The return of the Control-Strip!
Move your OS X Dock to the corners of your screen.
Following on from my previous ‘Handy OS X Dock keyboard shortcuts’ blog, here’s another little gem about the Dock.
For those of you that have been enjoying the Mac for as long as I have, you may recall the wonderful control-strip feature of the classic Mac OS (version 9 and earlier), which, similar to OS X’s current menu extras, would allow quick access to system and application settings.
While the OS X menu bar and Dock now offers pretty much the same thing, the control strip was able to display its contents to the side of the screen and could be tucked nicely out of the way in a bottom or top corner rather than always being in the middle of the screen like the Dock in OS X.
So, I have discovered a way to bring this feature back to the Dock despite system preferences not offering this feature. To do this, we need to delve into the command line and ‘tweak’ the dock plist file.
Step 1) Open theTerminal (/Applications/Utilities/) and enter EXACTLY the following command:
defaults write com.apple.Dock pinning LOCATION
The word ‘LOCATION’ needs to be either ‘start,’ ‘middle,’ or ‘end,’ to define where you want the Dock to position itself. The ‘middle’ command is the current default Dock location. However, if you have the Dock on the side of the screen, the ‘start’ or ‘end’ options will put it at the top or bottom of the side of the screen, instead of the middle of the side like the Dock default option. If your Dock is at the bottom of the screen, your dock will now appear to the left or right of the bottom as shown below:
Step 2) For this change to take place, just like with most defaults commands, the process running the plist file needs relaunching.
To relaunch the Dock you can either log out and log back in, or run the following command to relaunch the Dock:
(Activity Monitor could also be used from within /Applications/Utilities/ to quit the Dock process).
In the example above, with a small amount of items in the Dock this can be a useful feature. However, if you have a large amount of items in your Dock then this may not work as well.
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This feature has been tested using OS X v10.8.2 which was the latest Mac OS release at the time of writing and also using the latest Internal and external Apple keyboards.