March 2, 2010 - Dave Hecei
I admit that I have a love-hate relationship with the Apple Dock. I love the instant access to my most used applications, downloads, and documents. I don’t love how it creeps into my desktop or when you have a big monitor or dual monitor it takes forever to get the mouse over to click on something. The worst thing about the Dock is when you accidentally drag something off of it and hear that wonderful ‘Poof’ sound as it disappears in a cloud of virtual smoke.
This last problem is no longer a problem now that I have found a very cool utility called Deeper from Titanium Software. This little utility is packed full of hidden OS X goodies, one of which is the ability to lock the Apple Dock. Deeper is free and installs in seconds. There is a separate version for Tiger and Leopard, but they are still working on a version for Snow Leopard.
Once installed, double click the Deeper icon to start it. On Leopard you will have to enter your user password. There are several parameters that Deeper can control: General, Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Expose, Safari, Login, Spotlight, and Misc. I found Deeper in hopes to lock the Dock, which it does, but also found some other useful settings that can be easily modified.
In the General parameters you can control the scroll bar arrows – single, double, bottom only , top and bottom, or left and right. Another useful setting is what file format to save a screen capture. The default in OS X is PNG, but you can choose – JPG, TIFF, PICT, JPG2000, PDF, GIF, BMP, SGI, or TGA.
In the Finder parameters there are lots of setting to play with. The most useful one I found was the ability to ‘Show hidden files and folders’. This is a very powerful thing to have and allows you to find system level files that can help an ailing Mac, but can also kill one if you don’t know what you are doing.
In the Dock parameters you can lock it so no icons can be added or removed, exactly what I was looking for. You can also change other features like – 2D or 3D apperance, transparency for hidden applications, and add another Stack. You can also add invisible spacers in the Dock, which can be removed by just dragging the blank area off the dock.
Other parameters can be set, but these are the ones I thought would be of interest to most Mac users, new and old. The other settings might be of interest to power users, those who like to hack their OS to do what they want and not what Apple thinks you want.
A very cool utility and better yet it’s free.