The Dock Mac OS X Interface – #3 Noob2Pro 1

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The Dock Mac OS X Interface – #3 Noob2Pro

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Moving swiftly on, you should be now have a Mac which suits your needs and the perfect account set up (hint: not admin). Today I am going to introduce the Dock and some of the features which is posses. The Dock is very simple and is designed as a application holder, it also has bonus features such as stacks, which are great. This post isn’t that long since the Dock is simple by design.

the dock

The dock is split into two areas. The applications side and the other side, they don’t really have names. The application side holds all of your currently running apps and apps which you have stored as a quick use. To add anything to the dock, simply drag it from Finder. It will be automatically added. You remove anything by dragging it off.

Applications which are run are represented by a blue dot. To access a running app simply click on its icon and it will bring all windows to the front. Application icons can also be used as drop zones. For example when you want to open a file simply drag it onto the dock icon and it will automatically open in that app. Nifty.

Applications in the dock also have a surprising feature which I don’t see many use. Its called the right click menu. Most applications have a simple menu option enabling you to keep an app in the dock, open at login or show in Finder. More advance apps, such as iTunes, allow you to play the next track, or shuffle the play list. As a pro tip check out what applications have in the right click menu, it could save you some time.

Stacks

On the right hand side of the Dock you can add stacks. I have a love hate relationship with Stacks. They are designed as a quick way to view folders, which is great for small folders and a quick way to access files. After a while I tend to find them annoying and remove them, only to add them again a week later. To make a stack drag and folder  into this area and it will generate a stack. Make sure it is on the right hand side of the dividing line.

You can modify how a stack works by right clicking on it. A lot of options will be available. I suggest you go through the list and choose ones which you like and find enjoyable to use.

Customisation

Setting up the dock is simple. Go to System Preferences > Dock. Here you will have a couple of options. The size. This is how big the dock will be on your screen. I prefer a small dock to maximise screen space. The magnification. When you hover over the dock, the magnification effect will increase the size of the dock. You can change this value here, or turn it off. The position. If you are short on screen real estate you can change the location of the dock. The sides enable you to have more vertical screen space since this is the smaller side. The  final preference is the minimizing effect. This is the animation that is shown when you minimize a window.

There is not a lot of variables which you can change. Although there are a lot of hidden shortcuts which you can use to get the most out your dock. To get the most out of your dock I suggest you look through the Terminal section on this site for some tips and tricks, as well as this the Dock section has a couple of nifty tips and tricks which you can use to get the most out of your Dock.

The Dock is simple and easy to use. You can drag stuff on and drag stuff off. There is a couple of tips and tricks which you can use to get more out of it. My favourite being the tip about changing the dock design.

P.S Sorry for no Noob2Pro yesterday, I had a hell of a day. Although this was a 30 day guide, there will be 30 days worth of posts, just not one after another.

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