Custom Stacks Icons


Anyone else tired of a Dock’d Applications folder that seems to be a link to Address Book?

I’m hearing a lot of complaints in various forums and reviews about the icons of stacks in the dock, and not much in the way of solutions, so I thought I’d suggest the one that’s working for me. (There is a bigger post upcoming with a lot of tricks to Leopard, but I wanted to get this one out first, so that at least some people might be happier.)

The problem is simple: Stacks in the Dock show a pile of icons, with the topmost one being the one most recently accessed, or first in the alphabet, or whatever. This is frustrating a lot of people who have custom icons for the folders in their docks, as instead of the custom icon, the stack icon is a changeable picture, usually of the object that starts with A. Many are grumbling about bad UI design with this, as we are used to the icons that we had representing the folders that were plainly used so much that we thought they deserved a place in the dock. And yes, in my opinion, it is a design flaw. There’s a reason for distinctive icons in the Dock – they’re a mnemonic toy, and a representation of everything under that icon. (I know I’m not alone in thinking that Address Book, which I hardly ever use, is not a good symbol for my applications folder.)

The simple fix? First, find that icon that you liked so much before. Now, rename it. Try something like “_ Proper Applications Icon” – anything with a non-alphanumeric character should do.folder When you put that icon in the stacked folder, so long as your stack is set to sort by name (command-click on the stack, and choose ‘Sort by’), that icon will stay on the top of the stack. To illustrate my point, to the left is my Dock, after I added a better icon to the Utilities stack, and to the right is a snip of my Applications stack’s grid view after I put an icon in there. There’s still the slight aberration of the other icons sticking out from behind the folder in the Dock, true, but it’s much better than staring at Address Book.

Icons from David Lanham’s Agua set.