How can I launch URLs from the OS X dock (with proper icons)?
February 1, 2009 2:34 PM   Subscribe

How can I create an app/shortcut that lives in the OS X dock that has an icon of my choosing and launches in the browser of my choice? Difficulty: no @ icons, no SSB.

It seemed like a simple task when I decided I wanted to launch Google Docs from my OS X dock. However, after much searching and testing, I have found the following options, none of which work for me:

1) Drag the URL/favicon onto the dock. This works great to launch the web page I want from the dock in my default browser (what I wanted). However, it also has that lame @ icon (which I can't seem to change to anything but a file type preview icon) AND it is forced to live outside of the app section.

2) Use a tool like Fluid ( to create an application to launch the URL. This works great by using the icon of my choice and being able to be placed in the app section (solves above problems). But it also forces these links to open in an SSB (site specific browser) that loses all of my cookies, etc. I'd rather it just open in Firefox.

So, does anyone know of a way that I can combine these and have a URL launch from the dock:

- with the icon of my choice
- in Firefox
- from the app section of the dock (optional)


posted by SethLeonard to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Open Script Editor. This lets you create Applescripts.

Type the following into it
tell application "Firefox"
Get URL "" -- or whatever
end tell

Save it as an application wherever. Give it whatever icon you like. Drag it to the dock. Done.
posted by adamrice at 2:48 PM on February 1, 2009

Choosy lets you pick a default browser or lets you pick from a menu. I've never used it, but it seems like the right application for your needs.
posted by Magnakai at 2:59 PM on February 1, 2009

You can use the Finder to assign a custom icon to any file, including your existing "Web Internet Location" files (the ones with the document @ icon). Just copy an image to the clipboard, do a Get Info (Command-I) on the file, click the file icon at the upper left of the Info window, and paste. You can also Get Info a file, click the icon, copy, and then Get Info a second file, click the icon, and paste to set the icon of the second file to the icon of the first.
posted by RichardP at 3:02 PM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Why not use Fluid? It creates site-specific browsers, and is specifically designed for web applications. It uses Safari's engine, if that is an issue.
posted by SansPoint at 3:26 PM on February 1, 2009

Oh, darn, you mentioned Fluid, and didn't want to use it. Well, try it anyway. Is logging in one time that much of an issue?
posted by SansPoint at 3:27 PM on February 1, 2009

Unless you use Fluid or an AppleScript applet, you can't fulfill goal #3, because that section is specifically for applications.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:12 PM on February 1, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. The AppleScript thing was a great tip and I now realize what I was doing wrong on the icons. Needless to say I have exactly what I want now, thanks!
posted by SethLeonard at 8:09 PM on February 1, 2009

« Older WWGPS? (Where Would Gram Parsons shop)   |   Mac screen artifacts causing a headache Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.