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Special Components

Components -- Special Items with special properties

Components are essentially items, but with special properties. Currently there are the components (more details in the corresponding sections below):

  • graph: showing a graph,
  • space: representing a mission control space
  • bracket: brackets together other items
  • alias: an alias of a menu bar item from the macOS bar

Data Graph -- Draws an arbitrary graph into the bar

sketchybar --add graph <name> <position> <width in points>

Additional graph properties:

graph.color<argb_hex>0xccccccColor of the graph line
graph.fill_color<argb_hex>0xccccccFill color of the graph
graph.line_width<float>0.5Width of the line in points

Push data points into the graph via:

sketchybar --push <name> <data point> ... <data point>

where the <data point> is a floating point number between 0 and 1.

Graphs usually take the entire height of the bar as a drawing canvas, however, if you set a background for the graph item and set a height for it, the graph will draw inside of the background. With a background enabled, the graph can also be moved via a y_offset, e.g.:

sketchybar --set <graph name> background.color=0xff00ff00 background.height=20 y_offset=2

Space -- Associate mission control spaces with an item

sketchybar --add space <name> <position>

The space component overrides the definition of the following properties:

  • associated_space: Which space this item represents
  • (optional) associated_display: On which display the associated_space is shown. The associated_space property must be set to properly associate this item with the corresponding mission control space. Optionally, you can provide an associated_display to force a space item to stay on a specific display, otherwise the item will draw on the screen on which the space is currently located.

The space component has additional variables available in scripts:


where $SELECTED has the value true if the associated space is selected and false if the associated space is not selected, while $SID holds the space id and $DID the display id.

By default the space component invokes the following script:

sketchybar --set $NAME icon.highlight=$SELECTED

which you can freely configure to your liking by supplying a different script to the space component:

sketchybar --set <name> script=<script/path>

For performance reasons the space script is only run on a change in the $SELECTED variable, i.e. if the associated space has become active or has resigned being active.

Item Bracket -- Group Items in e.g. colored sections

It is possible to bracket together items via the command (see this discussion for an example):

sketchybar --add bracket <name> <first item name> ... <n-th item name>

The first item must always be the one listed earliest in the config. It is now possible to set properties for the bracket, just as for any item or component. Brackets currently only support all background features. E.g., if I wanted a colored background around all my space components (which are named code, writing, reading and entertainment) I would set it up like this:

sketchybar --add bracket primary_spaces code                        \
writing \
reading \
entertainment \
--set primary_spaces background.color=0xffffffff \
background.corner_radius=4 \

this draws a white background below all my space components.

Item Alias -- Mirror items of the original macOS status bar into sketchybar

It is possible to create an alias for default menu bar items (such as MeetingBar, etc.) in sketchybar. The default menu bar can be set to autohide and this should still work.

To create an alias of a default menu bar item use the following syntax:

sketchybar --add alias <application_name> <position>

this operation requires screen capture permissions, which should be granted in the system preferences.

This will put the default macOS menu bar item into sketchybar. If an application has multiple menu bar widgets the command can be overloaded by providing a window_owner and a window_name

sketchybar --add alias "<window_owner>,<window_name>" <position>

this way the default system items can also be aliased in sketchybar as well, e.g.:

  • "Control Center,Bluetooth"
  • "Control Center,WiFi"
  • ...

Or the individual widgets of Stats:

  • "Stats,CPU_Mini"
  • etc...

All further macOS menu bar items currently available on your system can be found via the command

sketchybar --query default_menu_items

where all items with their respective owner and name are listed.

You can override the color of an alias via the property:

sketchybar --set <name> alias.color=<argb_hex>

Aliases currently are not clickable but can be modified with all the options available for simple items.