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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons System 10.5
If you have multiple stacks in the dock, it is helpful to be able to quickly identify them. Unfortunately, in 10.5 the way in which Stacks work causes, for example, Address Book (or whatever your first app in Applications is) to be used as the icon for the Applications folder in the dock. This makes it hard to identify your docked folders at a glance.

To work around this, open Automator and create a new fake Automator project -- it can be completely empty, in fact (choose Custom from the selector when Automator launches). When the project window appears, choose File -> Save, set the Format to Application, give it a name that comes very early in the alphabet -- AAA or similar. For the save location, point to your Applications folder and save it there.

Back in the Finder, Get Info (Command-I) on both the Applications folder and your new AAA "application." Copy the icon from the Applications folder (by clicking on the icon in the Get Info window and pressing Command-C), then paste it onto the icon in the AAA Get Info window. Finally, drag the Applications folder into the dock. (You may need to remove and re-add it if it was already there). Make sure that it is set to display sorted by name.

[robg adds: This is the best solution I've seen to this problem, though I think it can be simplified: you don't need Automator. Just create a new folder, name it AAAA (I use underscores, to make sure it will always come first: ___A), and then paste on the custom icon. It seemed to work just as well as the Automator solution. The only downside to this method is that you'll see your custom folder/app as the first item in your stack, but that's a small price to pay for icon consistency in the Dock.

The other solution I've seen mentioned is to put an alias to the folder in the folder, but this leaves you with the alias arrow (and can be quite confusing in the Finder if you click the alias). Note that this is different than this hint, which explains how to basically disable the Stacks functionality of docked folders.]
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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons | 41 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Coumerelli on Nov 02, '07 08:05:12AM

Dang. I submitted this last night. To slow, I am. And for the record, I use a space as the name. It's clean.


---
"The best way to accelerate a PC is 9.8 m/s2"



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: macHobbes on Nov 02, '07 08:14:46AM

I use another variation of these theme.
First, I use three spaces ... ;->
Then, as an icon for the folder I use a small badge which covers only the lower right quarter, the rest is transparent.
This way, I still see most of the stack, and have a badge to identify the stack easily.
Unfortunately, I don't know how to include a sreen shot ...



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: macHobbes on Nov 02, '07 08:23:19AM
Here's a screen shot .

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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: wibs on Nov 02, '07 08:39:03AM
I use the same method, but with full size partially-transparent icons. Makes a lot more sense to me than messing with automator for no benefit.

<a href="http://macthemes2.net/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=191421">screenshot</a>;

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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: robogobo on Nov 14, '07 05:50:08PM

You should submit your idea as a new hint. It's much more useful and may not be seen by all in the comments.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: diamondsw on Nov 02, '07 08:48:26AM

Like others, I use a space as well. However, I name mine " Open in Finder" for each of my aliases. That way then clicked, the folder opens. As a bonus, it appears at the bottom of fans, so it's a faster target than the usual "Show in Finder" item.

Stacks truly is a horribly damaged "feature". Give us back a static top icon and hierarchical menus when right/control-clicked, and I'll be happy. The fan/grid can be useful, but not at the expense of other features!



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Casemon on Nov 02, '07 09:02:49AM

yeah I achieved this another way too, posting here to offer the variety:

- Copy the Applications icon to the first folder under Applications via the Get Info icon copy method.

It might be a little weird having your first folder with that icon, but arguably less weird than having some empty folder with a funny name.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: ocdinsomniac on Nov 02, '07 09:06:52AM

Nice! This is my favorite Leopard hint so far.

-systemsboy



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: MartiNZ on Nov 02, '07 10:41:08AM

I have a home and a work stack, each with 7 items, the max that fan on my 12" PB. Home has my home folder at the front (gosh), with a space to start and the home folder icon, and work has the root of a network shared drive, with an icon I made from one of our project logos.

On which topic, is it just me or is making icons much easier in Leopard? Preview seems a lot smarter about transparency for non-square icons, and opens icons copied from get info as .icns. Unless it's just to do with having dev tools installed.

I like the idea above of calling the first item open in Finder :) - having that right at the top of the fan is cruel, and I now have a Downloads folder in my Downloads folder to do just that! That was my main issue with the downloads stack.

