One way to put Mac OS X Leopard’s Stacks to good use: Organize your Dock

“In Tiger, my dock had 30+ hard to see tiny tiny app icons. But in Leopard, using the following method, I am finding the 10.5 dock to be the best launcher ever,” junkie explains for macosxhints. “I’ve created little stacks of apps for each app area and the big suites:

Productivity: MS Office and iWork
Creative: Adobe CS3
Utilities: Just the ones I use most
iLife: iLife applications
Media: Players, download tools, etc.

Junkie explains, “To do this, I created new folders for each stack. Each of these is a real folder with aliases to the respective apps. It took maybe two minutes. The benefit over Tiger is that stacks are all visually identifiable, because the stack of app icons show thru, no thinking up some custom icon for an office suite or mousing over identical folder icons trying to figure out what’s what.”

Full article – and many other great Leopard hints – via macosxhints here.


  1. This is what I’ve done for years with OS X. Put a folder on the right side of the dock with related items. Usually with a custom folder icon to group things together. Then control click for a pop-up list of the aps (actually aliases) in the folder.

    Stacks is fancier, and takes away my ability to create a custom folder icon. Not much of a change really.

  2. @DJ

    Stacks does work with the dock on the left – it doesn’t do the “fan”, but it works and displays the files as a “grid” – just as it does when the dock is at the bottom if there are a lot of files in the stack. Not sure why barnacle999 thinks it’s less useful on the left…

  3. Love stacks, but it needs more work. They shouldn’t have abandoned legacy functionality to add new tricks. There needs to be a way to customize or change the icon that displays for a stack. Currently it shows the icons of the folder contents atop each other which can get ugly and not very Apple-like. Apple needs to create a way to set a default folder or designate an icon for the stack.

    This is a pretty accurate account:

  4. I agree… I’ve had an sorted shortcuts folder to applications on my dock since OS X was first released. Now that functionality is dead in place of stacks. Stacks needs more work so you can access nested folders and customize the dock icon.

    I love the grid view for my organized apps, but hate the dock icon it generates.

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