Another thing that will catch your attention on your new Mac is the dock: the bottom bar with the icons of the programs.

The dock has two functions: it shows all the open programs (with a small white light underneath) and provides quick access to the programs and folders that we have placed there. In the dock, there is also the Mac trash, where the deleted files are stored until we finally delete them when emptying it.

With the right button, we access a series of functions of each program. Normally you can choose the window of the program you want to see, perform the most common tasks (such as checking mail, in the case of Mail), etc. Also, there are a series of functions common to all programs (exit the program, hide it, etc.).

An important trick: in case some program hangs (which sometimes happens), if we right-click we have access to the “force exit” function (sometimes, it is also necessary to press the alt key ). Yet another trick: we can use “force quit” to close a program that we have opened by mistake and is still loading.

Add and remove programs to the dockThe operation of the dock

To add a program to the dock: very simple, we simply drag it from the applications folder to the dock. If the program is already active, we just need to move it to a position in the dock so that the icon stays there once closed, or by using the right button we can choose «Keep in Dock».

To remove a program from the dock: click on it, and drag it to the desktop. This does not remove the program from the hard drive, only from the dock.

Put folders and files in the dock

Now we are going to look at the vertical line that separates the two parts of the dock, indicated in this photo with the red arrow. On the left side, we can put programs to open and use them. On the right side, where the trash is, we can put folders, files, shortcuts, hard drives … if we want to have a file or a folder at hand, we can drag it here.

For example, let’s put the applications folder. We look for it inside our hard drive, Macintosh HD, and drag it next to the trash. Once it is there we can access all its content by clicking on it with the right button, or with the left one pressing and not releasing, what is called sustained click.

This is very useful to have for example all the applications at hand, or a folder with files or things that we use every day or direct access to a website that we visit frequently. To put direct access to web, we visit the page in question, we click on the address bar of our Safari browser, where is the address of the page, specifically in the favicon, which is the little drawing that is on the left of the address, which is usually a web logo, and drags it to the dock, next to the trash.

Another thing, if we drag a file from the desktop to the icon of a program, that program will open so that we can see the file that we have dragged. For example, we drag a photo to the iPhoto icon, and iPhoto will open to see that photo. If we drag a file to mail, a new email will be created with that file as an attachment, already prepared for us to put the address and send it.

Dock optionsThe operation of the dock

The dock options are in the ‘System Preferences’ icon, or we can access them and a few other things by right-clicking on the line that separates the two areas of the dock.

Size of the dock, we can change the size by dragging the bar, or also, by clicking on the line separating the dock, and without releasing, we go up and down with the mouse until we find the appropriate size.

Magnification, if we activate this effect, we will see the icons larger when hovering over them, we can define the size of the magnification with the scroll bar. It is a very attractive effect but it is not very useful when moving the site icons, we think that it is not a very good idea to use it.

Position on screen, we can choose where on the screen we want to see the dock, below or to the sides.

Minimize using: this is only to choose with which visual effect we want the applications to be minimized, by hitting the yellow button of the windows.

Animated opening of applications, if we have selected this box when clicking on an application to open it, it gives a small pot in the dock.

Finally, if we check the box to hide and show the dock automatically, the dock disappears, and we will only see it if we move the mouse over the bottom of the screen.

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