ObjectDock gets a face lift in v1.9

Windows dock program gets better and better!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by Frogboy | Discussion: ObjectDock

ObjectDock is a program that adds a skinnable dock to your Windows desktop.  It is one of the most popular desktop enhancement programs available. 

ObjectDock 1.9 is such a major update over 1.5 that it could have been called ObjectDock 2.0. In fact, there was a lot of internal debate on this with 1.9 being the compromise versioning!

So what's new in it?  Here is a list of changes from v1.5:

What's changed in ObjectDock 1.9 over 1.5: 
  • Brand new awesome weather docklet! New docklet uses brand new technology to fly out your 5 day forecast when you click on it or hover over it, and hides it when your mouse goes away.
  • Zoomin/Zoomout smoothness *significantly* enhanced, and is now adjustable! Find the new options in the "Quality & Performance" settings
  • ObjectDock now comes bundled with some really great artwork (icons and backgrounds) from the community. (Permission recieved to use all of the images involved).
  • New artwork has been pre-associated with over 50 different programs! As result, chances are if you add a program, it will show up with a nice high-resolution icon!
  • New minimize effect on Vista! When Live Thumbnails are in use on Vista and your dock is showing a taskbar, windows will now do a nice minimize animation into any zooming dock. I
  • Live minimize effect should be smoother than any other program available! Effort was made to make it work with minimal to no interference to your workflow, and the animation should never jump around / flicker heavily at the end unlike other versions of this effect you may have seen.
  • "Live previews" for files and folders are enabled! While folders will not have their icons update automatically if their contents change, when loaded folders will show as their correct preview. The same with other types of documents that offer a live preview (PDF's, etc)
  • In Vista, all minimized windows will show up as a live mini-thumbnail in the ObjectDock taskbar! Optionally you can have all windows, minimized or not, show up as thumbnails. Note: this feature is only
  • available for zooming docks, it does not support tabbed docks.
  • New background ability! Tile-based backgrounds can now adjust the size/position of the original icon, end result, really cool tiled backgrounds. Check out the included HyperGrass theme for an example of how cool tiled backgrounds can now be!
  • Completely redone the mouse-activation / layering system. See the new "interaction" area in zooming dock's positioning options. The new interaction abilities should make ObjectDock a much more pleasent program to use!
  • Custom icons set for program file shortcuts now automatically sync with custom icons set for windows of a program in taskbars.
  • Entry areas in shortcut dialogs now use AutoComplete
  • Entering in generic terms or filetypes such as "internet", "email", ".doc", etc for a shortcut will now
  • Background code *significantly* improved.
  • New "Troubleshooting" dialog with quick access to disabling features of ObjectDock
  • Increased drawing optimization code's ability to manage images. Should result in quicker than ever drawing and decreased memory usage for zooming docks.
  • Docks can now not only be left/right/center aligned, but anywhere in-between. See the new slider in zooming dock's positioning options

