Dock - what do you use it for?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 537635, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. 537635 macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    It's been a year since I made the transition from Windows to OSX. There was a learning curve, but it wasn't long before I really started enjoying using this OS compared to Windows.

    The one thing I still don't understand is - The dock.

    I don't know what to do with it. First I put everything in it and tried to use it as "all programs" in Windows. Bad idea. Then I put most of the stuff out. Then I put it on the right side of the screen so it's not in the way. Then all there was left was Finder and the Recycle bin. Then I tried to disable it...

    I run programs, search for documents - with Spotlight. CMD + space, three of four letters and enter.
    I switch between windows with four fingers up and down gestures.
    When I want to browse apps of documents, I use Finder, where I have set Favourites.

    I see these screenshots with 50+ items in people's docks and I feel like I might be missing some "grand" funcionality.

    Can somebody clarify this for me please?
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have 19 applications on my Dock, most of which I use frequently. One of those is the Finder, which I've never clicked on. I have 4 stacks: Applications, Documents, Downloads and "Special Files". The latter is my own creation, of course, and I use it most. I rarely use the Applications stack, but often use Documents, and occasionally Downloads.

    It's a matter of personal preference. If you'd rather use Spotlight to launch apps, you don't need redundancy in your Dock. Do what works for you.
  3. Morod macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2008
    On The Nickel, over there....
    I loves my dock for quick-opening apps I use a lot.
    Works for me.
  4. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I use my dock like the desktop on a PC. It has commonly used apps like Chrome, iTunes, mail, and others as well as Documents, Downloads, and a folder for Office suite. I open Finder to see my documents folder more easily. Stacks are kind of annoying when you are picky about categorized folders :p

    Basically I see the dock as being a prettier way to organize apps than the PC desktop. The only thing on my desktop is the internal hard drive folder and occasional temp files.
  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I mostly use it for apps that I am likely to drag files onto, which may not be the default handling app.
  6. Jardins de Vin macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

    Nov 6, 2012
    The dock is made for applications that you use all the time. I used to have 50+ apps in there as well, but it was just totally useless. I think these people just want to showcase their apps, I was like that as well but that time is over now :p

    I have to admit however, I do have some stuff in there just for decoration.

    So here’s what I have…

    It starts with the Finder, probably the same for everyone else as I don’t believe you can move it or anything. Then I have the launchpad and time machine. Time machine I actually don’t use it that much, so I could just press CMD + Space to search it with Spotlight, that’s how I find all my apps usually (when they’re not in the dock). I like the time machine icon however, so I left it in there :D
    Same applies to the launchpad. I do use this one very often, but I have F4 set for the launchpad, so I wouldn’t really need it in the dock.

    After that comes the App Store. I look in there from time to time. Then several ones which I use a lot, which are: Mail, Safari and Messages. I use these all the time, so it’s cool to have them in there. The “list” goes on with FaceTime, Calendar, Reminders, Notes and Game Centre. FaceTime I rarely use it, same with Game Centre. And if I use Game Centre, then on my iPhone. I’ve still left the FaceTime icon however, it looks kind of “stock-ish”, because the Mac comes with it this way (in the dock) and I plan to use it more often anyway ;)
    The rest I use every day (calendar, reminders, notes).

    Now we’re at the half of the dock and there I have iTunes and Logic Pro. Followed by: Photo Booth, iPhoto, Preview.
    I use these all the time as well. Preview wasn’t originally in the dock I think, and you don’t really need it in the dock when you’re just opening images, but I found myself missing it when I wanted to do screenshots for example. Then I would need it in the dock to quickly access it.

    The first part of the dock ends with TextEdit and the System Preferences. Both which I use all the time as well.

    Then comes the second part of my dock. Here I have my Documents folder, which I access all the time. I have an external hard drive after that, which of course only works if the hard drive is connected. But this way I can quickly access it, instead of going into the Finder window. (I’m not displaying CD’s, Hard Drives, USB Sticks, etc. on my desktop, I like it clean :))
    These two are followed by the Downloads folder, and a folder called “University” for which I’ve even made an Apple-style icon to fit with the rest.

    At the end I have a custom Logic folder with projects and other folders inside, finally the trash.

    If you take a look at that dock, you can notice that everything has a special position. At the start we have basic stuff (“Mac functions”) like Launchpad or Time machine. (And I’m thinking to add Mission Control there as well, but again it would be useless since I have a key for that and I don’t want the dock to become so huge…)

    Then we’ve got “Internet stuff”, such as: Mail, Safari. Followed by chatting stuff (iMessaged, FaceTime). Then all kinds of iOS Apps for reminders and notes. Then at the half of the dock the “entertainment stuff” like Music or Photos. And finally the small rest.

    Hope this helped you to get an idea what a dock could look like :) And I’m a Mac user since ever, my first Mac looked like this and there was no Doc :D

  7. 537635 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    Thank you for the answers.

    It seems as it is only a matter of workflow style. Some tend to use keyboard more, while others click on the icons.
  8. Volkstaia macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2012
    East Coast of the US
    I have my apps that are open a lot of the time for easy access, I have the applications stack in grid view as a quick app launcher. I have my trash, a short cut to my external harddrive, and a shortcut to my home directory. I use keyboard function keys and programmable things on my mouse for all the Mac functions.
  9. Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    I keep almost all of the applications that I use on a weekly basis in my dock (around 20 icons). If I need an app that's not in the dock I just use spotlight or launchpad.
  10. tekkifi macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2012
    For me, I like to keep my dock as uncluttered as possible. I usually just keep whatever apps I have open in the dock, and access everything else via Spotlight. I think it helps me stay focused on whatever work I am doing when I don't have a ton of apps in my dock just asking to be opened.
  11. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

    Aug 16, 2007
    Which side of the screen do you guys keep your Dock? And do you hide or not?
  12. Volkstaia macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2012
    East Coast of the US
    I keep it on the bottom. I used windows for years with the taskbar on the bottom, and some things in the workflow just never change. I have a whole second monitor, I don't exactly need the space putting it on the side gives me.
  13. 537635 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    Right side. Hidden. On Windows I have had taskbar on the left side.
  14. emptysoul macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    I always keep mine on the left. Strangely I always keep WIndows taskbar on the right. Not sure why but it feels right.
  15. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I've got two monitors, and keep my Dock on the far right. Screens are much wider than they are tall, so if you have the Dock at the bottom, you're losing valuable screen real estate for viewing pages. (OK, there's Full Screen mode, now.)

    It can be a bit of a trek to go over and click on it, so I use App Switching whenever possible, and actually find LaunchPad useful for launching apps. Also Spotlight.

    As an experiment, I tried hiding the Dock and doing without it. First of all: I missed the little red flag in Mail to tell me I've got unread messages. The same little red flag is used in several other Apple apps.

    However, it occurred to me that I get the same information in Notification Centre. With the advent of LaunchPad and NC, might Apple remove the Dock in a future version?

    I still find myself going over to the Dock every now and then.
  16. Sparky445 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2013
    The dock is very usefull. Its like the taskbar on windows. You can use it to launch applications.
  17. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    But the whole point of hiding it is to preserve screen area, but still have access to the Dock when you move your cursor down/over to where it's hidden.
  18. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I put my Applications folder into the Dock as well as my Document folder. Then my most programs are throughout the left side of the Dock.

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