It’s not that there’s anything wrong with OS X’s Dock. It’s tried and true, and works well for neophyte newbie and experienced Mac users alike. Apple has tweaked the Dock here and there through the years, but it’s still mostly, well, the Dock, original warts and all.
Warts? The Dock has limitations, including a problem with crowd control (tiny icons when the Dock fills up with apps). Somewhere in the last century I added DragThing to my Mac and while I flirt with other app launchers, I know where my true love lies.
DragThing is one of those rare Mac apps which is both simple and elegant, yet highly configurable and customizable. It can be setup and used within minutes and never touched again, or you can devote and hour or two roaming through the extensive preferences. All that in an attempt to gain efficiency.
DragThing features floating palettes of Mac app icons. The drag in DragThing probably refers to how easy it is to setup. Drag an app’s icon onto DragThing. Click the icon and the app launches. Rearranged app icons on the palette by dragging them around.
DragThing isn’t limited to apps, either. Drag document icons onto a palette (DragThing features tabs, so you can put apps on one palette, documents and files on another, and so on), and open with a click.
Here’s my favorite feature. Drag a folder or a Mac’s volume icon onto a DragThing palette, click, and navigate through all the files without using the Finder.
Preferences and options are extensive so you can customize DragThings floating palettes to fit your needs. I keep DragThing hidden until I move the onscreen pointer to a hot corner and the entire palette appears instantly.
Preferences range from palette dock appearance (down to colors and textures), as well as sounds. Each floating palette can also be individually customized, including icon size, spacing, tabs, names, and much more.
If you’ve been stymied by the Dock’s limitations and need something more robust, take a moment to try out DragThing. It’s simple to setup and use. Just drag your most used apps, file, or folder icons onto a DragThing palette. Then, customize it to match your tastes and workflow.
I’ve tried others and nothing is better.