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Changing Dock Icons Manually in Snow Leopard

Changing Dock Icons Manually in Snow Leopard

Apple gives us the best in terms of design, but it is fun to change app skins or desktop background. You can use a few third party apps to change the look of your Dock, and make the icons look different.

Picking new icons

The most important part is to select new icons. The Phoney iOS type ones look cool, and so do the Flurry ones. And there are literally thousands of icon sets that are available for free on websites such as The Icon Factory.

Mac icons come in three different formats. They can be image files (mostly PNG), icon files (ICNS), or even empty folders with attached hidden ICNS files. You can even convert one type of file to another. Just go to Save As, and then change its extension.

Setting new icons for apps and folders

If you wish to change the icon for any app or folder, it can be done by substituting the icon present in Get Info pane. You can start by just copying the PNG or ICNS file of the new icon. Now right click the folder or app you wish to change and choose the Get Info option. A window will open up. Click on the icon and press command + V. This will change the icon to the one you copied. If it is present in Dock, right click on its dock icon. Now select Remove from Dock. Substitute it from the Finder and see the change taking effect.

Most items on the Dock are applications, but there are also some folders present among them. You can start with the content of Home and Application folders. If a new folder icon does not appear on the Dock, you can right click on it and set it to be displayed as a folder, and not a stack.

New icons for obstinate applications

There are some apps like iCal and iTunes that do not change easily. You can change them too, but you’ll need administrative privilege for that. Set the privilege level for these applications to Read&Write from the Get Info window.

Now right click the application and choose Show Package Contents. A Finder window will open up. Go to Resources folder and get its ICNS file. The new icon should also be an ICNS file that its name should be same as the file you are going to replace. Drag the new file to Resources folder. A prompt will show up. Click Replace.

Now the icon will be changed. In case it doesn’t, restart your system.

Keeping the Aesthetics

There are many apps that keep updating and thus they overwrite your changed icons. You can save the new icon files so that you can change them back when you want.

Do you like changing dock icons or do you think it’s just a waste of time? Write to us through your comments.

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