Cheers.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: roseforeplay on Nov 02, '07 11:21:34AM

For the problem of seeing the item as the first thing in the stack list couldn't you just make the app/folder hidden? It would not show up then and it should still work exactly the same. Just a thought and I haven't tested this.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Zettt on Nov 02, '07 12:05:52PM

How does the name ordering work? I have named the folder, for example, "__Applications" (or the Alias - i can live with the small arrow...) but it doesn't get displayed first. First displayed are numbers! Like in "1Password.app"



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: jase71ds on Nov 02, '07 12:15:18PM

I don't see how this works for anything but the Applications folder. (Apparently the Applications folder uses alphabetical order to show the Stacks icon.)

However, from my test, Downloads and Documents looks at the latest creation date -- thus assigning an icon with a name like "AAA" or " " does no good the moment another file is placed in the folder.

The only solution I can think of (short of firebombing Apple for their UTTER stupidity) is to have an Automator action that watches for a new file dropped in the Downloads folder or Documents folder. The moment a new file is added, Automator changes the creation date on your designated icon to effectively trump the new addition.

I don't know, but this aggravates the heck out of me. Somebody at Apple prefers eye candy to productivity.



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Somebody at Apple prefers eye candy to productivity.
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Nov 02, '07 12:29:22PM
I don't know, but this aggravates the heck out of me. Somebody at Apple prefers eye candy to productivity. LOL! Ya think! I've been a Mac guy for around a decade and wouldn't change to a PC for anything but... Apple continues over the years to make the stupid reversal of the Design 101 rule that Form-Follows-Function and often ends up with Function-Follows-Form because someone (Stevie?) thinks it's prettier. Hello Steve? Enough already with pretty when it slows us designer/artists down. And how-'bout those 'nifty' retro OS 7 folder icons. Retro's in... long live retro! Pewey!

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Menu > Sort by...
Authored by: coolsoldier on Nov 02, '07 02:32:24PM

It uses whatever setting you select in the "Sort by" menu. If you want to sort any stack by name instead of date, right-click choose Sort By > Name from the menu. This also makes it use the first (alphebetical) icon for the stack.



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Menu > Sort by...
Authored by: jase71ds on Nov 02, '07 04:13:08PM

@ coolsoldier

I see. Thanks for pointing out to me the sort by feature.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: llahsram on Nov 02, '07 12:30:21PM

Here's an Automator workflow that will create a stack icon file for the selected folder:

Set Stack Icon



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: mattyohe on Nov 02, '07 01:30:15PM
For the people that want to sort by date (Say, your downloads folder), simply create a new folder in "Downloads" called "Downloads" that has the same folder icon as the original "Downloads" folder. Then drop to terminal and type this:

cd ~/Downloads
touch -mt 201001010101.01 Downloads
This will make the creation date on that folder Friday, January 1st, 2010 1:01AM. Now sort your stack by date and that folder will always show up first, no matter what it is called.

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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: jase71ds on Nov 02, '07 02:18:48PM

I was hopeful, but it doesn't seem to work for me. Anyone else have success?



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Nov 04, '07 06:02:14PM

You can do this with XRay also by simply entering a new modification and/or creation date.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on Nov 04, '07 06:04:53PM

Apple Finder windows are slow in updating so you may have to close/open or even remove from the Dock and put the folder back in the Dock. Hopefully this won't be necessary for you but it has been for me.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Whosawhatsis on Nov 06, '07 11:09:57PM

I don't suppose anyone's found a way to modify this information for "Date Added"...

---
I was offered a penny for my thoughts, so I gave my two cents... I got ripped off.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: robogobo on Nov 14, '07 05:55:53PM

why 2010? are you one of those people who thinks the world is ending soon?



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: eagle on Nov 02, '07 01:42:02PM

I do something simliar. I create an empty file called "!icon" in each folder I have in the Dock, and I change the icon of that file to be whatever I want the Dock to show.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: beagleboy on Nov 02, '07 03:09:42PM

I use %1 as the name of my folders and I also change the icons from the standard folder to match the transparent menubar icon.





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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: StrangeNoise on Nov 02, '07 03:27:56PM

Ah damn, I was too late to think of posting this too. My alias/symlink variant at least makes a virtue of the fact that it shows up at the bottom of the fanned-out stack. After all it's an awful long way to the top of the fan to actually open the folder, so, how I did it (in Terminal) was simply:

cd ~/Downloads
ln -s . ' Open Folder '

And sort the stack by name. That's it. Repeat for any folders on the stack of course. Yes, you get the symlink/alias arrow, but I don't mind that; after all it *is* pointing to the folder rather than being the folder itself...

