This mini tutorial is designed for beginners who want to understand the basic steps involved in creating 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 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 tabbed dock" as shown in the image below:
This will place a default tabbed 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.
To complete the creation of a "blank canvas" tabbed dock, we can remove entries by dragging them off of the dock where they will disappear in a "POOF" when you release the mouse button, as shown in the image below:
EDITING A TABBED DOCK
1 – 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, z-order alignment, and mouse-over activation speeds (when mouse-over activation is selected). You can also enable or disable taskbar buttons using the radio buttons (note – the system tray option will add additional ObjectDock icons to the system tray, in addition to the one that is displayed when ObjectDock Plus is loaded. Currently, you cannot remove the one system tray icon displayed when ObjectDock Plus is loaded – this may or may not change in future builds).
Note – in the image above, I have selected the "Show dock as drawer" at top of screen.
To make the dock easier to work with, you can right-click the dock and select "Detach from edge", which I have done to complete this mini tutorial as shown in the image below:
2 – Click the "Size & Appearance" category on the left-hand list of the dock settings dialog to display the options as shown in the image below:
This category allows you to enable and set icon zooming options, work with tab positioning, tab size, tab alignment, and entry (icon) name options. Note – the "Tab Position" options will be grayed out when the dock is set as a drawer in the "Positioning" category.
3 – Click the "Tabs & Styles" 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 add a tab to the dock, and to edit the current tab styles. To edit a tab style, select the tab name in the tab names list. This will display the style options in the lower half of the dialog as shown in the image below:
To change the name (text) on the tab, simply highlight the text in the "Name" field, and type the new name. To change the tab and background style, use the drop-down "Style" list to select and apply a background from the list (the background style is applied in real-time when selected). You can colorize the tab and background by using the "Color" drop-down list – which offers (1) preset colors, (2) "None" (the tab style default), and (3) "Other" option to invoke the color picker to set a custom color.
4 – You can reattach the dock to the edge by right-clicking a tab, and then selecting the "Attach to edge" option as shown in the image below:
5 – You can use the "Hotspots" option, which is found in the top section of the left-hand list in the dock settings, to set a hotspot on the screen; that when bumped with the mouse, will display the tabbed dock on top of all windows, or hide the dock. The image below shows this dialog, in which you simply click one of the areas indicated by the black arrows to assign the hotspot and use the drop-down list to select an action.
Note – selecting "Do nothing to this tabbed dock", and then clicking the dock will clear any assigned hotspot.
6 – Finally, you can set ObjectDock to load at startup by selecting the option under the General category as shown in the image below:
This concludes the basics on creating a tabbed dock. More to come in "ObjectDock Plus - Editing Tabbed Docks 102".
I hope you found this mini tutorial useful. Until next time, have fun and "Keep On Customizing".