How to customize your OS X (Leopard) Dock

by Ross McKillop on May 27, 2008

Mac

It would be an understatement to say that quite a few users were unhappy when Leopard (OS X 10.5) changed the Dock style. Ever since then, a flurry of software authors have come out with programs to alter the look and feel of the Dock. I’ve tried a number of these programs, and have come up with a winner – SuperDocker. And as an added bonus, it has a number of features that aren’t Dock related, but are still super useful. Oh, I should also mention, SuperDocker is free (actually it’s donation-ware, so if you really like it, do consider donating). Keep reading for my full review with screenshots.

SuperDocker is available in English, French, Dutch and Italian. The installation is as easy as dragging SupperDocker to your Applications folder. Launch it from there.

The first tab, Dock, is where you can do most of your Dock customizations. You can change the Dock style from 3D to 2D, change the icon transparency, add separators and even change the Docks graphic style.

dock settings in superdocker
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When you make a change, SuperDocker will close and relaunch the Dock with your new changes applied – and confirm the change.

confirm dock changes

When trying out some of the graphic styles, you’ll notice that the display area changes to give you a preview of that style. So you don’t need to apply and relaunch the Dock to see what it looks like.

preview dock changes in superdocker
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Select the Stack tab. From here you can add a “recently used items” stack (which is different than a recently used applications stack). You can also change how the stack icons are displayed (as frames or not).

stack options in superdocker
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Now select the Finder tab. From here you can change the window minimization effect, duration etc.

finder options in superdocker
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One of the very cool features that SuperDocker adds is the ability to show the full path in the Finder title.

full path in the Finder menu bar

Click the Safari tab. Aside from forcing new windows to open in tabs, there isn’t much else (that I’d use) here.

safari options in superdocker
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Same with the Time Machine tab. But then again, maybe this is a feature you’d love. Different strokes for different folks…

time machine options in superdocker
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The Miscellaneous tab offers exactly what you’d expect – miscellaneous hacks. I’m a bit hesitant to experiment with the “experimental” options, but if you try them out, let me/us know via the comments.

misc options in superdocker
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And the most thoughtful of all features – the Restore tab. From here you can reset most of the changes you’ve made with SuperDocker back to their respective defaults.

restore settings options in superdocker
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  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com James

    This app is cool, but all these features and a whole lot more can be found in Onyx (also free). I’m not complaining, you can never have too many options for customization – and this app actually looks prettier than Onyx!

  • jon

    Hi Ross!

    I’ve just downloaded SuperDocker and looks like they’ve updated the little program, cos it looks different from your screenshots. Anyway, I was wondering how you got the effect of your very first screenshot, i.e. like there is no dock at all… I can’t seem to be able to achieve that.

    Otherwise, thanks for this very interesting post.

    Cheers!!!

    jon.