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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes Desktop
Most of you probably know that you can resize the dock in two ways - by dragging the dock's divider bar (or option-dragging it to resize to non-interpolated icon sizes), or by opening the Dock's System Preferences pane and using the slider.

Via email, 'uffeberlin' submitted a hint about an interesting feature of the dock sizing slider that's very hard to describe but fairly easy to use. Basically, you can force the dock to exactly 25%, 50%, or 75% of its maximum size just by using the slider. The process basically involves moving the slider a bit, and then repeatedly clicking the mouse button on the slider itself until the slider stops moving. But rather than try to explain it, just watch this short movie:


The movie starts with a drag of the slider, followed by repeated clicks on the slider thumb. When you see the slider thumb blinking but not moving, it's being clicked on but no longer sliding -- it's been locked into one of the three chosen sizes. Another drag frees it up to move again, then the process repeats.

So why is this useful? Who knows; more than likely, it's got little practical value (unless I'm overlooking something obvious, which is always possible). Nonetheless, I thought it was interesting and though (perhaps incorrectly?) that it was worth sharing...
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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes
Authored by: eDogg on Feb 26, '03 10:42:29AM

I'm not sure if this relates, but in Mac OS X Unleashed, they comment that you can snap the dock to certain sizes where the icons will be displayed at optimal quality. Perhaps 25%, 50%, etc are the proportions at which the icons resample the best.



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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes
Authored by: bluehz on Feb 26, '03 10:45:56AM

You have always been able to option-click and drag the divider on the dock to set the dock size an even multiple of the icon size. Not sure the details, but I remember reading long ago - when we were trying to eek every last speed teak out of earlier relases of OS X - thsi was recommended as a speedup technique. Not sure if it really works or not. I suppose in theory it might work - if the Finder did not have to actually construct an odd size icon and draw it on screen, instead just pulling a standard icon out of the resources.



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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes
Authored by: lrivers on Feb 26, '03 10:48:08AM

Yes, if you press the option key while dragging the dock divider the dock icons will snap to the pre-rendered sizes 128, 48, 32, 16 px. Does not correspond to the percentages mentioned, however.



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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes
Authored by: VicF on Feb 26, '03 11:58:56AM

Right. These are the pre-rendered sizes of the dock icons. Other sizes are interpolated, and thus (presumably) require a bit more processing power to render and manipulate.



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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes
Authored by: eDogg on Feb 26, '03 03:47:42PM

Actually, those percentages cited are not on the preference panel at all, but just an approximation of the positions on the bar where the slider "locks in". I did some testing, and the places it locks in are exactly the same as if you Option-drag the divider bar on the dock to resize. So yes, it's not 25%, 50%, etc, but the ratios are the same.

-Just my two cents.



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Using the dock size slider to set exact dock sizes
Authored by: pixelcort on Feb 28, '03 01:36:30AM

Another cool trick is the defaults write command. I use it to specify a specific small size (12px) for my Dock that I would otherwise be unable to achieve.

defaults write com.apple.dock tilesize -float 12

Where 12 is the size of the dock that you want. -float appears to be neccisary, as without it it hasn't worked for me. Replace tilesize with largesize to set the magnified size of the Dock if you use that feature. Personally my Dock is immobile as it sits parralell to the menubar at the top-right of my screen. (I always thought the Dock should be at the top of the screen, above the menubar IMHO. :)



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