How to Group Mac App Icons More Prominently in Your Dock

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.


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
 

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2009
1,161
655
10.0.1.3
Absolutely love this tweak, I use it every time I set up a new Mac :) glad to see it being shared to more users!
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,422
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The thick of it
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.
 

nightcap965

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2004
677
679
Cape Cod
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.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
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1,874
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.
 

Kaibelf

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Apr 29, 2009
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Silicon Valley, CA

janfabry

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2018
2
24
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.
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.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,987
868
Wherever my feet take me…
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.
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.
 
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Ener Ji

macrumors 6502
Apr 10, 2010
388
284
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.
 
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organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
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Is there a list of all the defaults controlled by this “defaults write” command?
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.
 

cfurlin

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
378
733
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!
 

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2005
1,674
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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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