ObjectDock Plus - Creating Non-Tabbed Docks101

A mini tutorial for beginners

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

ObjectDock Plus - Creating Non-Tabbed Docks101

 

 This mini tutorial is designed for beginners who want to understand the basic steps involved in creating non-tabbed docks using ObjectDock Plus.

 

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.

 

This mini tutorial has been created using the default Windows XP installation and settings, and illustrates procedures using the main ObjectDock Plus dialog boxes.

 

STARTING OBJECTDOCK PLUS

 

Start ObjectDock Plus by clicking Start > All Programs > click either the Stardock, or Object Desktop folder > click ObjectDock Plus icon.

 

If this is the first time you have started any ObjectDock program (Free or Plus version) on your computer, you may see a message from your firewall program informing you that ObjectDock.exe is attempting to access the internet. This message may be similar to the one shown in the image below:

 

 

Note – in this case, ObjectDock is attempting to access the weather information from the internet for use by the Weather docklet on both the tabbed and non-tabbed docks that load by default. Allowing this access is safe, and no personal information is given out by the ObjectDock program.

 

CREATING OR EDITING A NON-TABBED DOCK

 

1 – Right-click the ObjectDock icon in the notification area (A.K.A. the ‘system tray’) of the taskbar, and then select and click "My Docks" as shown in the image below:

 

 

Note – this tutorial will use a blank "My Docks" dialog (starting with no docks). If you want to start with a "blank canvas" when designing a new theme, simply select any current docks in the list, and then click the "Remove this dock" button to delete the dock – as shown in the image below:

 

 

2 – Once you have removed all docks, click "Create new dock" as shown in the image below:

This will place a default dock on your desktop, and invoke the ObjectDock Properties dialog (A.K.A. the "Dock Settings" dialog) to allow dock editing. Note – if you wish to edit an existing dock listed in "My Docks" dialog, simply select the dock in the list, and click the "Edit this dock" button to invoke the same dialog.

 

EDITING A NON-TABBED DOCK

 

1 – The "ObjectDock Properties" dialog will display with the "Appearance" category selected as shown in the image below:

This category allows you to enable and set icon size (both static and magnified sizes), enable/disable magnification, and work with the dock background. Note – the difference between the static icon size and the magnified icon size gives you control of the amount of zoom.

 

2 – Click the "Positioning" category in the left-hand list of the dock settings dialog to display the options as shown in the image below:

 

 

This will allow you to edit the dock’s screen position, edge alignment, and z-ordering. In this case, I have set the dock to the "Top" screen position, and I have left the "Center" alignment and "Always on top" Z-Ordering alignment default settings. Note – Z-Ordering refers to the "depth alignment" on screen (where X-axis is horizontal alignment, Y-axis is vertical alignment, and the Z-axis is the depth – or front to back alignment).

 

3 – Click "Dock Contents" category to display the dialog shown in the image below:

 

 

Note – I have deselected the "Show running tasks on the dock" option, to display only the static entries, which will be used in the next tutorial "ObjectDock Plus - Editing Non-Tabbed Docks 102".

 

4 – Click the "Appearance Tweaks" category in the left-hand list of the dock settings dialog to display the options as shown in the image below:

 

 

This category allows you to adjust (tweak) the zoom appearance, as well as some running task oriented tweaks in the lower portion of the dialog. The image also illustrates the "zoom" process while set to "Wide Mode" (note – the Wide and Normal modes refer to the expansion of the dock during "zooming", where the dock will expand at the ends more in "Wide Mode" than in "Normal Mode").

 

5 – Click on the "General" category, and then click the "Advanced Options" button as shown in the image below:

 

 

The resulting pop-up dialog:

 

 

This dialog allows you to select a few interesting settings. In addition to the top 4 check boxes, which are fairly self-explanatory (and can be experimented with), there are a few that may benefit from a bit of explanation as follows:

 

-          The "Entry Label" font and size are changeable, though these changes only apply to "mouse-over" text displays.

-          The "Attention" effect drop-down allows you to designate the effect displayed (or animated) when an entry is selected. This can be helpful if you are running a system tray dock and using an Instant Messaging program that animates the icon to show a new message, etc.

-          The "Temporarily disable docklets" option is provided for troubleshooting purposes (which I have selected for emphasis in the image above), and would be used by anyone who is experiencing issues with a dock theme. Disabling the docklets will help narrow the search for the cause by removing them as a possible cause. If disabling the docklets fixes the issue, then the cause is likely in one of the docklets.

 

6 – To save a theme, notice the "Save Theme as" and "Load Theme" buttons in the General category. Click the "Save Theme as" button as shown in the image below:

 

 

Just type the name of your theme in the "Save dock theme" box (shown in the image above), and then click "Save" button.

 

7 – To load a theme, click the "Load Theme" button, select a saved theme from the list, and click the "Open" button as shown in the image below:

 

 

Note – it is highly recommended that you save your themes. This will allow you to reload a theme later, or recover from a crash of some sort. If you do not save your theme, and there is a problem which removes the theme from the screen, you may need to rebuild your theme.

 

This concludes the basics on creating a non-tabbed dock. More to come in "ObjectDock Plus - Editing Non-Tabbed Docks 102".

 

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

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