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Customizing the Leopard Dock

Dock Featured

Many people seem to be irritated by the new Leopard dock. I myself was a bit upset with the new indicator icon change. They used to have black triangles that would allow you to know what applications were open at a quick glance. Now they have changed that indicator to a light blue orb which is kinda hard to see. I found a method on changing the indicators back at a website. I tested it and it worked however the indicator icons were not the proper dimensions as they looked stretched.

I then found another site which had a much better set of indicators which will be used here.

Below are the steps which you need to complete in order to change your indicator icons.

1.) Download the Dock Indicators

2.) Unzip them to your desktop.

3.) open Terminal.app and issue the following command
cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Content/Resources/

4.) Now that you are in that directory you need to rename the current dock indicators for a backup
sudo mv indicator_small.png original_indicator_small.png
sudo mv indicator_medium.png original_indicator_medium.png
sudo mv indicator_large.png original_indicator_large.png

5.) With the backups made it is time to copy over the indicators that you downloaded.
sudo cp -rf /Users /Desktop/indicators/indicator_* /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Content/Resources/

6.) The final step is to restart the dock with the following command
killall Dock

After you have completed the above steps you will be able to have that lovely black triangle back as the dock indicator.

People have also figured out that you can change the color of the dock as well.  You do this in the same manner as you did above for the dock indicator, the only difference is that you are dealing with different images.  The images you want to be concerned with are the scurve_x.png images in the /Content/Resources/ directory along with the indicator images.  Make sure you back up the original images before you do anything.  You can download the modified Dock Images and save them to your desktop.  I have included both the black and orange colors, you just need to rename them to scurve_x.png where x is the size sm, m, l, xl.  Once you put the proper images in place do not forget to do the killall Dock command to restart the dock.  Now I did notice that these images will only work if your dock is on the bottom of your screen, they will not work for the right or left sides.  I do imagine it is just another image switch like these though.  Above is a picture of my current Dock.  While the initial setup of this is a bit technical I for see some smart developer writing a small application which will allow you to do this in a very easy method.  The only question that lies is why did Apple not make the ability to accomplish this rather than allowing some 3rd party to do it?

  1. demiphonicdemiphonic10-28-2008

    does anyone have the original png indicator files? a doc program deleted them by mistake! where can I download them?

  2. HollaHolla03-11-2008

    The directory is almost correct. You’ll want to navigate to:


    You can actually do it in the GUI, just click:
    Shift+Apple+G, then copy and paste above directory.

    Thanks for the images and input.

  3. Joseph CrawfordJoseph Crawford12-05-2007

    I think what I would suggest at this point though is for you to use Candybar 3 which I wrote about.

  4. Joseph CrawfordJoseph Crawford12-05-2007

    You must have something wrong.

    codebowl:Resources jcrawford$ pwd

  5. MichaelMichael11-26-2007

    Followed part 3.) open Terminal.app and issue the following command
    cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Content/Resources/

    got this error

    No such file or directory

    … from a Terminal newbie 🙁

  6. Crispin BatesCrispin Bates11-24-2007

    Is there any way to change the appearance of the dock when it is on the left or right of the screen? As an author, I need to maximise the height of the screen for editing. The dock is never at the bottom. In Tiger the dock looked the same wherever it was. Under Leopard it now has an ugly dark grey background and a white border. How to change this?

  7. Joseph CrawfordJoseph Crawford10-31-2007

    The closest I have been able to come is to remove the glass look. You still see the reflections from the icons. I do not think there is a way to remove that as of yet. I just deleted all images in the Dock.app folder and it still showed the shelf.

  8. Joseph CrawfordJoseph Crawford10-31-2007

    I have not tried removing it but you could try using a completely transparent image rather than the image of the shelf.

  9. OS2GuyOS2Guy10-30-2007

    I don’t hate the new dock, I hate the shelf it sits on. That shelf makes my 30″ Apple Cinema display seem smaller and the shelf needs to be removed. Under Tiger many of us had no background at all. What would be nice is to remove the shelf, making the dock transparent, leaving the icon shadows and the little glow lights. Those are cool.

    Can you remove the shelf altogether, leave the icon shadows and the glow lights?

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