Free Hierarchy 1.0: hierarchical menus for Mac OS X Leopard folders via Dock-like palette

Charles O’Rourke has released the freeware Hierarchy 1.0 application which returns hierarchical menus to folders via a floating Dock-like palette.

With the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Apple took away a feature of the Dock that had been present since Mac OS X 10.0 — the ability to right-click (or control-click) on a folder in the Dock and see a hierarchical menu of the contents of the Dock.

O’Rourke writes on his Website, “Hopefully Apple will restore this functionality to the Dock in a 10.5.x update, but in the meantime, Hierarchy is a freeware application that will create a small palette that replaces the functionality of placing folders in the Dock. Any folders or files can be dropped into the Hierarchy palette. Files can be launched from the palette, and folders can either be opened in the Finder with a left click or browsed in a hierarchical menu by right- (or control-) clicking.”

More info and download link here.


  1. Command-Click on a stack and you’ve got your hierarchical menus – It’s called the Finder.

    This does look pretty slick though if you aren’t interested in also being able to use Quick Look with your hierarchical menus, or all those columns of helpful information like Date Modified, Size, Kind, etc…

  2. Some people can only think about moving backwards.

    Apple is the one going ass-backwards.

    Look at eyestrain causing glossy screens instead of the easy on the eyes matte screens that most people polled prefer?

    Jesus, I’m all for innovation, but when something works really well, don’t fsck with it just to be different.

  3. I’m really glad there are people who find complete satisfaction with Stacks as they are implemented. Yay for you.

    However, being able to create organized subfolders of application aliases allowed a very simple, uncluttered, but effective and free program launcher for many of us. Because of that, I’d love to see the option for a hierarchical menu returned to folders in the Dock.

    I do very much like Stacks. I love the Download stack especially. I wish Apple had even gone further and fully implemented their “Piles” patent on the desktop. It is unfortunate that they chose to remove functionality for a new representation of folders in the Dock.

  4. Dear ‘Hate to be obvious, but’,

    Your Command Click solution provides hierarchical folders, not menus. The difference is with folders you need to click on each folder or triangle to dig deeper, so, say you have an item 15 folders deep, that means fifteen clicks. With hierarchical menus, it’s one click and then a quick navigation through menus to where you need to go. Stacks is great and I love it, but a right/control click or click-and-hold on them to provide the classic hierarchical menus would have been a nice addition. And it’s not moving backwards, it’s taking what works and adding to it… Adding new functions while taking away current functions is moving backwards or at least moving sideways. Stacks complements hierarchical menus, but doesn’t replace them. so take that, pbltpblttptbtp!

    Anyway, for those that don’t necessarily want the floating pallet app mentioned above on their desktop, another app, “Butler”, will let you customize hierarchical menus for folders and volumes from the main menu bar at the top. It’s a nice alternative for getting back to quick hierarchical menu navigation. Plus “Butler” (Donationware) does a lot more too, an awesome little app.

  5. @Pete

    Gawd, you are such a “boiled frog”! Move on, give it up, its a total non-issue! All you prove is that you can’t handle change. Things change, man. Whether you like the change or not you have to adapt to it.

    MW = fine
    as in, come on in the water’s fine.

  6. Woody,

    I agree!

    Would have been nice to add the option to turn off Stacks review on some folders and for others it’s fine. and it would have been nice to have a third option for Stacks: Fan, Grid, and List (the List option would be like the old hierarchal folders of OS 10.4 and older.

    I hate loosing a feature that I’ve used since 10.0, a feature that was elegant, clean, efficient and powerful. Stacks just doesn’t stack up compared to hierarchal dock folders, it’s seems like a marketing decision instead of a usability decision by Apple, much like Vista for Microsoft.

    Now if the Stacks abilities were added to hierarchal dock folders, that would have been a smart enhancement.

    Hopefully Apple adds back the true hierarchal functionality and the ability to turn off the icon preview, I want my Applications folder in the dock but I’m tired of seeing the Address Book icon.

  7. Gawd, you are such a “boiled frog”! Move on, give it up, its a total non-issue! All you prove is that you can’t handle change. Things change, man. Whether you like the change or not you have to adapt to it.

    Perhaps Pete is a older man, where reflections in the screen can indeed cause more problems than a younger person

    Since older people usually have more disposable income….

    Apple should offer a choice of either and let the customer decide whats best for them instead of Apple deciding how to ruin a persons eyesight.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.