After making the dock active (click on it for example) use the arrows to move the dock. The movement will accelerate if you keep pressing for ease of use
Press ALT then click on the dock then drag it where you want. With Beryl you can activate sticky edges which allows an better positioning. Release the mouse button and then release the ALT key.
Get icons themes easily swappable for the dock
If you either downloaded a icon theme or collect some icons in a directory : Right click on the dock then choose Configure and select the Launcher tab. Add in the directory list the directory where your icons are. Add as many as you want like that . Now to go from one theme to another easily just put the correct directory at the top of the list (use up and down arrow). Cairo-Dock will automatically load the new icons when you close the configuration panel.
Note : when an icon doesn't have an extension Cairo-Dock will first look for an .SVG in all the directory. So if you have matching .PNG in the top directory and another matching .SVG in the next directory then this one will be loaded. Keep this in mind when you build your theme and try to keep them homogeneous.
Change the style of the stripes
Here are a few concrete example:
If I want thin and well spaced stripe: put their number to 8 (8 stripes per motif) and their width to 0.02 (2% of the width of a motif).
If now I want thicker stripes: increase their width to may be 1/8, or 0.125 (12%), this will have the effect to spread them .
If I prefer very dense (numerous) stripes: increase their number, to 30(30 stripes per motif). As there is a lot of stripes per motif they can't be very large or they will overflow each other, their maximum width should be 1/30 roughly 0.03 (3%).
Make sure all your icons have the same size
Cairo-Dock can deal with icons of any size. But for practical reason it would be nice to make sure that all icons appear to have the same size.. But you are too lazy to resize them yourself ! The solution is to set both values for the icons size equal in the tabs for the launchers, the applications, the applets and the separator. Cairo-Dock will then resize all the icons to that size. One little nice trick : set the size to 24 in all fields and 150 in the field for the width of the wave (see CAIRO-DOCK tab). You end up with a baby version of Cairo-Dock, Cute no?
Choose a ready made theme
If the directory ~/.config/cairo-dock doesn't exist at launch, Cairo-Dock will offer to choose a theme to choose among the predefined one.. Later if you change your mind and wish to change the theme : Right click "cairo-dock" and choose "Manage Theme".
Cairo-dock if needed will warn you that you need to save your actual theme first if it has been changed. You can either save it on another name or overwrite the existing one, except for pre-installed themes.
Container are launchers with a special attribute : They are like drawers, so you can group similar applications (launchers) which will only appear when you go over the container. You can create a container inside a container and create a tree structure.
You create a container the same way you create a launcher for an application. You just have to tick the last box to indicate that it is a Container rather than an application. A new sub dock will be created and associated with that container. Initially you can't see it as it is empty so you have to create launcher to put in it as explained before. You can also of course just drag and drop applications on the Container
To move a launcher from one container to another one easy way is to edit the Launcher (Right Click the icon and choose "Modify Launcher") and change the name of the container in the Container field to point towards the new container (the main dock is called "_MainDock_").
Add/Remove visual effect with Compiz-Fusion
Compiz-Fusion set visual effect by default to the predefined windows types. You can also apply specific effect to the opening and closing of the dock and subdocks.
Open CCSM (Compiz Config System Manager) and go the to option of the Animation plugin; in the "Open Animation" tab. Here we are going to create a new variable which will allow us to affect a specific effect when you open a window (Compiz-Fusion considers a sub-dock like a window)
Click "Add" an choose your effect in the list from "Open effect".
Add "name=cairo-dock" in the field "xxx" (don't know the exact name in english )
Get this value to show at the top of the list. Now Compiz-Fusion will apply that specific effect only to the windows called "cairo-dock". So all sub-dock opening will use that effect. Create the same effect in the "Close Animation" tab and while you are at it go to "Focus Animation" and create a variable there as well, but here select no effect. Name it cairo-dock again. This will make sure that no effect is triggered when you fly over the dock (focus). This can create an ugly flash if not
Open Animation: Zoom effect with a duration of 250 Close Animation: Vaccuum effect with a duration of 250
Compiz Widget Layer
Go to the CCSM (CompizConfig settings manager) and to Widget Layer menu. In Comportment, add this rule
class=Cairo-dock & type=utility
After that, just do a right click on an desklet and active the Compiz Widget Layer option.
A shortcut to show/hide the dock
You can use CD in a unusual way (with a shortcut that you have set in the Accessibility menu) :
Or if you want to hide the dock without moving : (>= Cairo-Dock 3.0.0)
Active the DBus plug-in with the config panel.
Create a new launcher in the dock or what you want with the command (to hide the dock) :
Add a new shortcut on your system (with the CCSM (Compiz Config Settings Manager) if your use Compiz (in the Commands menu) or with Gnome (Shortcuts menu) or KDE, etc.) and use this command to show the dock