Defending the Dock

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Reader W. Douglas Carden writes in with a common complaint:

When my Desktop gets nearly full of file and folder icons, some are positioned at the bottom in such a way that the Dock hides the labels. The Finder’s view menu will arrange the icons neatly but still places them behind the Dock. I can toggle the Dock on and off, but I would rather have a better solution.

My guess is that we’ll see several reader suggestions that are more elegant than what I propose, but I’d do it this way:

While in the Finder press Shift-Command-4 and use the resulting screenshot selection cursor to take a screenshot of a small portion of the bottom of your Desktop. Open the resulting file in Preview and copy the picture.

Return to the Finder and create an empty folder. Select the folder and press Command-I to bring up the Info window. Click the Folder icon in the upper left corner of the Info window and press Command-V to paste the image you copied from Preview. The folder’s icon should now blend in with the Desktop.

In the Info window’s Name & Extension field, select everything and press the Space Bar to add a single space. Close the Info window and you’ll find that not only has the folder’s icon seemingly disappeared, so too has its name.

Hide the Dock by pressing Command-Option-D. Select the now invisible folder and place it on the left side of the Desktop where you don’t want files and folders to appear (in the area where the Dock overlaps). Option-drag this folder to create copies all along the bottom of the Desktop. Remove the word “copy” from these copies and add spaces to their names as necessary. Reveal the Dock again by pressing Command-Option-D.

So what’s the point of all this? To create an invisible barrier at the bottom of the Desktop. As far as the Finder is concerned, there are objects there and therefore the Finder won’t try to put other objects on top of them.

Note: If you have a Desktop pattern that isn’t a solid color or predictable pattern, your work is going to be tougher to disguise as the camouflaged icons may not exactly match the Desktop pattern.

With that in mind, here’s a Just For Fun project for my readers. What I’d really like to do is create transparent folders so that the Desktop can fully shine through, but I’ll be darned (or worse) if I can figure out how to do it. Have a clue? Let the world know by clicking the Comment link below.

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