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Part: I Max OS X Basics > Exploring the Dock

Chapter 3. Exploring the Dock

Along one edge of your screen (the bottom, left, or right) is a colorful row of icons known as the Dock. The Dock, shown in its default state in Figure 3.1, acts as a taskbar to show open applications and minimized or reduced versions of a document window. It also offers quick access to favorite applications, shows feedback from open applications, and provides a resting place for the Trash.

Figure 3.1. The Dock is useful for organizing your desktop.

Here's a fast overview of the Dock's arrangement:

  • Left (or Top) portion— At left (or top) are icons for applications. The ones you've opened have a triangle under or next to them.

  • Right (or Bottom) portion— At right (or bottom) are document icons representing the documents you've reduced or minimized.

    Remember: To minimize a document, you can click the yellow (center) button at the top left of each window. You can also minimize by double-clicking the window's title bar if you've checked that option under the Appearance settings of the System Preferences.

  • Trash— At the extreme right (or bottom) is the Trash, the place to drag files that you want to throw away.

    You can also drag URLs into the right (or bottom) side of the Dock. A single click launches your default Web browser and opens it to the saved address.

  • Separator bar— The separator bar splits the Dock into the application and file/folder areas.

To make the icons in the Dock larger or smaller, click the separator bar and then move the mouse up to increase the size or down to reduce it if positioned horizontally, or move it left and right if your Dock is positioned vertically.

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