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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator System 10.5
I know a lot of you are not a fan of the 3D dock, however I love it. One thing that was bugging me was that little curve that was in it. It seemed so unnecessary and I felt made the dock look a little too busy. In trying to see if I could remove it, I found out that whole background is one PNG image.

The image is found here: /System » Library » CoreServices » Dock. Control-clik on the Dock file and select Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Once inside the dock's package contents, you need to go into the Resources folder. There is a bit of an unknown here: The dock's background image is called scurve.png, and if you're doing this as you read, you'll see there are several scurve files. The one that worked on my system was scurve-l.png. You may have to try some of the other scurve files (they range from sm to xl) to get this to work.

Copy scurve-l.png and place it somewhere so you know where it is and can edit it. I made a second copy of this as well, because you will have to replace the one in the package, and I wanted an original just in case. Fire up your favorite image editor that supports layer opacity. The reflection in the dock is actually a layer below the image you are editing, so the amount of opacity you set your image to in the image editor will determine how reflective your dock is when your all said and done.

Now you get to do your magic in Photoshop or whatever it is you are using. I just changed mine to a solid black, and set the opacity to 70%, and saved it as a png. Any name for this file will do. I then dragged the saved png file to the Finder window I opened earlier. You want to place your new file into the same Resources folder as where the original resides. You will have to authenticate to tell the system that you are sure you want to put this new file in there.

Once you have your file where it needs to be, you'll need to fire up Terminal. Navigate to the Resources directory I mentioned earlier. In my case, I named my new dock file scurve-black.png, so I had to type in:
sudo mv scurve-black.png scurve-l.png
The general form of the command is sudo mv newFile oldFile. To see the fruit of your labor, you'll have to restart your dock. Logging out should do it, or just "Force Quit" it from the activity monitor, or use killall Dock in Terminal.

[robg adds: Reader Marius_Th also sent in a tip on this, and he included a shot of his colorized dock; here's a segment of his, or click it to view the full version:


He also points out that you can change the left/right separator by modifying the various separator PNG files in the Resources folder.]
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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator | 21 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: ajmas on Oct 29, '07 08:02:03AM

I modified the hue of mine, to something other than the grey. Its a simple change, but enough to reduce of the dull grey feel of the UI.

It should be noted that the 2D dock can also be modified with some of the other files there. And the dashed section separator is also a file that is present that could be modified. There are a lot changes that can be done.

If anyone has any special designs please post a link to them here.



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: berada on Oct 29, '07 08:08:39AM

I found this out yesterday ... I'm a Dock on the right person myself and I'm not happy with the heavy handed design of the new side Dock. I've managed to manipulate the set of PNG's for the right placed Dock to remove the horrid white outline but I've not figured out how to change the colour.

The right (left and bottom) placed flat look Dock uses a set of 5 images cunningly named right1.png -> right5.png to obfuscate their function (obviously the left Dock is left1.png -> left5.png and bottom is bottom1.png -> bottom5.png). These 5 images are for the top and bottom corners and the top, left and bottom edges. Changing the colour of these images creates a wide border effect around the icon area/background of the Dock which remains the same dark grey. Bummer.

The background area containing the icons must be managed by some other image in the Resources folder or it's done programmatically .... has anyone discovered how the main background area is handled yet?



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: mimic on Feb 03, '09 05:43:04PM

Any progress on discovering a way to change the background color of left/right positioned Dock? Images only influence its border.



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: Marius_Th on Oct 29, '07 08:39:37AM

the letters (l / m/ sm/ xl) probably stand for large/ medium/ small/ and xtra large/ respectively, and likely depend on the size you've set your dock on.



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: jeckyll on Oct 29, '07 09:11:06AM

I've changed almost all pngs but nothing happens to the background in the 2D version. For me it seems, that its done programmatically. ;(

I want to have back my clear-no-reflection-kind-of dock from Tiger!



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: ajmas on Oct 29, '07 09:36:30AM

Did you change the alpha channels of any of the images?



