Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
I’d be willing to bet that Dock is one of the many (and probably the first) thing a non-Mac user would find most fascinating on OS X. When I first got my Mac, I was obsessed with it. At that time, I was running Tiger and I found myself constantly resizing the Dock, setting the optimum amount of magnification and making sure that the applications I had on it deserved to be on the Dock.
Over time, things have changed. I couldn’t be bothered with how it looks, I took it for granted and purely used it to launch and switch between apps. Oh how the love has died.
But recently, I’ve found a couple of tools that seems to have rekindled my child-like infatuation which I once had for my Dock. And now, I’m back to customizing it all over again, tweaking it to look its best and function at its prime. Here’s what I used.
Dock Library is an application which changes the theme of Leopard’s Dock. By default, it’s a regular grayish reflective surface. The problem with the default Dock is that it makes the glowing dot (of applications which are running) very hard to see. Not to mention, it’s boring. With Dock Library, you can change all that.
To get your themes, head on over to leoparddocks.net, they have some juicy-looking Dock themes. Download the theme you want, import it into Dock Library and activate. I got my new Dock running in less than a minute.
Especially on my MacBook, Dock real-estate is no laughing matter. I have to really make sure that the applications which I place on my Dock are useful. If I put too many applications there, everything gets too small. Also, applications which are currently running are placed on the Dock, taking up precious space.
img src=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/dock-dodger.png” alt=”dock dodger” class=”aligncenter” />
Dock Dodger can alter any selected applications to run without an icon on the Dock. How does Dock Dodger do it? Don’t ask, it’s magic.
Dockables is a collection of system events like Shut Down, Restart, Lock Screen, Empty Trash and Sleep Display just to name a few. They’re configured to run with just a single click and so very convenient to use when placed on the Dock.
I used to leave my MacBook on at night and since I can’t shut the lid, the best I could do was turn off the screen by going to System Preferences-> Energy Saver-> Put display to sleep after 1 minute. With Dockables, all I need to do is click on Sleep Display and that’s it. The screen switches off immediately. One-click convenience.
SuperDocker is a little gem of an application. It allows me to tweak the settings of my Dock, customizing various aspects from position of the Dock, alignment, reverting it to the 2 dimensional Dock, it even allows me to lock the items on the Dock so that nobody can tamper with my perfect setting.
Besides that, I can also change the background colour of Stack’s grid from the regular translucent black to something more exciting. Blood red, perhaps?
SuperDocker is not only about the Dock. It can also tweak some Finder, Safari, Dashboard and System settings. If you’re worried about messing up your Mac, don’t. There’s always a “Restore Default Settings” button which you hit it anything goes horribly wrong.
didn’t quite make it on my list. It’s a Spaces equivalent, only it’s the Dock that changes. You can configure up to 5 different Docks. Have a go at it, see if it convinces you.
Like all applications covered by MakeUseOf, these are free but donations towards the developers’ efforts are always appreciated.