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Authored by: kirkmc on Mar 16, '06 08:05:38AM

How do you put the dock on the top? And why would you want to?


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Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more

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Authored by: sig eigei on Mar 16, '06 08:25:01AM

To position your dock at the top use a utility like Cocktail or Tinkertool.

I chose to put it there because: a. I don't like it taking up screen real estate and b. because I almost never use it (I use the App Switcher and Lauchbar for almost all action around the screen).

Putting the Dock under the menubar makes it almost impossible to accidentally open (although it occassionally creates text artifacts).

If I need the Dock I just call it up with APPLE-OPT-D. To be specific - my dock is hidden, on top under the menubar and on the right side (or end as it is referred to in Cocktail).

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Authored by: robg on Mar 16, '06 09:32:37AM
As noted, it's a great spot to hide it if you rarely use it. I put it up there when I'm working in a full-screen app like Motion, as it prevents accidental activation of the dock.

To do it without third party utils, it's just this in Terminal:
$ defaults write orientation top
$ killall Dock
It's also covered in this hint.


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hide and minimise the dock
Authored by: dirtymouse on Mar 19, '06 11:56:44PM

I made this simple Applescript to write the dock prefs to make the dock close to invisible and out of the way.

cd ~/Library/Preferences/
defaults write launchanim -bool no
defaults write magnification -bool no
defaults write autohide -bool yes
defaults write orientation -string top
defaults write pinning -string end
defaults write tilesize -int 16
defaults write mineffect -string scale
kill `ps awwx | grep Dock | grep -v grep | awk '{print $1}'`

script is available here:

You can revert your settings with a backup that the script makes

dirtymouse - 'fix a troubled Mac' - troubleshooting PDF book

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Authored by: Tony Aguila on Mar 16, '06 11:19:55AM

With my dual monitor setup, a 23" and a 30", with two DragThing docks at the bottom and right side of the main monitor, and the left side of the monitor too far over for the Apple dock, I decided to try the top. You can use a utility like Cocktail or Xupport to activate this feature.

The problem is that, at the top and hidden, bringing the cursor all the way to the top of the screen does not show the dock. You have to place it precisely on a thin horizontal strip, between the desktop and the menu bar, to make the dock appear. I found it too cumbersome and time-consuming. So I ended up moving the dock over to the right side of the screen and resorting to using multiple layers for DragThing.

But it was worth a try anyway.

Tony Aguila

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Authored by: digiglyphics on Mar 18, '06 07:32:52AM

I keep it at the top and after a few days of it being there I can use the track-pad on my 17" PowerBook to stop on a dime precisely where that "thin strip" of activating pixels is. It's not for everyone, or even ideal, but it's certainly not impossible to activate.

I'm actually more prone to hitting ctrl+D to make it appear when I do need it so mousing to it is all but unnecessary. And I used the hint that Robg referenced. I don't use any finder/desktop/dock enhancers.


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Right, End pinning, Visible
Authored by: pepi on Mar 19, '06 04:40:14AM

I don't keep anything in my dock. I use it for informational purposes only as to see if an app is running. Right end pinning is my preference and 16 pixel wide (The smalles I can get). The only things constantly in my Dock are the Trash (always in the same location) and the Finder. All the other items change with use.

I use LaunchBar to do my app launching and about 1000 things more. It happens to be the fastest for me, so I prefer it over Butler and QuickSilver. I also do drag & drop with the keyboard by using the DropBar extension to LaunchBar. No mousing on my powerbook 99% of the time.

Additionally I use Desktop Manager and have the Desktop Pager with minimal size on the right hand side in the top corner.

What I would really like to see is a sorting method for the dock. So the app's icons stay in the same place. My finder icon moves up and down with the apps I launch. I'd prefer to have it besides the trash so new apps come on top and running ones stay where they are. (Witt's law)

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Authored by: Tony Aguila on Mar 22, '06 09:54:08AM

The disadvantage to using Cmd-Opt-D to invoke the dock is that it will push and resize windows that happen to be in the way. Even after the dock has retracted, the affected window(s) will not move back/resize to the previous state before Cmd-Opt-D. This does not happen with the mouse.

Tony Aguila

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Authored by: Frederico on Mar 17, '06 08:21:09PM

I have six screens, three over three with the Menubar on the lower-center, so I have the Dock visible on the upper-center-top. I rarely use it as a launcher (use hotkeys for 90% of dozens of daily apps), but I do use it as a visual indicator of running processes, alerts, mail-count, Office notification counts, etc.

My single-largest complaint is that they did away with a Dock that could stretch across multiple screens, as it did in the OS X Beta. It was glorious to have it spread across the top of 3600+ pixels; you could actually take advantage of motion-image icons in the Dock like QT and DVD Player.

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