Curio’s settings can be found via the Curio > Settings menu (was previously called Curio > Preferences).


In addition to these basic settings there are scores of advanced settings which you can find via the Help > Curio Advanced Settings menu item!



Curio’s window chrome, toolbar, inspectors, shelf, Organizer and other interface elements can dynamically change their appearance based on the dark mode setting in System Settings > General. You can however, override the system setting here within Curio’s Settings and force a light or dark appearance.


Your idea space content will still abide by the specified coloring and styles set for your idea spaces and figures. Those styles won’t invert or change on-the-fly based on the dark mode setting


In addition to the simple dark and light mode toggle, Curio Standard and Professional include support for appearance themes, allowing you to change the look of the Curio user interface even further.


In the same appearance popup button allowing you to choose dark or light mode, you will find several color themes that come bundled with Curio. Change the interface to a palette of blues, bright shades of yellow, or dark shades of black for midnight workaholics.

Customizing Themes

Curio Professional kicks it up a notch, allowing you to create your own custom themes by combining display properties such as dark mode; window, Organizer, inspector bar, and shelf background coloring; Organizer text coloring; and even idea space content background coloring!

How it Works

Curio’s theme support takes advantage of the native macOS light and dark mode automatic coloring, including support for appropriate text font colors.

For example, you might create a theme that starts with a dark mode style, then replaces the default dark gray coloring with a dark blue coloring instead. You get the automatic inversion of text colors, thanks to macOS dark mode, combined with custom background coloring.

Alternatively, begin with a light mode style, then change certain backgrounds to lighter pastels that work with the light mode’s text coloring.

Creating a Theme

Begin by choosing an interface element or property to modify from the first popup. Many of these are hierarchical in nature so properties can be inherited.

For example you can choose the dark element and that allows you to toggle the window’s dark mode setting, including any views within that window. Or you can choose dark.Organizer and that allows you to toggle just the dark mode setting for the Organizer view.

Similarly the fill property controls the background fill of the window and all views found within, while fill.Shelf controls the background fill of just the Shelf.

Depending on the property that you’re changing you will either see a checkbox or color control appear alongside. For example, dark is a toggle thus you’ll see a checkbox, while fill will show a color control so you can choose a background color.

To get rid of a specified value, set a checkbox to mixed (not unchecked or checked; it has a dash through it) or a color to transparent. That property will then revert to its default or inherited value.

Content Background Color

Like Pages, Keynote, and other content authorizing apps, Curio’s idea space content does not change based on light/dark mode setting. Its background is white, by default, with black text coloring, unless overridden by Curio’s many styles.

The fill.Content property is unique as we wanted to make sure our themes did not inadvertently impact the visibility of your idea space content, therefore it does not inherit the global fill property.

Since content text coloring will not change dynamically, if you wish to customize fill.Content you should choose a light color that works well with your content.

Note this background coloring replaces the default white coloring only when viewing content for editing, but not when printing, exporting, or presenting.

And of course if your idea space background has a color or image set via its style or inspector controls then that color is used instead.

Saving a Theme

Click the Save button to save a theme with a specified name. If a current theme is active then its name will be suggested as the name for the new theme allowing you to easily edit and update existing themes.

Delete a Theme

Click the Delete button to delete the current custom theme.


Curio’s themes were designed to complement, not replace, the native macOS light/dark modes, as we suspect Apple will release more appearance modes in the future. So some potential features, such as fine-grained color selections, are not offered.

Also note that dialogs, alerts, popup inspectors, popovers, and others simply abide by the dark mode setting. Only the colors of the main Curio projects windows and some views within can be customized.

App Icon

This is a fun perk only for Curio sustainers who we sincerely thank for their ongoing support of Curio’s development! 🙌

Add some energy to your workflow with a custom icon for your Curio app!

Choose a new icon from the popup and Curio’s app icon will update on the Dock while the app is running and, if possible, its icon on disk will also change.

Again, this is just a fun perk for Curio sustainers akin to the free tote bag sent by your local public radio station to its sustainers.


Changing the icon on disk will only work for non-Mac App Store versions of Curio and only if we have write access to the app itself. This generally means you’re an administrator user on the Mac and it’s installed in the Applications folder, not simply in the Downloads folder.

Mac App Store Restriction

Sandboxing restrictions prevent us from changing the app icon on disk so the custom icon only appears in the Dock while Curio is running.

Product Updates

Curio downloaded from the Zengobi website periodically checks in with Zengobi’s server to see if there are any app updates available, given your license’s free updates end date.

You can optionally sign up for early access beta preview releases if you want to get an insiders peek of what new features are being developed. These early beta releases may have some bugs, so project backups are a must, but it’s a great way to check out new functionality and provide early feedback before the official release.

Of course, if your license’s end date for free updates is before the expected release date of an upcoming release, then you will not have early access to it until you are able to purchase an upgrade to extend your license with another year of free updates.

