This is only a quick tip, but it is very useful. If you remember a long time ago, or so it seems, I mentioned how to stop the dock icon of an AppleScript from bouncing. I was bored this morning so I decided to have a play with this small piece of code and see if it would effect anything else. Alas, it does and you can hide any programs dock icon. Useful if you have an application which you want to run constantly but you don’t want its dock icon (SETI@Home comes to mind).
It doesn’t take a lot to get this hack working. The first step is to open up the application package. This hack only works with Cocca apps. Cocca apps are basically every new app that is produced for the Mac. Older Carbon apps won’t work with this trick. To get to the package contents. Right click on an app icon, go to show package contents.
In the package contents go to Contents > Info.plist. Open this plist in a text editor. If you are trying to change an application which is restricted by permissions, you may have to change the files permissions so you can write to it. Get Info for the file and change it so you can write to the file.
Once as you have opened the file paste the following under the first <dict>. This will make sure the hack applies correctly. You could put it at the end of the file, before the closing <dict> but I have had problems putting it there.
Save the file and you should be done. Change the plist permissions back to what they were if you changed them. Now when you open an application it will not appear in the dock. Perfect.
This little hack does have a couple of problems. For example you will not have any of the Menu Bar items. This is a big problem if you have an application that uses the menu bar options. As well as this it will also not appear on Command + Tab. Some slight problems. Ideally this trick is used for programs which you don’t use very often, but run in the background. For example System Preferences, Dictionary, Calculator to name a few.
To get rid of the hack just delete the two lines of code save the file out and you should be back to where you were before.