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: mark hunte on Oct 29, '07 11:41:17AM

One of the first things I did when I got my copy of Leopard the other day, was to change the active app image.
( indicator_small.png) which sits under the app icon.
I could not see it all that well on my PB.
I have not yet found a need to change other indicator_** images yet

---
mh



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: LegoEvan on Oct 29, '07 12:13:03PM
You can turn the glossy shelf into the flat-background (like when the dock is left- or right- mounted) via these simple commands in the Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
killall Dock
I can't take credit for this, I got it from Ars Technica's Leopard review: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/mac-os-x-10-5.ars/4

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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: benfsmith on Oct 29, '07 06:09:52PM

For those who are interested, you can also edit the "front" white line by doing this same process to frontline.gif, and the indicator images. Too bad we can't post screenshots here, or I'd show you the nice results I achieved.



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: jiclark on Oct 29, '07 09:28:13PM

Just put your screenshots up on the net somewhere, then give us a link to that spot. We'd love to see what you've done...



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: MarsViolet on Oct 30, '07 03:26:08AM
The reflection in the dock is actually a layer below the image you are editing, so the amount of opacity you set your image to in the image editor will determine how reflective your dock is when your all said and done.
I have not found any combination of color or layer opacity in the png to have any affect on the dock's reflectivity. No matter what I do, the dock comes out medium gray and about 50% reflective. I did manage to eliminate the s-curve, but the transparency amount seems fixed. What am I doing wrong?

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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: h0h0sagreement on Oct 31, '07 09:55:45PM

How do I find this file? using the Terminal? what commands would I type to even get to this file? (Excuse me, but I am obviously ignorant to these things)



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: shoregeek on Nov 01, '07 12:35:29AM

I can't seem to change the image -- I've followed the suggested methods and paths, but nothing changes my dock image. I've changed them all.

I'm using Photoshop CS3 and I save the images out to PNG. I've noticed that my images seem to come out with a smaller file size than those of the original file. And all I am doing is adding a color overlay to the layer, to throw in the colored effect.

Please advise.

Thanks.



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: max77 on Nov 02, '07 02:49:34PM

I am having trouble having two distinct colors (like on the screenshot)
I am using Gimp as an image editor.
Could anyone tell the step by step procedure to have a light and dark color (like for the green)



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Change other stuff: interior
Authored by: robg on Nov 18, '07 09:43:50PM

From an anonymous hint submission:

----
clear dock does not work…in fact it crashes the OS during boot. However here is a trick to get a clear dock again.

Type this in terminal: defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES

Then go to /System/Library/Core Services/Dock

Show package contents: /resources

Delete the following Files:

Bottom1.png
Bottom2.png
Bottom3.png
Bottom4.png
Bottom5.png

Now in terminal type: killall Dock

And you are done and now have a nice clear dock once again.
---

-rob.



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Change other stuff: interior
Authored by: apikoros on May 01, '08 04:55:39AM

Uhh... no, I don't.



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Magic Carpet?
Authored by: S on Apr 29, '08 08:58:37AM
I know I'm a bit late, but does anyone know what the magic_carpet_*.png does?

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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: chrisfender1 on Aug 17, '08 04:41:10PM

You can try PimpMyDock they have a cool App to create .png's that can then be used as dock backgrounds.
The greatest thing about this app, if you are uncomfortable with running Terminal commands, is that you drag your creation to the File location of the requested background image and then you just restart your dock by running "killall Dock" in terminal ;)



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: junk666 on Apr 11, '10 09:19:25PM

The Terminal command:
defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
DID NOT give me a clear Dock. It gave me a Dock with a translucent grey background that looks worse than the original! Get your facts straight, please!

Anyone know how to eliminate the background image of the Dock to make it truly clear?



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: junk666 on May 15, '10 07:04:19PM

Title of this hint is misleading. You are dealing with the SHELF, not the background. The background is generated from com.apple.dock. You can remove the reflection with the Terminal command:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
Press Return.
killall Dock
Press Return.

and that will not only cancel the reflection, but also unmask the background which is a semi-transparent colorless shadow effect in a rectangle shape (not a trapezoid like the shelf).



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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator
Authored by: MOSXX on Apr 09, '11 01:16:16PM

Actually, I changed my finder icon to green inside dock.app and it completely disappeared from the dock.
I had created a green finder image and named it "finder.png" and replaced the finder.png in dock.app with it and it vanished from dock.
That was two months ago and it is still missing, just a blank png claiming to be finder in its place.
But at one point along the way I lost the Document divider, the outline, and even the dock background.
Nearly bought the farm then.



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