OS X Dock vs. Windows Taskbar

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MikeyTree, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. MikeyTree macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    I switched from Windows to Mac this summer, and like almost everything in OSX better. I've even gotten used to non-maximized windows, which surprised the heck out of me.

    The one thing I still much prefer is the Windows bottom bar that lists all the windows that are open. OSX's Dock, in comparison, seems cludgy. I want to be able to easily switch to another window (even one in the same program) without having to use expose and spend time searching through the windows to find the right one. Is there any way to do this in OSX, or 3rd party programs that would enable something like this?
  2. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Apple-` cycles through open windows of the forefront application. Expose can show all open windows as thumbnails with the press of one function button or show thumbnails of all open windows of the forefront application.

    Did you know about these? Or is there some functionality available in Windows that these OS X features don't fulfill, which I don't understand yet?
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I think he just wants to point and click over something (like the taskbar) that brings a specific window up, not the entire app.

    Personally I find expose 10 times faster and more productive. But hey, to each his own.
  4. MikeyTree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    Basically, yes. Plus, a way to see all the windows are at a glance. I find expose fairly useless for that, since I need to spend time searching through all the windows

    I have downloaded and installed Witch, which works very well. It makes option-tab work a bit like the command-tab, but switches through all the windows, not just through programs.
  5. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    You know you can select the program you want in the dock, use Expose button 1 to show all the windows in that program, and button 2 to show all windows?
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    i have a M$ "FTW" friend. he argues that the the dock and :apple +tab s the lamest piece of crap that there is. and that having a task bar is the best idea because you can see eerything open.
    so i explain to him that i have my dock hidden, and by showing it all the time it will show you the open applications, but not the open windows. then he's all "i still cant see individual windows". arrrggh hu cares apple doesnt have to follow M$, why do you think they made expose!?!! it completely overrides the purpose to have the disgusting task bar.
  7. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    I much prefer the dock.

    It scales better
    Height is adjustable
    Rearrange icons
    Badge notifications (how many unread mail, bit torrent speed etc)
    Extra functionality (iTunes skip, pause, Mail compose message)
    Drag n Drop (drop a file onto Mail icon and it will attach to a new message. Drag any text to the Mail icon to compose a message with the text as a body)
    Put folders into the dock - right click to give tree menu access (spring loaded in Leopard)
  8. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Once you have 20+ windows open, 10 pictures in Photoshop, 2 documents in InDesign etc. the taskbar is pretty much useless in my opinion.* Try finding the window you need, good luck! All a matter of what you are used to.

    * then again... windows can't handle that many opened programs anyway without crashing. (joking)
  9. hopejr macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2005
    New South Wales, Australia
    You could press F9 or F10 and then tab to cycle through all the app windows. Also, if you don't care so much about seeing the windows, you can get the list by right clicking on the dock icon for the app.
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I agree. I'm not going to say I like the Windows task bar any better, but Exposé has this issue. Especially if you've got a lot of open windows, Exposé does not make the one you want particularly easy to find. You may even have to remember the title of the open document or window because the thumbnail might be too small to recognize. Exposé is a good concept, but I don't think it's an entirely polished concept. Maybe the new "Spaces" feature in Leopard will help.
  11. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    What could be useful to you is using F10 instead of F9 and then tabbing between applications. It's a great way to find the window you want. Try it!

    You can try right clicking the icon in the dock to get a list of open windows. Or use F10 as others have pointed out.
  12. ingenious macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    I actually prefer Exposé in this manner, too. I can see exactly what is in each window.

    In Windows, yes, I can see how many windows are open for each application, but they're all (by default), stacked into one group for the application anyway, so I can't tell what they are. I hate that.
  13. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    dock ftw!

    the taskbar gets too cluttered too fast, imo.
    i use hot corners and command + Tab to select apps, command + ` for multiple windows in apps or expose again. so much easier imo.
  14. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Not where you live.
    If you have a Mighty Mouse, you can click the scroll wheel, button, whatever, the thing on top to give you a list of all open applications. I'm sure if you have a different mouse you can probably map the click of the scroll wheel to do the same, but I have no experience of that.

  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    That method is a bit of an improvement in terms of presentation, but it kind of lack intuitiveness, don't you think? It can also require a lot of keystrokes and clicks before you get where you need to go. It also doesn't improve much on the basic issue with Exposé, which is that it tiles windows randomly and can create thumbnails so tiny that you need to remember the document titles, which somewhat defeats the point.
  16. Exodemia macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    I think a lot of you are forgetting that when Leopard arrives there will be stacking which should perhaps improve things for you who think windows get cluttered. I personally prefer the dock to the taskbar because it's minimalistic and elegant as is pretty much everything compared to Windows and the F9 and F10 keys do the trick.
  17. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    Command-Tab and Command-` are all you need to know.
  18. jellomizer macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    Upstate NY
    I would either find a 3rd party app the does the trick or clasify it as someting that you like better in windows.

    I myself got use to using expose with the mighty mouse. Squeeze choose window click. I found that it is a lot faster for me then using the windows taskbar because it requires less fine mouse movement just click the big box. But when using different platforms I try to take advantage of their strong points and not complain to much about their week points. I usually just feel better at the end of the day.
  19. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    I LOVE my mac, but I sort of agree.

    Sometimes I'll have 10, 15 finder windows open at any one point. This is just how I tend to do things (for instance I have 23 tabs currently open in firefox, many of them on the same page).

    Using expose (either all applications or just current application) I normally can't tell which finder window is which, so I find myself expose, click on the window I think is correct, epose, try again, until I get lucky.

    This is annoying, but not terrible. And it doesn't happen ALL that often.
  20. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    now may i say at this point...those of you who run 20+ windows at the same time on what appears to be less than a 20" screen (cos i'm running 20 windows on mine now as an experiment) are fools.

    if i am doing work i never need that many windows open...a few photoshop/maybe illustrator/iPhoto/safari

    am i missing something?

    if i'm just mucking about...iTunes/a few safari/adium/mail/maybe chess

    why do you need 4 times the amount i do?...or are you just lazy and don't close the windows you're not using?
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
  22. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    Yep. This is far faster than expose or the taskbar. Not that you couldn't use expose and apple+tab and apple+` in conjunction. Which I do sometimes.

    The dock does not really equal the taskbar in most ways. They do very different things. You could almost as easily say 'dock vs. start menu'. Very different animals.
  23. Exodemia macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    In a way, there are docks you can get for Windows which try to offer same functionality as Expose.
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    cauz expose is awsome :p vista copied off apple with that uuhhh wats it called?? aero doovie..

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