll thumbs and arrows are integrated into the overall design, rather than being separated with boxes. This provides a more unified look to the schemes, with elements seeming to flow naturally into each other.


All the schemes included in this archive require Kaleidoscope 1.5 or later. They will not work with either version 1.0 or 1.0.1 and may not even appear in earlier versions of the Kaleidoscope control panel. As such, they share the same system requirements as Kaleidoscope 1.5 itself. A color monitor capable of displaying 256 colors or more is required (the Luna scheme will work fine with 16 grays but the others all need 256 colors).


There are one or two know problems with these schemes, mostly relating to limitations of the Kaleidoscope program. For full details of the limitations and incompatibilities of Kaleidoscope, please refer to the online documentation in the Kaleidoscope control panel.

  1. Some programs have problems when interface elements are replaced. The programmers have made assumptions about the shape of buttons, etc. that are no longer valid when Kaleidoscope is running. This can result is some cosmetic problems, especially when using schemes that makes major changes to the shape of some interface elements, like creating square buttons.

  2. There are some known problems with the drawing of Finder progress bars. This seems to be a system problem that Apple have yet to sort out. Technically some progress bars (such as those used by the Finder) have a fill region that is eleven pixels high, while some (such as the extension loading bar displayed over the MacOS splash screen during startup) have a fill region that is twelve pixels high.

    Since the Finder is the most common application where the progress bar is displayed, the designs in these schemes have been optimised for an eleven pixel fill region. In some other programs the upper highlight region may seem a little thicker than expected - this is normal and a result of the above problem.

  3. These schemes are not designed to used with less than 256 colors - the B&W and 16 color resources included in these files do not match the overall design of the scheme. In addition, some of the window border colors become very strange with less than 256 colors. If you are using a grayscale monitor, I recommend using the Luna scheme as this has been designed with grayscale users in mind.


Simon Lawson


Although these Grayscale Color Schemes are free, and there is no obligation to register, the author would like to hear from people who use these Schemes. In particular, which scheme color do you prefer - Venus? Mercury? Luna?

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