Love it or hate, the Dock is where most Mac users go to launch applications, utilities, and documents. The average Mac user doesn’t have an issue with the Dock. It’s simple to use, offers visual status cues, easy to re-arrange and manage, and works.
What happens when you start adding apps, games, utilities, and documents to the Dock? It runs out of space quickly. Worse, the icons shrink to a size where you’ll need reading glasses to know what you’re clicking. The solution? More Docks.
Dock Me Baby, One More Time
I work in a school with hundreds of Macs, all running OS X, all of them with busy Docks, loaded with teacher tools.
Teachers like to collect things. Teachers who use Macs collect applications, documents, utilities by the dozen. Where do they go?
The Dock. The Mac’s built-in catch-all.
What happens? The Dock gets crowded, shrinks, and usability suffers. What’s a good solution? Some teachers opt for a launcher utility and forget about the Dock. Others simply keep adding items to the Dock until the icons hit miniature status.
There’s An App For That
If space in your Mac’s Dock is a premium, and there’s more month left over at the end of your money, double down on the Dock with one of a number of Mac utilities which extend the Dock’s functionality.
Dock It – This nifty Mac utility lets you create multiple Docks. Set it up so one Dock does documents, another does Folders, another does Utilities, and another does Applications.
Other Dock It features include the ability to add mounted hard drives to the Dock so you don’t have to navigate through the Finder.
Little Applets let you get to specific functions with a single click. You can even customize the Dock’s color and transparency.
Dock Spaces – If you like Spaces on your Mac because it’s easier to organize your work flow, check out Dock Spaces.
You can add up to 10 different Docks, all accessible with a click from the Menu Bar, each named the way you want, and integrated with Spaces.
Docks – Keeping the same theme of multiple Docks is the aptly named Docks.
Again, use is about as simple as it can be. Docks lets you create different Docks for different purposes. Take a snapshot of each Dock and switch between them with global hot keys.
Switch Dock – You’re getting the idea behind these utilities, right? They switch back and forth between different Docks, which you can customize. So it is with Switch Dock.
Switch Dock resides in your Dock as a multi-purpose Swiss Army Knife-like utility. Click and select a Dock to switch automatically. Even use the menu to launch an application or a document from any of the saved Docks.
iDock – True, there’s not much creativity with all these Dock multiplying utilities, but they have one thing in common besides the use of the word Dock. They’re easy to use.
iDock may be the simplest of all (not to mention the low price). One click gets you any one of many different Docks which you create.
Assign an icon or picture to each Dock (as many as you want). Click the iDock menu bar and select the Dock of your choice. Even theme the Docks.
IF the Dock is a good thing, and it is for most Mac users, then more is better with multiple Docks, each customized the way you want, accessible with a click, and each with a few extra features and preferences to keep them somewhat different from one another.
If you hate the Dock and use something else, a Dock multiplier cum switcher won’t make life better. If you love the Dock but find that it cramps your style, any one of the Mac’s Dock switchers will make life a little easier.