My latest Dock tweaking tool adds a pop up window over each app icon in the Dock so I can see which windows are open in each app. On a Mac screen with a dozen open windows, this little Mac app makes navigating easier, faster, and funner.
Is The Mac’s Dock Really Your Friend?
It can be. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that the Mac’s Dock is used by most Mac users. It’s right there, it’s in your face. It’s easy to understand and use. You can customize the Dock. What’s not to like?
The Dock is easy enough to use, but it just doesn’t give you enough information about what’s going on with open apps..
Right-click on the Safari Dock icon and what do you get? A little pop up which discloses which Safari windows are open. Not tabs. Just text. No visual cue.
The same holds true for other apps in the Dock. Right-click and you get a few options in the pop up, but not much else. On Mac screens with many open apps and even more open windows, there’s no way to dig quickly and easily through the big Mess ‘O Windows™ to find what you want.
DockView to the rescue.
Eye Candy For Your Mouse, Dock, Mac
There are certain keyboard shortcuts and functions that are common to all Mac users. DockView takes advantage of both to add pop up windows to the Dock. Think of it as eye candy for the Dock.
Press the right keys, or, hover the mouse over the appropriate Dock icon, and what do you get? Eye candy. Useful eye candy. Here’s the example of mousing over an icon in the Dock.
The same effect can be used in another common Mac keystroke combination. Command-Tab.
Mac users know that clicking Command-Tab anywhere, in any application, gets you a pop up bar in the center of the screen which displays all the icons for all your open Mac apps.
Tab or arrow-key to navigate through the list of app icons to select the one you want to switch to. But that effort still doesn’t get you to the window of the app you want. DockView does.
Command-Tab gets you the familiar pop up array of app icons, but as you cycle through you also get a pop up look at the open windows for each app.
See? That’s much easier on the eyes. No more selecting and app and then trying to find the appropriate window you want in that app. DockView gives you the window first.
The DockView previews are live so they constantly refresh as the content in each window changes. You can customize the previews to a size that fits your Mac’s screen.
To select a pop up window just click on it and that window is activated and brought to the front.
You’re ready to go.
Open windows in any app can be closed within DockView, too. It even works with Spaces, presenting the Spaces window number.
There’s also previews for other Mac apps that includes built in controls. The iTunes preview shows the skip, play, and pause buttons. The QuickTime preview windows shows play and pause buttons, and Mail displays a Get Mail button (more functionality for Mail is available in Right-Clicking on the Dock icon).
DockView is inexpensive, useful, friendly, and you already know how to use it. It’s also a good app to help you get into the habit of using the keyboard more and the mouse less.