Stacks have gotten their share of bad press. Many users aren’t happy with the dynamic icon that changes on the stack as its contents change. One solution is to sort the stack by modification date and post-date the icon file you always want to see on the face of your stack in the dock.
Murphy is using a set of icons found through a post on TUAW. These particular icons come post-dated to 2010, which makes it a safe bet your selection will be the most recently modified file in your stack. Watch the screencast to see how Murphy made his stack.
If you have a different file you want to use the touch command can be employed to update the modification date. All of this information can be found at the same place Murphy found the icons. Here’s an example of how you would use the touch command:
touch -mt 202001010101.01 " name of icon file "
The above command assumes you’re in the directory the file resides in. Note the string of numbers is actually a time and date.
Murphy uses a stack to launch applications he uses frequently, but not frequently enough to reside on the Dock. Sometimes he launches from Terminal too. And the Leopard changes to Spotlight make it a more convenient app launcher too.
So – what do you think? Is there any hope for Stacks?
You can drop a folder on the Dock and create aliases for some of your frequently used Applications inside. Then when you click-and-hold on the folder you’ll get a pop-up list of the Applications so you can click-and-launch. You can create subfolders too – they’ll show up as fly-out menus when you access the folder from the Dock. Sort of like the Windows Start Menu.
This is probably better than placing an alias for the entire Applications folder in the Dock because it will load more quickly. It’s also better than rearranging your Applications folder or moving its contents to other folders. Software Update expects certain applications to be in certain locations. And as we saw yesterday some applications can lose functionality if they’re moved from their default location.
Sometimes Murphy uses a Dock folder to launch applications. But usually he uses the Terminal, where he’s created a series of aliases for quickly launching applications. See the screencast Alias App Launcher for more details. Or take a look at Spotlight Application Launcher – that’s another screencast.
When you’re done adding your custom folder to the Dock you might want to change its icon.Â Here’s a screencast for that.
File types like jpeg, mov, raw, txt and others can be opened with a variety of applications. You could right-click a file and select Open With. This displays a list of apps you have installed that can open the file.
But sometimes it’s more direct to drag the file right to the Dock, as long as the program you need is on the Dock. Even if the program isn’t a permanent fixture on your Dock, it’ll be there if it’s open.
Murphy thinks this is a way obvious tip. But you never know – maybe it’ll help your mother-in-law.