ObjectDock is one of the most useful apps I’ve come across ever! It is simply awesome. “ObjectDock is a program that allows you to have a nice animated launch bar/taskbar on your screen that reacts to your mouse when you mouse over it. In short, it’s a task bar and program launcher that does it with style.” I could not agree more. As great as object dock is, there are a few things you can do to improve your experience with this amazing program.
1. Get rid of Fuzzy/ Low Res icons
This is probably one of the more annoying of the problems. ObjectDock has a library of icons containing icons for Microsoft office, all the components of Object Desktop, and a couple other programs like WLM, Internet explorer and different file types. When a program such as MS Word is added to the dock, the icon that came with OD is set. This is fine because the icon is already 250×250. This is all well and dandy until it comes to adding a program that’s icon did not come modified by OD.
As is said earlier, this happens when a 32×32 icon is stretched to 250×250. This can be fixed in 2 ways;
One site where you can download almost anything for any component of Object Desktop is http://www.wincustomize.com. Once you have downloaded your icons (usually in a compressed format) extract them to \ODdir\images (default is C:/program files/stardock/objectdock/images). After you’ve done that, right-click on the icon that you want to change and then select dock entry properties. In the dialog box, change icon and from there it’s just a matter of finding the icon. NOTE: if you don’t extract to that folder make sure the folder you do extract it to isn’t going to move because if you do move it, the icon will restore to the default question mark icon.
2. Keep shortcut handy in case of crash
As frequent ObjectDockers probably know, OD isn’t the most stable program out there. It crashes… on occasion… however when it does crash, you don’t want to be digging around in your program files to try to find the executable. It’s a bit of a pain when that happens so… when it does happen… you want to make the process of recovering as painless as possible. This can also be done by adding OD to the start menu. You can add it to the main menu or the all programs folder. Now, when OD crashes… just flick open the start menu.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>3. <!–[endif]–>Customize everything
ObjectDock is fully customizable. You can customize almost anything that there is. You can customize the background, icons, positioning, shortcuts, docklets, menus, settings, colour etc. All of these features put the icing on the cake so to say. The same two rules apply for customization; you can make the images yourself, or you can download them. Again, a large database of all things ObjectDock is http://www.wincustomize.com. To apply backgrounds to your dock; extract the folder to …\ObjectDock\Backgrounds. After this, right click on some empty space on the dock and click on dock settings. From there, click on “appearance” on the left had side and select what background you want. From there you can colourize the background.
4. Use docklets
Docklets can be very useful and fun. There are docklets for virtually everything; from SysStats (CPU usage, RAM usage, HDD usage etc.) to battery meters (for laptops) to clocks and calendars, although, I must admit that some docklets are completely and utterly useless, i.e. the animated docklet that comes with OD is a dud. All it does is looks like a globe and spin. I must add that there aren’t too many of theses useless docklets because as they say: “Necessity is the mother of invention” and if you find watching something go round and round necessary, you’ve got too much time on your hands. One of my favourite docklets is the animated shortcut which can be downloaded here. This docklet allows you to play an animation image as a shortcut. The one downside being, if there isn’t an animation image out there you have to create your own. Another highly useful Docklet is kkmenu. This docklet allows you to create your own menus with anything you want in it. This docklet can be downloaded here.
5. Backup your dock arrangements as themes
Themes are a very useful feature of OD. Just to clear things up, themes are not the same as changing backgrounds, icons etc. Themes are a whole different deal. Themes save all of the shortcuts, docklets, backgrounds, basically all settings. This can be helpful in a couple of ways, in case of a system crash; (providing you backed up…) you can restore all of your icons in a dazzling 30 seconds which is unbelievably convenient as it removes the painful process of manually re-adding and resetting all shortcuts and icons. This can be especially painful for frequent ObjectDockers like myself who have 80+ items not including icons, backgrounds etc. This can also be useful when switching computers or anything of that nature. It again can be used to restore all settings.