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How to Add Dock Icons in Mac OS X Lion

The Mac OS X Lion Dock is a convenient way to get at oft-used icons. By default, the OS X Lion Dock comes stocked with icons that Apple thinks you’ll need most frequently, but you can customize it to contain any icons that you choose. Adding an application, file, or folder to the Dock is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Open a Finder window that contains an application, a document file, or a folder you use frequently.

    You can also drag an icon from the desktop.

  2. Click the item you want to add to the Dock.

  3. Drag the icon out of the Finder window and onto the Dock.

    An icon for this item now appears in the Dock. Note that the Dock item isn’t the actual item. That item remains wherever it was — in a window or on the Desktop. The icon you see in the Dock is a shortcut that opens the item.

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As long as you follow the rule, you can add several items to either side of the divider line at the same time by selecting them all and dragging the group to that side of the Dock.

If you open an icon that normally doesn’t appear in the Dock, and you want to keep its temporary icon in the Dock permanently, you have two ways to tell it to stick around after you quit the program:

  • Control+click (or click and hold) and then choose Keep in Dock from the menu that pops up.

  • Drag the icon (for an application that’s currently open) off and then back to the Dock (or to a different position in the Dock) without letting go of the mouse button.

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