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Customizing the Dock

The Dock, which is discussed in Chapter 2, can be customized to include icons for specific documents and applications that you use often. This makes them quick and easy to open any time you need them.

Tips

  • If you used the customizable Apple menu in previous versions of Mac OS, you may want to customize the Dock to include the items you previously included on the Apple menu.

  • When you press the mouse button down on a Dock icon, a menu with commands or other options that apply to that icon appears (Figure 20). You can select a command like any other menu command.

    Figure 20. Pressing the mouse button on a Dock item often displays a menu. In this example, pressing the Finder icon displays a menu of open Finder windows.

  • When you press the mouse button down on a folder in the Dock, it appears as a menu. Choose an item to open it or point to a folder within the menu to display a submenu of items within it. Figure 21 shows an example of how you can use this feature.

    Figure 21. Creative use of folders in the Dock can put all your frequently used files at your fingertips—without turning the Dock into a cluttered mess.


To add an icon to the Dock

1.
Open the window containing the icon you want to add to the Dock.

2.
Drag the icon from the window to the Dock (Figure 22). When you release the mouse button, the icon appears (Figure 23).

Figure 22. Drag an icon from the window to the Dock.


Figure 23. The icon appears in the Dock.


Tips

  • Dragging an icon to the Dock does not remove it from its original location.

  • When dragging items to the Dock, drag applications to the left of the divider and documents and folders to the right of the divider.


To remove an icon from the Dock

Drag the item from the Dock to the desktop (Figure 24). When you release the mouse button, the icon disappears in a puff of “smoke” and no longer appears in the Dock.

Figure 24. Drag an icon off the Dock.


Tips

  • Removing an icon from the Dock does not delete it from disk.

  • If you try to remove an icon for an application that is running, the icon will not disappear from the Dock until you quit the application.


To set basic Dock options

Choose options from the Dock submenu under the Apple menu (Figure 25):

Figure 25. The Dock submenu under the Apple menu offers options for customizing the way the Dock looks and works.


  • Turn Magnification On magnifies a Dock icon when you point to it (Figure 26). With this option enabled, the command changes to Turn Magnification Off, which disables magnification.

    Figure 26. When magnification is turned on, pointing to an icon enlarges it.

  • Turn Hiding On () automatically hides the Dock until you point to where it should appear. This is a great way to regain screen real estate normally occupied by the Dock. With this option enabled, the command changes to Turn Hiding Off, which displays the Dock all the time.

  • Position on Left, Position on Bottom, and Position on Right move the Dock to the left side, bottom, or right side of the screen. The option that is not available (Position on Bottom in Figure 25) is the one that is currently selected. When positioned on the left or right, the Dock fits vertically down the screen (Figure 27).

    Figure 27. You can position the Dock on the side of the screen instead of the bottom.

  • Dock Preferences displays the Dock preferences pane, which includes a few additional options for customizing the Dock.

Tips

  • To change the size of the Dock, point to the divider line. When the mouse pointer turns into a line with two arrows (Figure 28), press the mouse button down and drag to make the Dock bigger or smaller.

    Figure 28. You can resize the Dock by pointing to the divider line and dragging.

  • System Preferences, including the Dock preferences pane, is covered in detail in Mac OS X Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide.


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