  • Brand new "Show Start Menu" functionality! Will show your existing startmenu/startpanel right next to the cursor when you click it. Add one by right clicking dock and choosing "Add -> New Start Menu Entry"
  • "Add" menus now significantly more useful ; they now give you the option to add a wide variety of different built-in entries
  • New "command entry" abilities! You can now create a dock item to toggle autohide on and off, or toggle hiding/showing the taskbar. Very useful!
  • New option available to turn on "proportionate stretching" for backgrounds
  • New mode available in plus: "keep on top, hiding off-screen for maximized applications", which makes the dock always on top except when a window is maximized, at which point it will automatically temporarily turn on autohide
  • Improved dock's ability to judge what maximum size it should be. Dock will now exactly fill the screen when you set it to be as large as possible, and it will properly maintain this as you add/remove items.
  • Brand new taskbar modes available in Plus! Your taskbar can now be set to show "all windows", "minimized windows only", or "non-minimized windows only"
  • Dramatically improved behavior during right click menus on zooming docks. When you right click and the dock's zooming locks in position, if you click/right-click on another item ObjectDock will now correctly select the item that your cursor was over at the time, not what i would be after the zoom lock is released. Similarly, if you begin dragging an item while locked, the program will behave appropriately instead of its prior very unpredictable behavior.
  • Improved handling / awareness of full-screen applications
  • Completely redone system tray mechanism for Plus, which is more lighweight and does not require any additional resident EXE (that’s right, sdmcp.exe will be a thing of the past ) System tray will not currently work on 64-bit versions of Windows, but they do work with Windows Vista, including the new "Special" tray icons in Vista.
  • Performance and memory usage has been improved. Lots of optimizing for CPU usage.
  • Every single 'glitchy' behavior that we/users could find in previous versions of ObjectDock has been fixed
  • When using extension-only in shortcuts, the item's title will now automatically update to the name of the application, not just its filename.
  • Ability added for ObjectDock to apply included default images for programs that do not have high-resolution icons already included with them. For example, a default Notepad shortcut on XP would use the included custom high-quality icon, but on Vista where a high-quality icon is available for Notepad, ObjectDock will use the actual Notepad icon.
  • Improved system tray, should now work more reliably than ever! Outlook 2007 and Windows Live Messenger should both now work reliably.
  • Fixed up a couple minor resource leaks
  • Improved taskbars / thumbnail behavior.
  • Added option to turn off tabbed docks' ability to automatically dock to the edge as a drawer when dragging. Option available in "misc options".
  • Fixed multimonitor issue with the Start Menu functionality, and added better problem-notification.
  • Fixed issue with flyouts where if they contained 9+ items and zooming is disabled, they could show up partially behind the dock.
  • UI improvments
  • Ability to export backgrounds added to the DockZip packaging format. Try this feature today by right clicking the dock and choosing "Pack images for sharing"
  • Dialog flow / layout improved for zooming docks
  • Colorizing a background now also colorizes the indicators you've selected to use
  • When packing up icons, you can now reliably drag dock items on to the "packager" dialog, and the icon associated with that item will automatically be added to the package you're creating
  • Improved autohide ability in general. Also, added ability for autohide to give activation back to the window that had it if an autohidden dock gets activated temporarily and then hides.
  • improved shortcuts so that the dock longer pauses for a moment when you run something
  • improved delete-item animation so that there is no longer a delay when you delete something from the dock
  • clicking empty space directly above/below a zooming dock that is still part of the background (e.g. a shadow) no longer causes the dock item below it to get selected. similarly, right clicking that area will bring up options for the dock itself, not the item below where you clicked.
  • On Vista, Taskbar should now show / be able to interact with applications ran as administrator when UAC is enabled in vista, even if ObjectDock isn't elevated. (Minimize animations will not work for programs ran as administrator however)
  • Fixed issue where icons for url-shortcuts would not get remembered
  • Can now drag/drop "Internet" and "Email" shortcuts from start panel into dock
  • ObjectDock is better than ever at picking up the best high-quality icon for your file, particularly in Windows Vista.
  • You can now zoom icons up to 256x256.

    Click Here to check out some of the features of ObjectDock as a video.


    In short, a lot has changed.

    Highlighted Changes

    There's so many new things in ObjectDock 1.9 that it's hard to narrow things down to a handful. And even the above list isn't complete!  Here are some of our favorite changes:

    It's Faster!


    Probably one of the first things some users will notice is how much faster ObjectDock 1.9 is.  That's because the underlying engine was largely rewritten to take advantage of advances in OS and video card technology. It's faster while using less memory.

    It's Prettier!


    Another thing users will notice, especially long-time users, is how many cool new backgrounds and icons come with it. The default look has been changed, the default icons changed, and a ton of artwork from the WinCustomize.com community (with permission) has bee included.

    One other note about that screenshot, ObjectDock supports backgrounds on a per item basis!

    It's more useful!

    ObjectDock is popular not just because it's so visually cool and pretty but because it is very useful. Docklets that support searching and the ability to display running tasks as part of your dock are examples of why ObjectDock isn't just a cool program, it's a very useful one.

    ObjectDock 1.9 includes a new weather docklet that on a single click will display the 5-day forecast.


    ObjectDock 1.9 also includes a new Start menu docklet that will bring up the real Start menu (and if it's skinned, then it'll still be skinned!).

    It's more usable!

    ObjectDock has always been strong about having features that make is convenient to use. But ObjectDock 1.9 goes even further!

    ObjectDock 1.9 now includes options for dock placement that is completely free-form! Put the dock anywhere you want on the screen!


    It's easier to use! 


    The user interface has been updated to be easier to use with functionality much more accessible!

    It has more Windows Vista support!

    While users of Windows XP have much to rejoice, users of Windows Vista get live thumbnail previews and minimize and restore effects thanks to the new Windows Vista desktop graphics engine (the DWM) which provides hardware acceleration features!

    It's more fun!


    With thousands of skins and icons for ObjectDock and tons of cool effects and options to choose from, ObjectDock doesn't just look great and work great, it's just fun to use.

    And it's still free!

    The world's most fully featured dock on any platform is still freeware. 

    Stardock also makes ObjectDock PLUS! which adds tabbed docks, system tray support, additional mouse-over effects, multiple dock support, taskbar grouping, and more!

