Mac OS X: Handy Tips, Tricks and Tweaks you may not know about… the Dock

Tip 1: Tweak your Dock


Many people don’t realise that you can put any application, file or folder straight in to your Dock for easy access.  It’s really simple!

So (as many people already know) for applications you can either:

a.) Open your Applications folder and drag the app into your Dock (it must be on the left-hand side of the dotted dividing line)


b.) When the app is open and running, right click on the icon that appears in the dock and select

Options > Keep in Dock

Screen shot 2013-07-19 at 15.13.40

And for files and folders:

Simply drag and drop them in to the Dock (they must be on the right-hand side of the dotted dividing line).



Tip 2: Keep your Applications Folder handy


OK, so I know this is a fairly obvious one but not everyone knows that it is possible to keep a “shortcut” to your Applications folder in the Dock.  This is super useful particularly when installing things (as you have to drag them into the Applications folder) and also for general easy access to your apps.  Of course some of the more modern OS X versions have something similar already, but for the rest of us this is a really handy thing to have in your Dock.

The easiest way to do this is to:

1.)  Open a Finder window and from the left-hand menu choose Macintosh HD.

2.)  In your Macintosh HD folder you will see the Applications folder.

3.)  Drag the Applications folder from your Macintosh HD folder to any part of the right-hand side of the Dock (remember files and folders must be stored on the right-hand side of the dotted dividing line!).

I personally keep my home and music folders in the Dock too as I access them all the time.  So much easier!


Tip 3: Tweak the Aesthetics to Suit You


You have a couple of different options on how the Dock folders look and work.  To access these options simply right click on the folder.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 18.24.21

In terms of visual you can choose either

a.) Folder option

– have your folder icon as normal

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 18.27.32


b.) Stack option

– have your folder icon showing the content inside stacked on top of the icon

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 18.28.08


In terms of functionality you can have it open in your Dock one of three ways:

1.)  Fan option

Your folder content fans out in a sort of leaning tower of Pisa imitation.  The downside is it can only show a limited number (about 7 on my Mac) and doesn’t allow scrolling through the items.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 18.30.23

2.)  Grid option

Your folder content shows up in a large square speech bubble with all the contents displayed as icons. 

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 18.32.24

This is my favourite option as it is clear and easy to navigate.  This is probably because I only really navigate my apps this way (the rest of the time I would just open the folder), and the icons are so large and easy to distinguish.  I find icons easier to navigate.  Plus, you can scroll easily through the whole folder.

3.)  List option

Your folder content shows up in a tall rectangular speech bubble with a small icon and the full title of the app on one line.  Again this is easy to navigate, allowing easy scrolling.  The display is smaller and focuses more on text than icons so if you find scrolling through names easier this is the one for you!

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 18.31.22

4.) Automatic option

There is of course the “Automatic” option as well.  I think this setting just works out what you prefer to use and opens folders in the same way.


Categories: Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Mac OS X: Handy Tips, Tricks and Tweaks you may not know about… the Dock

  1. Is there a tweak to get rid of the white base in the dock which masks the white dot indicating whether an app is open?

If you find this useful or interesting please leave me a comment. If you have a question feel free to ask (^-^)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at