Mac App Store Restriction

Updates for Curio obtained from the Mac App Store are handled by macOS. Due to that restriction, you will only have access to the normal release stream of updates, not the early access previews.

Default Projects Folder

Specify a default folder used when saving Curio projects. The default is ~/Documents/Curio.

Mac App Store Restriction

Sandboxed Curio is unable to automatically set a default projects folder so you must specify it manually by clicking the Choose button. Note that Curio will have access to all files in the folder you choose.

If you have Curio Professional, then certain advanced feature like external asset libraries and project lock files are only supported in this default projects folder because Curio needs full access to the files in the folder to support these features.


Curio Standard and Professional can make automatic backups of your Curio projects! This feature can be enabled in the Settings window, where you can also specify the frequency of the backups and the location where the backups are placed.

If this is enabled then any projects opened from the specified Projects folder will be automatically backed up to the specified Backups folder.

In addition, you can optionally enable backing up projects in any location, not just the Projects folder.

During project load Curio will see if the backup needs to be refreshed and, if so, copy the current project to the backup folder.


A project backup is only made during project open, not while running. So backups are not created if you’ve left Curio open with the project loaded for multiple days.

Location of the Backups

By default the backups are stored within a Backups subfolder created under the specified Projects folder. The default Projects folder is ~/Documents/Curio therefore the resulting default Backups folder is ~/Documents/Curio/Backups.

However, you can tell Curio to use a specific backup folder if you wish. This may be handy if you wish to create backups in a very different location, like a Dropbox folder, for instance.

Per Project Override

Curio Professional customers can override the backup settings for a particular project via its project properties inspector. For instance, you might have a particularly large project that only needs a backup every 7 days. Or perhaps you have automatic backups disabled and instead you enable it only for specific projects, even those not located in the standard Projects folder.

Application Support and Personal Repository Folders

Curio will now automatically make periodic backups of its application support and personal repository folders, to ensure the safety of your styles, stencils, templates, project lists, custom Sleuth sites, saved searches, and much more.

By default this will occur every 5 days although you can change this frequency via the Backup App Support Frequency advanced setting (see the Help > Curio Advanced Settings menu item). If set to 0 then no backups will occur.

Assuming you’re using the default ~/Library/Application Support/Curio/Version XX location then the backup will be named ~/Library/Application Support/Curio/Version XX Backup.

If you have overridden the application support folder location and/or personal repository folder, using their respective advanced settings, then Curio will still make sure those folders are backed up, as well.

Mac App Store Restriction

Sandboxed Curio is unable to set a default project backups folder so you must specify it manually by clicking the Choose button. Note that Curio will have access to all files in the folder you choose.


Curio supports a powerful, extensible shared repository system.

A repository is a folder structure that contains resources such as project templates, idea space templates & styles, figure stencils & styles, color swatches, external document templates (for Insert > Instant Document), HTML export templates, and Sleuth modules.

Curio includes a bundled repository and your personal repository is automatically created in ~/Library/Application Support/Curio/Version XX/Repository as you create and save personal styles and templates.

Copying your repository to a publicly available server, such as a using a public Dropbox folder or a network file server, allows you to share your resources with others. They simply need to add an entry pointing to that repository in their Settings window, re-launch Curio, and all of your styles and templates will appear in the appropriate galleries and popups.

Adding a Repository

  1. Click the plus button to add a new repository.
  2. Select a repository and press the Delete key to delete it.
  3. Double-click a repository to edit its path.
  4. Rearrange the order of the list repositories via drag-and-drop.
  5. Clicking the Reveal button will display the repository in a Finder window.
  6. All changes to the repositories require a relaunch to take effect.


To customize the operation of Curio Professional’s presentation mode you can use the options here.

Scaling Options

Choose whether the idea spaces should be scaled to fit the screen, or if scroll bars should appears as needed to scroll around the window. If the mouse pointer is visible then you can click anywhere in the idea space to scroll around, as well. You can toggle this on-the-fly during the presentation by pressing the S key.

Check “Use minimum idea space bounds” if the unused bottom and right portions of the idea space should be cropped off when the idea space is displayed. If unchecked, then the entire idea space is displayed including unused portions.

When Done Options

Check “Exit presentation after last slide” if the presentation should immediately end if you try to progress past the last slide, otherwise the presentation will remain on the last slide.

Selection Options

Click the color well to change the selection color that is used to highlight any selected figures (note that the pointer must be visible to select figures).

Transition Options

You can specify a default transition to use between idea spaces during the presentation. This can be overridden for specific idea spaces using the idea space’s Transition inspector.

Advanced Options

Curio can automatically pre-collapse mind maps before displaying an idea space in a slideshow presentation. If this would be of interest to you check out the Presentation PreCollapse Mind Maps setting via Curio’s Help > Curio Advanced Settings menu.