How to Group Mac App Icons More Prominently in Your Dock

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    In macOS, the Dock provides convenient one-click access to your most frequently used Mac applications. The simplest way to organize docked apps is to click and drag them into your preferred place, but here we're going to show you a lesser-known trick for arranging docked items more clearly.

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    To relate certain types of apps and add an extra visual clue to their location in the Dock, try inserting some spaces. Using this method, you could separate out other apps from, say, conversion tools that you frequently drag and drop files onto. Keep reading to learn how it's done.


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    Article Link: How to Group Mac App Icons More Prominently in Your Dock
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

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    #2
    Great tip, didn’t know this. Big fan of these articles too. Thanks!
     
  3. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    #3
    My problem with these separators is, that they take to much space (like a whole width of an icon).
     
  4. stiligFox macrumors 65816

    stiligFox

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    #4
    Absolutely love this tweak, I use it every time I set up a new Mac :) glad to see it being shared to more users!
     
  5. newtestleper macrumors 6502

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  6. jayducharme macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

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    #6
    Nice tip. I wonder if it would be possible to create a transparent null app icon and simply drag it into place. Hmmm ... I'll have to play around with that idea.
     
  7. martyjmclean macrumors 6502

    martyjmclean

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    #7
    I’ve set up all the Mac Pros in my post production studio like this. All Avid apps together, all Final Cut apps together etc.
     
  8. Marcpek macrumors newbie

    Marcpek

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  9. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

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    #9
    Nice trick. I wish they'd restore the ability to pin the dock to the corner. We lost that one in Yosemite and it's never come back.
     
  10. janfabry macrumors newbie

    janfabry

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    #10
    To insert a small spacer, you specify "tile-type"="small-spacer-tile" (found on Ask Different).

    An example with both widths:
    Dock_spacers.png

    To add them to the documents side instead of the apps side, use the key persistent-others instead of persistent-apps (found on Lifewire).
     
  11. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

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    #11
    Is there a list of all the defaults controlled by this “defaults write” command? I’ve seen this used all the time to set OS-specific values but it seems the available commands are passed down by word of mouth bs a PDF with the possibilities listed.
     
  12. Kaibelf Suspended

    Kaibelf

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    #12
    Wow! I didn’t know the regular spacer and now I get a twofer in one morning! Thank you and thanks to the author as well!
     
  13. janfabry macrumors newbie

    janfabry

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    #13
    I don't think there is a list of all defaults, this is one of those things that people find out by experimenting, or by scanning the application binaries for strings that could be interesting.
     
  14. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

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    #14
    I haven't seen an exhaustive list, but I have seen gui apps where all you have to do is click a checkbox next to each thing, and it automagically does the Terminal command for you. Cocktail is one. It doesn't have an exhaustive list, but has a lot.
     
  15. Ener Ji macrumors regular

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    #15
    Is it possible to insert additional lines as separators? Much like the line which currently separates my dock apps with downloads and actively running apps? That would save a lot of space compared to using empty spaces.
     
  16. RightMACatU macrumors 65816

    RightMACatU

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    #16
    Too bad I can't do this with my office cube neighbor :D
     
  17. trollied macrumors member

    trollied

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    #17
    Dynamic spacer:

    defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="flex-spacer-tile";}'
     
  18. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

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    #18
    Apps like Prefs Editor can help to discover and/or change possible settings of plist files. Before the time of SIP and Sandbox, it was possible to edit plist files just in place with a text editor. Nowadays, the defaults write command or dedicated preference file editors can be used for modifying plist settings.

    EDIT: better make a copy of a plist before editing it, though trashing it should be no problem in most cases.
     
  19. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #19
    I like this. Is there a way to group the icons together in a Stack, like the folders can do?
     
  20. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    #20
    Thanks. A bit better.
     
  21. cpjakes macrumors 6502

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    #21
    It's not as fancy, but I put aliases to grouped applications in a folder, then put those folders in the dock.
     
  22. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #22
    Not a bad idea. Thanks for the tip.
     
  23. cfurlin macrumors regular

    cfurlin

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    #23
    Yep, been around for years, along with a boatload of other defaults write tricks. Anyone who has used Apple products for a long time already knows these.

    Here’s one to add a recent items list on your dock:

    defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

    Then restart the Dock.

    And one to change the columns and rows of the icons on the launchpad:

    defaults write com.apple.dock springboard-columns -int X

    Change ‘X’ into the number of icons to be shown in a single row (e.g 9).

    defaults write com.apple.dock springboard-rows -int X

    Change ‘X’ to the number of rows (e.g 3).

    Don’t forget to restart the Dock!
     
  24. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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  25. Marx55 macrumors 68000

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    #25
    What I want is to have folders in the applications side of Dock, where subfolders and applications can be shown. That is great when you have hundreds of applications.
     

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