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The dock is a powerful tool for accessing not only frequently used applications, but also files and folders as well. In addition, there are some ways that the dock can be customized. Let's take a look at how this works. I'm beginning this video in the finder on my computer. And the dock, by default, is located way down here at the bottom of our screen. Now by default the dock is populated with applications that come when Mountain Lion is installed. And you can see that we've got several applications that are pretty useful, such as Safari and mail and even the app store.
But the dock can be customized to meet the way that you work. So for example, let's say there's an application I use pretty frequently but is not located down here in the dock. What I'm going to do is go to the File menu and chose New Finder Window. And this is also a good time for me to point out that you can also use a keyboard shortcut instead of going to the menu every time. So if I use the shortcut Cmd+N on my keyboard, that will do the same thing as creating a new finder window from the menu.
Now, what I'm going to do is over here on the sidebar, I'm going to go to my applications folder. So let's say I use the chess application quite a bit. And I want it to be down here in the dock. So I'm going to drag that chess application down. And as I drag it down there, the other applications will slide out of the way, making room for that application. So maybe I'll move it over here next to the calendar. And when I release the mouse button, now the chess application is available inside of the dock.
If you wanted to add another one, let's say maybe we use the calculator a good bit, we can drag this down, maybe we'll drop this down over here to the left of the contacts app. And now you see that we can access that application as well. I'm going to go ahead and close this window and then to launch an application it's really as simple as hovering your cursor over the application, clicking on the icon and then the application will launch. Now you can use this as you see fit. I'm going to go ahead and quit this.
If you decide that you no longer need an application in your dock you can click on that object and drag it up, and when you let go with your mouse, it will disappear into a puff of smoke. I'll go ahead and do that to the chess application as well. Now in addition, we can customize some other aspects of the dock. One way that I can do that is to come up here to the Apple menu, come down to Dock, and choose Dock Preferences. This will open up my dock preferences that allows me to adjust the size of the dock.
So as I drag this slider to the right it gets bigger, to the left it gets smaller. And then you can also turn magnification on. Within that category you can also drag the slider to control how large the icons are magnified. So to show you how this works, when I hover over the dock, you can see that as I hover over the applications they get magnified so that I can see them a little bit better. I'm going to go and turn magnification off. And then I'll drag the size up a little bit to make it easier to see.
You can also position the dock on the left side of your screen, on the right side of your screen, and then also at the bottom. In addition, the minimize windows using allows me to choose an effect that is applied when I minimize the window. To show you what I mean, if I click on this yellow button, it's going to minimize that window to the dock. And if you saw that interesting effect that's created when you minimize and maximize it, that's what's referred to as the Genie Effect.
I'm going to show this to you in slow motion for a second. And now you can see what the Genie Effect looks like. Again, when you expand it, it does the same thing which is referred to as the Genie Effect. You can also change to just the Scale Effect which is just going to scale that down in more of a simple manner. Same thing with scaling it up. Now we can also choose to double-click a windows title bar to minimize the window. So if I turn this option on, and I double click on the toolbar, it's going to minimize the window that way as well.
So I'll turn that off. You can also minimize the windows into the application icon instead of over here in the dock. So if I turn that on when I minimize this, instead of it taking up space on the right side of the dock, it actually puts it here underneath the actual application icon. So I'll turn that off again. Animate opening applications basically just causes the application to bounce down here in the dock. So if I were to open up an application you'll see that the dock icon bounces a little bit when I do that.
Go ahead and close the app store. The other feature that's pretty powerful is to automatically hide and show the dock. If I turn that on the dock actually disappears until I move my cursor way down to the bottom and then the dock will appear so I can launch an application. When I move out of the way it'll hide it again. So I'll turn that off as well. And then show indicator lights for open applications, you can see that when an application is open, so in this case we're in the system preferences application.
You can see that there's a little light way down, here, below the icon. Which is a quick and easy way to tell when an application is open. I like that, so I'm going to keep that option checked. Some I'm going to set this back to the Genie Effect, and I can go ahead and quit system preferences. In addition I wanted to show you that if you wanted to change the size of your dock you can also do so by hovering your cursor on this divider line. And then as I drag down or up I can scale the dock in a more visual manner as well. Last but not least the dock is not reserved only for applications. We can also put files and folders there as well. You can actually see, to the right of this divider line, we have the documents folder that is already there by default, as well as the downloads folder. So let's create a new finder window.
And I'm going to go to the pictures folder. And I'm going to show you how we can add the, Fun Pics folder to our dock. So if I drag this down, you're going to notice that down here the icons are not moving out of the way because the left side of the dock to the left of this divider line is reserved for applications. However, if I move over to the right of that divider line, now these icons will get out of the way and allow me to drop a new folder there to access.
So now if I close this finder window and I want to get to my Fun Pics folder very quickly, I can just hover over this icon, click, and it's going to open up that folder in this heads up display. If I click the Open in Finder button, it'll actually open it in a finder window, so it's a pretty powerful tool. And you can do the same thing in here with documents as well. I'm going to go ahead and close that window, and as you've seen, there's a lot that the dock can do. I encourage you to customize the dock to your liking, so that it becomes an even more valuable tool than it already is.
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