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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder System 10.5
I ran across a couple cool hidden prefs for the new Dock this afternoon:
enable-spring-load-actions-on-all-items
mouse-over-hilte-stack
The first of these causes all Dock items to spring-load. That is, if you hover over it while dragging, the item will open and be shown. So if you hover over an app, it comes to the front and you can drop things onto its window. If you hover over a folder, you can drop into it. If you hover over a file, it will open the file and bring that window to the front. You could, for instance, drag an HTML page onto a web browser, and then to a previous tab to load that page in that particular tab. Or, you could drag an image file to drop into a rich text document at a particular location all in one fell swoop. This is really cool!

To enable this option, type this in Terminal:
$ defaults write com.apple.dock enable-spring-load-actions-on-all-items -boolean yes
$ killall Dock
The second pref causes the dock to draw a highlight hover effect for the grid view of a stack -- it's a sort-of white gradient thing that appears as you mouse over each icon in grid view, as seen in the image at right. It's kind of cool, but not really at all useful.

To implement this one, type this in Terminal:
$ defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilte-stack -boolean yes
$ killall Dock
To reverse either command, repeat it with no at the end instead of yes, then kill the Dock again.
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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder | 17 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: mattyohe on Nov 05, '07 04:03:16PM

You can launch any app on the dock while dragging if you press the spacebar button while hovering over an app on the dock.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: rmanke on Nov 05, '07 04:49:03PM

I've been wanting this feature for a long time! I'm so used to doing that on Windows it frustrated me that the Mac wouldn't do it when you dragged an item on to it.

The space bar thingy is a real pain, and I don't like having to use two hands for something so simple.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: rhowell on Nov 05, '07 04:56:11PM

Please do explain! In Windows XP, if I drag a document onto an application or folder icon in my Quick Launch bar, nothing happens.

Incidentally, Mac OS X has had spring-loaded folders within Finder windows forever. Visit Finder->Preferences to tailor this feature. No spacebar needed.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: zane on Nov 05, '07 05:31:47PM

That hover-highlight thingy in the second hint is the same highlight you get if you open a grid-view stack, then navigate thru the icons with your arrow keys (or tab/shift-tab). Which, incidentally, is much nicer than the fuzzy blue highlight you get when keyboard-navigating a fan-view stack.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: MartiNZ on Nov 05, '07 06:38:16PM

This is true, and the fan view doesn't inherit any mouse-over highlight from this preference either :(.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: zane on Nov 05, '07 07:50:04PM

Which is a shame, I actually appreciate that hover-highlight tweak - it's a good indicator for knowing that you are indeed about to click the icon you intend to click. It doesn't happen a lot, but with the large icons and generous padding in grid-view, miss-clicks can happen. Fan-view would certainly benefit from this as well.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: MarsViolet on Nov 05, '07 07:22:40PM

<pet peeve>

Stop telling people to type the dollar sign.

</pet peeve>



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: lowonthe456 on Nov 05, '07 07:40:12PM

is there anyway to not do the springy things and have the nice organized popup?



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: kohlmannj on Nov 05, '07 09:35:28PM

The spring-loaded action also includes launching an application that isn't already running when dragging an item on top of their icon.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: rhowell on Nov 05, '07 10:14:36PM

Without needing to implement the second part of this hint, if you open a grid stack, you can Command-<letter> to various applications, and they'll highlight.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: kbradnam on Nov 10, '07 09:54:41PM

I don't think you need the command key. Just type a letter, or type letters quickly to select specific apps (e.g. ip for iPhoto), just like in the Finder



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: XfanX on Nov 06, '07 12:43:07AM

Nice hints. I really like both of those. I can see this being one of those hints where in like a month, I'll forget that I had to do anything to make it work this way. Then I'll use another machine which doesn't have it and be all curious as to why it's not working right.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: isilver on Nov 06, '07 03:10:48AM

I'm predicting that navigable hierarchical folders in the dock will be one of the 300 features added to Mac OS X 10.6.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: bdericks on Nov 06, '07 11:01:29AM

I believe you can also enable the spring action through the Finder preferences. There is a checkbox near the bottom for this feature.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: Toadling on Nov 06, '07 11:01:45AM

It seems the first key (enable-spring-load-actions-on-all-items) is on by default.

Without having explicitly turned it on, I get spring-loaded action on apps, folders (as stacks), and documents in the Dock right out of the box. Am I missing something?



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: boredzo on Nov 08, '07 07:45:09PM

Just in case anyone is planning to make the same mistake I did: It is mouse-over-hilte-stack, not mouse-over-hilite-stack. You may expect that it should have that second i, but in this case, that's wrong; it won't work that way.



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10.5: Enable Dock spring opening and Stacks item finder
Authored by: palahala on Sep 16, '09 03:50:15AM

As noted by nova20, in 10.6 Apple fixed the typo in the word "hilite". (Shouldn't that read "highlight" instead?) So, for 10.6 use:

defaults delete com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilte-stack
defaults write  com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean YES
killall Dock


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