I really do like the Dock on OSX. My main problem however is that I tend to crowd a million things onto it. I do also use Quicksilver as a launcher, and that alleviates having to put everything in the Dock, but it would be nice to have a dock for different working states (e.g. internet, work, utilities, etc).

From this LifeHacker post I was turned on to Dock Spaces, which is a simple application that allows you to have up to 5 different docks which you can switch with a hot key combination. An added bonus is that in the preferences you can make these 2D or 3D docks, which addressed a mild annoyance that I have with the 3D dock (and was too lazy to change).

Basically I downloaded the app, fired it up, and set up 4 docks. One “default” which was the dock that I had, an “internet” dock with, well, internet apps, a “science” dock which has most of the scientific programs that I deal with on the laptop, and then a “utilities” dock which had the common utilities that I use. I also made the docks 2D which I think is a large improvement over the 3D one I had been staring at in Leopard.

Dockspaces_Dock

The default key combination to switch Docks is the control key + a number key, which unfortunately was the same key combination used to switch my spaces. I didn’t see a way to change the key combo in Dock Spaces, so I switched the key combination in the Spaces settings to use the Command key + a number key to switch between spaces. Now ^0 brings up my default dock, ^1 my internet dock, etc.

Dockspace_menu

At this point it’s more of a luxury application for me, but the simplicity of switching between 2D and 3D bundled with the ability to have multiple docks was worth it to me, and it’s a neat idea. It’s currently freeware with of course donations accepted.

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