iMac System Preferences: The Dock Pane

By Mark L. Chambers

You can use the settings shown in the following figure to configure you’re your iMac’s Dock’s behavior until it fits your personality like a glove. You’ll find the Dock pane in System Preferences.

  • Size: Pretty self-explanatory. Just drag the slider to change the scale of the Dock.

  • Magnification: When you select this check box, each icon in your Dock swells like a puffer fish when you move your mouse cursor over it. (Just how much it magnifies is determined by the Magnification slider.) This is a great feature if you have a large number of Dock icons (you can resize your Dock smaller).

  • Position on Screen: Select a radio button here to position the Dock on the left, bottom, or right edge of your iMac’s Desktop.

  • Minimize Windows Using: Mavericks includes two cool animations that you can choose from when shrinking a window to the Dock (and expanding it back to the Desktop). Open the Minimize Windows Using pop-up menu to specify the genie-in-a-bottle effect or a scale-up-or-down-incrementally effect.

  • Double-Click a Window’s Title Bar to Minimize: Select this check box to minimize a Finder or application window by simply double-clicking the window’s title bar.

  • Minimize Windows into Application Icon: If this check box is not selected, minimized application windows appear as thumbnail icons at the right side of the Dock. To minimize application windows into the application icon in the Dock — which can save space on your Dock — select this check box.

    To restore a window that’s been minimized into the application icon, right-click the icon on the Dock and choose Restore from the menu that appears.

  • Animate Opening Applications: Are you into aerobics? How about punk rock and slam dancing? Active souls who like animation likely get a kick out of the bouncing application icons on the Dock. They indicate that you’ve launched an application and that it’s loading. You can turn off this bouncing behavior by deselecting this check box.

  • Automatically Hide and Show the Dock: Select this check box, and the Dock disappears until you need it. (Depending on the size of your Dock, the Desktop real estate that you gain can be significant.) To display a hidden Dock, move your mouse pointer over the corresponding edge of the Desktop.

  • Show Indicator Lights for Open Applications: OS X indicates which applications are running in the Dock with a small blue dot in front of the icon. To disable these indicators, deselect this check box.

    Customize your Dock by using these controls.
    Customize your Dock by using these controls.