ObjectDock Plus – Editing Non-Tabbed Docks 102

A mini tutorial for beginners

Sunday, January 22, 2006 by Corky_O | Discussion: Tutorials

ObjectDock Plus – Editing Non-Tabbed Docks 102


This mini tutorial is designed for beginners who want to understand the steps involved in adding entries to non-tabbed docks using ObjectDock Plus, as well as a few additional features available via the dock context menu.


An assumption has been made that users have already installed ObjectDock Plus, so please do so before using the procedures in this tutorial (note – make sure that any free version of ObjectDock has been uninstalled previous to installing ObjectDock Plus). If you have any content files that you have downloaded for use with the free version, it is recommended that you copy these files to a temporary folder on your computer before uninstalling the free version of ObjectDock.


For this mini tutorial I will be using a dock similar to the one created in "ObjectDock Plus – Create A Non-Tabbed Dock 101", which can be found here http://corkyo.wincustomize.com/Articles.aspx?AID=98639


This mini tutorial has been created using the default Windows XP installation and settings.


Before adding anything to the dock, let’s remove some of the default content to get us closer to a "blank canvas", by removing two of the entries as shown in the image below:



Note – leaving one default entry until you have added one of your own entries will prevent the dock background from stretching across the screen in strange ways. The final default entry can be removed after adding one of your own entries.




You can create a new dock entry (icon) using either the context (right-click) menu, or using the "drag-n-drop" method. Both of which are illustrated below.


Context Menu Method


1 - Right-click on the dock > mouse-over the "Add Entry" option > select a new entry type to add to the dock (in this case, a "New Shortcut") as shown in the image below:

Please notice that the context menu is divided into groups, with new links and system related entries in the top group, with Docklets in the lower section, and at the bottom you will see the "My Docks" option (which invokes the current dock listing dialog).


This will place a purple ‘question mark’ icon on the dock, which represents the new entry. At this point, let’s go ahead and drag the final "default" entry (which we left to prevent the background from stretching) off the dock to delete – releasing the mouse button will result in the entry disappearing in a "POOF" as shown in the image below:

2 – Right-click the remaining "New Shortcut" that was just added, and then select the "Dock Entry Properties" option as shown in the image below:



This will result in the display of the Dock Entry Properties dialog shown below:



The "Title" text box at the top of the dialog contains the text that will display on mouse-over of the dock entry. You can change this text, or delete it. Deleting the text will result in no text being displayed on mouse-over. To change the text font and size, you can use the "ObjectDock Properties (AKA the "Dock Settings) > General category > Advanced Options" dialog, which is discussed in the "ObjectDock Plus – Create A Non-Tabbed Dock 101" mini tutorial.


2 – Assign a link for the new dock entry by using one of the following methods: (1) use the preset drop-down list, (2) use the Browse button to locate an "executable" file, or (3) type or paste the address to a folder or file in the "Link" text box. In this case, we will select "My Documents" from the preset drop-down list as shown in the image below:



Note - the "Arguments" text box is for command specific actions, and is beyond the scope of this mini tutorial.


3 – Select an image for your entry by clicking the "Change Image" button as shown in the image below:

This will invoke the Choose Image dialog, which is a basic explorer window allowing you to select a folder in the left pane, and then an image from the selected folder in the main pane as shown below:

Alternatively, you can use the "Browse" button to navigate to any ".ico" or ".png" file. Note – for editing and designing a theme which you intend to distribute, it is recommended that you keep all files in the ObjectDock sub-directory. This will make your theme more likely to be compatible with another users’ computer.



On your keyboard, hold down the "Windows" key (key with flying window symbol), and immediately press the "E" key – to invoke "Explorer". Alternatively, you can open "My Computer" and click the "Folders" button in the toolbar. You can then drag-n-drop any icon from either the left pane, or main pane onto the dock – as illustrated by dragging the "My Computer" icon onto the dock - in the image below:

The result of dragging My Computer onto the dock is shown in the image below:



Note – change the text and image the same way indicated for the context menu method.


I have added a few other entries using the methods above to add some functional content to the dock, including the "Recycle Bin" – which I used the context menu method to illustrate it’s location in the menu as shown in the image below:



Make sure to change both the "Empty" and "Full" images for the recycle bin as shown in the image below:





Let’s polish the theme off with some increase in icon size, and a matching background for the dock, by right-clicking the dock and selecting "Dock Properties" as shown in the image below:



Click the "Appearance" category and use the "Icon Size" slider to increase icons to 72 pixels, and then use the "Background" drop-down list to select a background – as shown in the image below:



You can lock the icons in place on the dock to prevent deleting one by accidentally dragging if off the dock and watching it disappear in a "POOF" – which I have managed to do a few times previous to the addition of this feature. To lock the icons in place, right-click the dock > select "Lock Dragging" as shown in the image below:

Well, that is all for this lesson.


I hope you found this mini tutorial useful. Until next time, have fun and "Keep On Customizing".

Reply #1 Tuesday, October 17, 2006 8:56 PM
I have a question about editing non-tabbed docks. When I used OD free, the bottom band of the screen where the windows taskbar used to be was reserved, but now it isn't. Here are two screenshots to demonstrate, the first showing how I would want it to look with maximized windows and the second what it really looks like.

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