    But ObjectDock itself remains free as it always has even with all these new features.  Try it yourself and find out what millions of others have learned -- it's fun, pretty, and useful!  

    Get it at http://www.objectdock.com

    First Previous Page 1 of 2 Next Last
    Reply #1 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:56 PM
    I'm most excited for the new features, most especially the Start Menu one. I'm a no-taskbar kind of guy, after all . . .

    Thanks Brad and Stardock for all you guys do!
    Reply #2 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 1:18 PM
    Congrats to Jeff Barmann for getting this out.  Thanks buddy!
    Reply #3 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 1:46 PM
    Overjoyed. Will now take the rest of the day off to play with this.
    Reply #4 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 1:54 PM
    Congrats to Jeff Barmann for getting this out.

    Reply #5 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 1:58 PM
    Could someone tell me where I can find an article on how to use this program?

    Reply #6 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:32 PM
    Got it installed and running . . . kept all my old settings from 1.5, offered me tons of new, wonderful options, and that handy START MENU BUTTON!

    I'm loving it, guys. Thanks again!
    Chef Garry
    Reply #7 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 4:58 PM
    OD about shows I'm using version 1.9 but the config is as before, not like the one in the screen shots.
    Reply #8 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 5:09 PM
    The screenshots are for the Free version, you have the Plus, right?
    Reply #9 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 5:10 PM
    LOL, I love the new delete animation when you drag an object off the dock!
    Chef Garry
    Reply #10 Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:39 PM
    Thanks Zubaz. It's plus I've got.
    Reply #11 Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:01 AM
    any idea if a fix for the

    Dock stealing focus when a game is running full screen is running

    issue is in the works. I'd prefer it built into OD rather than a docklet
    Fred Hall
    Reply #12 Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:37 AM
    I added the Start Menu Docklet, but the menu appears under the start button on my task bar (task bar on top of screen - dock on bottom) not where my mouse is on the docklet....then an error "StartMenu helper file was injected but failed to take effect. Can not show start menu at this time, please try again"
    Reply #13 Friday, April 27, 2007 12:38 AM
    I'm getting the same error message noted in Reply #12.
    Bebi Bulma
    Reply #14 Friday, April 27, 2007 1:05 AM
    Has it been set so we can decide what directory we want as default when looking for an icon? And also having it automatically open to where the current icon is instead of the default od/images folder? (Sometimes I forget what icon I set and would be nice if it opened to the current one.) I have a folder with 1.3gb worth of icons and I'm not going to move them to the OD folder and it's a pain having to go back and forth all the time.
    Fuzzy Logic
    Reply #15 Friday, April 27, 2007 5:01 AM

    Same here. I seem to have OD folders all over the place   

    Reply #16 Friday, April 27, 2007 6:52 AM

    Has it been set so we can decide what directory we want as default when looking for an icon? And also having it automatically open to where the current icon is instead of the default od/images folder? (Sometimes I forget what icon I set and would be nice if it opened to the current one.) I have a folder with 1.3gb worth of icons and I'm not going to move them to the OD folder and it's a pain having to go back and forth all the time.

    Same here. I seem to have OD folders all over the place   

    Agree with you
    Change icon is nightmare now, just click> click>. more .more.
    Default folder change would be nice...
    Fred Hall
    Reply #17 Friday, April 27, 2007 8:59 AM
    Regarding my problem in message #12....I noticed if I gave my user account admin permission, the menu appears on the dock and no error….looks like the docklet has a permissions problem with straight "user" accounts.
    Reply #18 Saturday, April 28, 2007 2:41 PM
    I am getting crashes every time I try to run the new version AFTER the first run. First run OK, constant crash after that. I have uninstalled and reinstalled 3 times. I don't know how to get more information on the problem since it won't run at all. I have stripped my startup stuff clean. Checking with Whatsrunning. Can't see anything out of the ordinary. No other problems with the system. I am running with the lastest Nvidia drivers but nothing else of theirs turned on.

    Reply #19 Saturday, April 28, 2007 3:43 PM
    Very nice additions. Thank you for the hard work. One issue though: I thought you would fix the problem with Animated Shortcut Docklets not working on tabbed docks(I mean the mouseover animation not working) I like animated shortcuts but I can't place them on tabbed docks because of this.
    HELP !
    Reply #20 Saturday, April 28, 2007 5:11 PM
    More information on my #18 post. Free OD works like a charm (my OD+ IS licensed...activated through SDC download).

    Also, I looked at the Plus .ini files and they are pointing to Last (Cobalt). I don't have this. Could that be the problem?

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