Every time an application is launched in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, an application icon representing the application usually appears in your Dock to indicate that its running.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if there was a quick and easy way to hide the running application’s icon away from prying eyes?
This little modification that can be carried out in a little under 5mins will not only keep snoops from finding out what’s running on your Mac at a glance, but also recoup invaluable Dock space.
All you’ll need is an installation of Xcode 2 Developer Tools and a little copy and paste work.
Prepping Up For The Mod
First off, you might have to install the Xcode 2 Developer Tools that comes with every Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, DVD. Yes,.. its even in the Restore DVDs that shipped with your Mac system. This install is necessary to enable your Mac OS X to display the contents of application packages.
This may sound all Greek (pardon me, if you really ARE Greek – we love Greeks by the way, they happen to be some of the ‘funnest’ people; this is just a figure of speech) to you, but just dig out your Mac OS X or Restore DVD and install the Xcode 2 Developer Tools. You’re not actually going to use the tools, just the new menu option that appears once you’ve installed it.
Making The Running Application’s Icon Invisible
In this tutorial, we will show how to make StickSoftware’s Jiggler application icon invisible in the Dock. Once you have it installed within your Applications folder, we may begin.
Navigate to your Applications folder and right click (CMD + click) on the Jiggler’s application icon. When the menu appears, select “Show Package Contents” to view the actual contents of the Jiggler application.
You’re after the info.plist file. Open the info.plist file in TextEdit.
The original info.plist file as displayed in the Diagram above contains a series of XML tags with a pair of key tags followed closely by a pair of string tags.
All you need to do to make the Application icon not appear in the Dock is add the following lines of text in between the dict tags of Jiggler’s info.plist file.
Save the modified info.plist, overwriting the original info.plist file. Now, launch Jiggler and watch as no Application icon appears! To make the Application’s icon appear again, simply reverse the process above.
This tutorial can be applied safely to most applications without complications. Now go… and carry out your surreptitious behaviour with less worrying over who’s looking over your shoulder.
An alternative to all this geek gobblygook is to enlist the assistance of Matt Fahrenbacher’s Dockless app. Dockless enables the ability to see apps that traditionally run in the background that is normally not visible.