10 Beautiful Elegant Replacement Docks for your Mac

[tweetmeme] Ever since the day themers found the resource files for changing the Leopard dock, the themes have just flown out. At first it was abstract stupid stuff that made its way to ‘dock sites’ like dockulicious and leopard docks, but it’s only later that serious designers put their hard work into creating some visually appealing and functional docks, perfect as a replacement to the grey dock that comes with your Mac. Many of these docks are meant to be used with CandyBar from Panic Software, which is one tool you need if you’re going to be theming your Mac.

Sidenote: You might also want to check out this post on SA, all about customising your dock.

Phantom Dock

Gorgeous dark theme, works especially well with vibrant yet dark images. The dock comes with some spacey wallpapers perfect for this one. It’s also a dock theme that looks great when enlarged rather than small. Also, it’s not the more intuitive dock, as its indicators can get muddled with the reflections.
phantom-dock

Huddy

For the new age “HUD” look in 3D, nothing beats Huddy. Brilliant reflections (or Opaque), and slick indicators. Works well with spacey wallpapers, although you better have the icons to pull it off right.

huddy

Thin Glass

A sharp dock created by Chris, is perfect for those wanting a slight change from the original. The indicators, as recommended by the artist are from “Ivory Dock” by William Szilveszter.

thin-glass

Niqu Dock

Some people hate the 3D dock with vengeance. I don’t. However, when I saw this dock I had to agree that having it in 2D isn’t such a bad idea after all. Niqu comes in 2D as well as 3D. For the 3D you can use the iContainer, but for 2D it involves manual dock resource hacking. To do so, go to your Mac HD » System » Library » CoreServices » (Right-click “Dock” from that list) » Show Package Contents » Contents » Resources. Then delete all the files from that folder that correspond with the Niqu 2D dock folder (bottom1.png, left1.png, etc). Once that’s done, move the files from Niqu 2D into the Dock resources folder (you will have to authenticate).

You also need to enable the 2D dock via this terminal command.

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES && killall Dock

When you need to go back, Niqu also includes a folder containing the original dock files, and the terminal command can be reversed by replacing “YES” with “NO”. It’s all worth it though!

2d-awesome

Sweet Sweet Candy

A sweet little dock that should go well with a white wallpaper, perhaps some candy art. Comes with different colours for indicators.

sweet-candy

Mini LED Dock

The mini-LED dock is great for dark backgrounds, and even though the indicators are ‘mini’, you can clearly tell which app is open. Comes with different coloured LEDs.

mini-led

CarambaDock

Perfect for minimal desktops with a lot of digital noise. Caramba dock comes in dark and silver flavours, with indicators that are kind of like the original, but on close inspection might be even more perfect.

caramba

Plastique

Another candy coated dock, Plastic comes in Blue and Ice flavours. While Ice is a little too reflective for my liking, Blue goes well with bright vibrant wallpapers.
plastic

McDouble

Another brilliant double layered dock. Love the vibrant colour (there’s almost too many of them to choose from), especially when used with an equally vibrant desktop.

mcdock

Fin

fin.
fin

MINIUM²

As suggested by Joseph in the comments, MINIUM² is one beautiful dock theme, designed by Sascha Höhne, an user interface designer at Apple. I love the way it looks with the Flurry icon set from Iconfactory. Thanks to Joseph for this screenshot.
Minium2

I’m sure you’ve got some Dock suggestions up your sleeve. Don’t be shy.

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