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Force the Dock to only show running applications System
Here's an interesting Dock modification, though to be honest, I'm not sure exactly when it might prove useful. In Terminal, enter these two commands:
$ defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool TRUE
$ killall Dock
As soon as you kill the Dock, when it respawns you'll notice that only your running applications are listed -- in other words, any program you've added to the Dock won't be shown unless it's running. You can obviously accomplish the same end result by simply dragging all your static applications out of the Dock while nothing other than the Finder is running; so that's why I'm not sure how useful this command really is.

The only potential use I can see for it is if you've got a really crowded Dock, and you wanted to temporarily simplify it, you can use this command -- because when you reverse the preferences setting by repeating the above command with FALSE at the end, all your static icons will come back, so you don't have to manually re-add them. I should add that's how it worked for me, but proceed at your own risk -- if you try it, there's a chance you may end up adding back your static items by hand.

So are there other uses for this Dock alteration that I'm just not seeing?
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Force the Dock to only show running applications | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: TomaszK on Jan 08, '09 08:25:37AM

There is one situation when using it is superior to simply dragging out icons from the dock. It's the order.

In case you simply run application it's icon will be added to the end of dock's list. But if the icon was already on the dock it will stay in it's original position. So if you like to have your icons in certain order (e.g. to make finding them easier - especially when you have a lot of things open at once and using keyboard to switch is no longer practical nor fast) than this hack is for you.



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: kiltbear on Jan 08, '09 09:15:03AM

Ditto,

It's exactly why I'm going to try this. Very nice find!



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: UberFu on Mar 05, '09 07:42:38AM

Not seeing the advantage to this_

You set all of your Icons in the Dock where you want them_

Then run this command and it hides the App Icons not active_

Problem comes when you shut down an App - would it not disappear from the Dock at that point?

What if you want to launch an App that is not active? You either have to have a Stack over on the Right or Navigate to said App in the Finder or create a new batch of 'shorcuts' on the Desktop or go thru the Menu Commands via Recent Docs or a Sys Plugin like Fruit Menu_

In any of these events you have deafeated the purpose of hiding the inactive Apps from the Dock to begin with_

I have to agree there is not much practicality or advantage to doing this other than wowing your friends with a Mac-trick_



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AppleScript to Toggle Modes...
Authored by: chucky23 on Jan 08, '09 09:18:34AM

set x to "TRUE"
do shell script "defaults read com.apple.dock static-only"
if result = "1" then set x to "FALSE"
do shell script "defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool " & x
tell application "Dock" to quit



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AppleScript to Toggle Modes...
Authored by: asmeurer on Jan 08, '09 09:42:45AM

Thanks for this script. I might just use proxi to assign a keyboard shortcut to this.



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: kiltbear on Jan 08, '09 09:20:37AM

Oddly, not working for me.

Is the "static-only" the reverse of what you are trying to accomplish. Is there a "running-only".

I'm not running the mirrored dock, but forcing the "side style" dock on the bottom.



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: asmeurer on Jan 08, '09 09:40:32AM

Worked as described for me. Replacing TRUE with FALSE restored my original dock.



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: chocky on Jan 08, '09 02:29:12PM
Of course there's always Command-Tab to invoke the Application Switcher which will always only show running applications.

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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: morespace54 on Jan 09, '09 07:04:43AM

Oddly, my application switcher (CMD+TAB) stop showing me all the open applications recently. It usually only show 4 out of 6 or 7 running applications... Any clue?

Maybe it's 10.5.6 update...



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: asmeurer on Jan 09, '09 09:32:09AM

One of the things mentioned (you not have caught it) was that, unlike the application switcher, the dock will always show applications in the same order. The application switcher shows them in the order that they were accessed, which is useful for switching back and forth between two programs, but not so good if you have to skim the screen for the program you want each time.



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I prefer it like this
Authored by: empaler on Jan 10, '09 05:12:11AM

I've had my Dock show only running programs for months.
Given that I
* Know which programs I have that I use
* I have Quicksilver installed
it works great for my uses.



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Force the Dock to only show running applications
Authored by: yellowbirdman on Jan 10, '09 10:31:33AM

I've had my Dock set up this way for nearly a year now. Simply dragged all the icons off (except for the Finder/Home, Dashboard and Sys Pref icons), then created a folder with aliases to my most used apps which I placed in the Dock.

My only question regarding this tip is does it show the running apps with the current front focused app's icon moved to the left/right for a bottom/top Dock, or top for a side placed Dock? If not, I have to agree with not knowing how useful this tip really is beyond the coolness factor of "Hey, you can do this from the command line!"



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Perhaps useful
Authored by: macgruder on Jan 11, '09 09:06:14PM

I can see how this would be useful. If you put <b>all</b> the Apps you tend to/ever use in the dock, then the Apps would tend to appear in the same order. As opposed to putting none in the dock.



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