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Make (some) apps run without a dock icon System
If you'd like to have an application running, but without a dock icon, there's a way achieve this by modifying the application's plist file. Read the rest of this article if you'd like the (fairly simple) instructions.

NOTE: This one goes in the clearly 'experimental' category. I have not tried this myself yet, but the source (the X4U mailing list) is generally good, and it seems to make logical sense. Use at your own risk!!

Open a terminal session, and first navigate to the "Contents" folder of the application you'd like to modify (note - you may want to make a backup of the app first, especially if it's one of the Apple-installed applications). This example uses Key Caps:
cd 'Applications/Utilities/Key Caps.app/Contents/'
Now, edit the Info.plist file:
vi Info.plist
You can use vi, pico, or emacs to do the editing.

Just before the closing Just before the closing </dict> tag, add
<key>NSBGOnly</key>
<string>1</string>
Save the edited Info.plist, then launch Key Caps from the GUI (it's in /Applications). If your edit was successful, you should see the Key Caps window come up, but no icon in the dock.
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Make (some) apps run without a dock icon | 7 comments | Create New Account
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What about Apps that aren't Bundles?
Authored by: pualo on Apr 20, '01 03:02:05AM

Is there a way to add a plist to an application that is currently an actual standalone file? That is, is there a way to package up an application inside of a bundle yourself?



[ Reply to This | # ]
What about Apps that aren't Bundles?
Authored by: GaelicWizard on Oct 14, '02 01:10:40AM
a short while ago i was going crazy trying to make an app run with super user privs. at the time i did not have pseudo, now i do. I had some pseudo-like app that only made bundle-apps run w/ admin privs. I experimented with making app bundles from complete app-files. basically all you have to do is make the PkgInfo & Info.plist files in the bundle's contents folder look correct w/ the right type & creator codes then put the real app in the MacOS folder inside the Contents folder in the whatever.app folder. now i think that this makes it a package and everything is fine and dandy. i think this will allow this hack to work.

I may be wrong, have fun!

[ Reply to This | # ]
No need to go to the terminal
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 20, '01 04:42:08AM

Hi!
You can obviously even do this from the GUI (if you have proper permissions on the App) by using "Show Package Contents from the context menu and, double clicking info.plist.
This should fire up Property List editor, where you can edit the file and are less likely to screw it up. (It might be a cool idea to duplicate info.plist before)

Greetings, iSee
PS: I think this only works for Cocoa apps (that always come in bundles), like it seams to be a feature inherited from NextStep (note the NS in the property name)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Editing the file
Authored by: BMarsh on Apr 21, '01 04:23:01PM

This edit does indeed work, I have wClock running, but no longer in my dock (set to startup in the login panel in my system preferences)

TextEdit has a straight text mode, and if you "show package contents" and navigate so you can see the mentioned file, then just drag the file onto the textedit program

(if you have devtools installed, may as well just use property list editor, otherwise textedit does it just fine)

it's always recommended to make a copy before editing things like this, just in case =)



[ Reply to This | # ]
A word of caution
Authored by: jwyner on Apr 22, '01 05:45:51PM

A great tip, but be careful: changing the plist puts the app permanently into the background, which means programs like stickies (this is of course purely hypothetical, I would never do something so stupid this afternoon at 1:15pm PST) can only have their windows moved -- keyboard strokes go to the foreground app. (This makes typing a new sticky note especially difficult)



[ Reply to This | # ]
A word of caution
Authored by: yan.nl on Oct 12, '02 05:07:58PM

To enable the Dock icon again replace the "1" for a "0" and save the file.

<key>NSBGOnly</key>
<string>0</string>



[ Reply to This | # ]
Another possibility:
Authored by: evands on Oct 14, '02 10:03:22PM
Check out this hint from a while back which performs the same function in a different way, with the added functionality of still being able to type in the application... doesn't seem to work for all apps, though.

[ Reply to This | # ]