System that launches applications to make access to sites easier
Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 2000 / Windows ME
RocketDock is a free Windows program that emulates the Mac program launcher and supports expandable docklets, submenus and custom shortcuts.
The RocketDock download comes as an easy-to-install executable file that you simply double-click to begin the installation process. After installing RocketDock, you can either launch it by clicking the desktop icon or set it to start automatically when Windows starts. To enable this option, launch RocketDock, right-click anywhere on the dock and choose RocketDock Settings. In the General section, click Run at Startup to make RocketDock start automatically. All your program launchers, docklets and shortcuts are saved automatically when you drag them to the dock.
RocketDock may not be as smooth and attractive as the Mac dock or other desktop docks, but it has some unique features that separate it from the Mac dock. For example, you can change the icons and style from the settings menu to customize your dock to match your desktop, even substituting Apple icons for Windows icons if you choose. The dock also lets you adjust the opacity of the background and icons separately. You can change the animation effects that icons display when you hover over them by selecting the Icon tab in the settings menu and adjusting the Hover Effect options. These options let you choose the amount of zoom and the animation style.
Since Windows lets you change your taskbar position, it makes sense that RocketDock lets you choose where to position your dock. In the Position tab of the settings menu, you can place RocketDock at any edge of the screen on any connected monitor. You have choices for how far to space RocketDock from the screen edge and the dock's relative position on its selected edge. If you don't like the settings you've chosen, you can return to the original settings by clicking Defaults. This button only reverts your changes for the selected tab, so you won't lose your settings for other tabs when you click Defaults.
RocketDock comes with several themes that you can access from the Style tab in the settings menu. The Mac OS X Leopard theme does just what you might expect: it changes your icons to Mac icons and sets the background and hover preferences to resemble the Mac desktop. If you don't want your computer to look like a Mac, RocketDock comes with dozens of alternative choices, and you can download more themes by clicking Get More next to the Theme menu. Another interesting feature is the Windows 8 charms bar add-on, available separately, that lets you turn your Windows Vista or Windows 7 desktop into a Windows 8 desktop, to some extent. The whole package is certainly the most mature dock launcher for Windows and adds some animation and eye-candy to your desktop.
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