Naturally the text can be anything but starting it with a space should put it at the front (unless you've done some of the aforegoing suggestions as well and have just ' ' as the filename).



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: StrangeNoise on Nov 02, '07 03:29:45PM

(ah, I missed diamondsw saying basically the same thing. :-)



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: ehamburg on Nov 02, '07 03:48:38PM

This is a great hint and I've used it (by putting a folder named "_whatever_icon" with the changed icon into the appropriate folder) for my hard disk, application, home and documents folder. I've tried the same thing for my iDisk but even though the folder with iDisk icon is properly visible in the Finder, the iDisk icon doesn't show up on my Dock. Any ideas or work arounds?



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iDisk icon
Authored by: ehamburg on Nov 02, '07 05:07:00PM

Well, I logged off/on and the iDisk icon showed up as a "?" but when I clicked on it it now appears as the iDisk icon should. Go figure.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: Pasi on Nov 02, '07 04:18:10PM

And when that icon doesn't change? Like sometimes it doesn't for me and you really don't feel like digging for that folder then remove it and add it again. Do a "killall Dock" in the terminal and be done with it.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: robogobo on Nov 14, '07 05:59:54PM

or get the Stop Dashboard Widget.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: gnaihc on Nov 02, '07 06:03:32PM

Just as a little reminder for those people who find its hard to click on the top of fan.

Command Click on the stack folder will open that folder in Finder.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: MartiNZ on Nov 02, '07 11:29:25PM

Command-clicking shows you where the folder is in Finder, show in Finder shows you the contents of the folder - okay it's only one level of difference, but still, without using the mouse, and for easiest recognition, the idea earlier of putting an alias to the folder inside the folder, and forcing that to the bottom of the stack fan, is the best for a stack like Downloads.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: MacTechJohn on Nov 03, '07 05:53:11PM

Has any one tried changing this using "defaults" in the terminal? I have not had a chance to try it yet but ever folder/stack has a value called "showas" which is a boolean set to false. I thought maybe changing this value to true would show the default folder icon.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: the deebs on Nov 06, '07 02:11:04AM
Neat!

Some observations:

+ once the icon has been copied from Get info open Preview and File > New from clipboard. Save out the file as a PNG retaining alpha channel.

Open that saved file in your favorite image editing application and edit away.

Once happy, save the design and export out as PNG (preserve transparency) at 72 into a 512 px square.

Open the exported file in Prevew > Select all > copy > this will allow your edited version to be pasted back into Get Info.


http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1fx0ZwQQnFCac1KFIu99VAfhXb5AP1


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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: robogobo on Nov 14, '07 06:02:59PM

Whoa, put down the sudafed, take a deep breath and slowly explain what you're talking about.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: KidneyPi on Nov 09, '07 07:03:48PM
I have my /Volumes folder in the dock as a stack. To give it an interesting and consistent look, I made a file there and gave it an interesting icon.

cd /Volumes
sudo touch 000001
sudo chown username 000001
You can change the icon in Finder's Get Info now. Don't forget the
sudo
or you won't have permission.

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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: gnaihc on Nov 10, '07 09:10:02PM
For folder icons, I like this one
http://t.ecksdee.org/post/19001860

Here is an applescript application that when launched, opens its parent folder (which kind of like the "open in finder" folder alias idea)

Download it here http://www.box.net/p/ub

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Transparent Icons!
Authored by: bobinabottle on Nov 11, '07 01:26:15AM
I found this hint on daring fireball - the most elegant solution I have seen, apple should implement this by default!

http://t.ecksdee.org/post/19001860


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Transparent Icons!
Authored by: ratz on Nov 11, '07 02:59:21PM

Nice!
I used the icons but instead of using the Terminal I just named the folder with a space which in OS X puts it at the top of an alphabetical list.



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: nicofournier on Apr 10, '08 08:15:47AM

No need for that anymore with Mac OS X 10.5.2
command-click on the stack in your dock, then tick "Display as Folder" instead of the default "Display as Stack". It solves the Application stack issue and makes the Dock much easier to read.
I guess Apple didi listen to the numerous early complaints!



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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons
Authored by: loogee on Jan 29, '09 06:49:53AM

I have custom icons "copied" on to the original items like "Downloads" and "Desktop". After logout or restart the dock again shows the original icons, not the custom ones :-(

If I then change the display to stack and back to folder I get my customized icons back. Is this is bug or what am I missing? Any hints?

Thanks in advance!

Tom



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