Get Cool Wallpapers from Screensaver Packages – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 376Get Cool Wallpapers from Screensaver Packages

The images included within screensavers on OS X can be explored, and the high-quality images they use can be extracted and used as desktop wallpapers.

There are two stashes of screensaver files. The first contains old screensavers with lower-resolution images, and the second contains new screensavers with very high-resolution images. You can extract images from both as follows:

  1. Start by creating a folder within your Documents folder where you can store the wallpaper files you’re going to extract. It doesn’t matter what you call this.

  2. We’ll start with the folder containing the old screensavers. Open a Finder window, hit Shift+Command+G, and type /System/Library/Screen Savers. You should see screensavers listed by name. We’ll start by extracting the images from the Beach screensaver, although the technique is the same for all the files in the folder with a .slideSaver file extension, such as Cosmos.slideSaver. Right-click Beach.slideSaver and, in the menu that appears, click Show Package Contents.

  3. Use Finder to navigate to the Resources folder. Here you’ll find the images listed, usually in sequence and usually in the JPEG format. In the Beach screensaver, for example, they’re named Beach01.jpg, Beach02.jpg, and so on. Click and drag them all to the new folder you created earlier.

  4. Repeat the steps for any other screensavers you’d like to take images from, such as Cosmos.slideSaver or Forest.slideSaver. Only slideSaver files contain images—ignore the other screensaver files.

  5. Once you’ve finished, you can move onto the second stash of new high-resolution screensaver images. In a Finder window, again hit Shift+Command+G, and this time type /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default Collections/, before hitting the Go button.

  6. You’ll see four folders numbered 1 to 4, each also describing their contents (for example, 1-National Geographic). Dip into each folder, and drag and drop the images into the folder you created earlier.

  7. Open System Preferences (Apple menuSystem Preferences), click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon, and then click the Desktop tab. Open Finder, locate the folder containing your new wallpaper images, and click and drag it to the left of the System Preferences window under the Folders heading. The folder will be added, but note that it’s only a link to the folder you created—if you delete the original folder, the images will disappear from the list.