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Ivan Lesar
Ivan Lesar

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Undocking OSX

The perpetrator

While getting acquainted with the quirks of OSX, one of the things I was immediately not a fan of was the dock. Spotlight (⌘+space) is such a great feature, and it makes the dock just stand in the way.

The dock wastes your screen surface because maximized applications cannot use the horizontal surface to the sides of it.

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Let's minimize this wasted space by modifying the dock, for the sake of productivity...

Ignore it

The first attack vector is to ignore the dock by using the full screen functionality with all apps.

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Sure... we'll be using 100% percent of the screen. But we want a permanent solution, not a quick hack.

If you start using full screen app, you'll probably need to use the three-finger swipe gesture. Even though the gesture seems quick, it might be an illusion. When you have a bunch of apps open, the cmd+tab keystroke requires less hand motion and is as quick as the swipe.

Moreover, not all apps can be opened in the fullscreen mode, like Adobe Photoshop, for example.

Not good enough. Let's kick it up a notch! πŸ’ͺ

Hide it

Under System Preferences > Dock you'll find the option to hide the dock.

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Great! It doesn't get in the way anymore. We know where we can find it, if we'll need it.

Speed it up

But... it seems a bit unresponsive. You hover your mouse to the end bottom of the screen and it appears with a slight delay.

But have no fear... πŸ¦ΈπŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

This delay is intentionally set as the default behaviour and it can be overridden by executing two commands in the terminal.

1) Change the delay value to 0...

defaults write autohide-delay -float 0
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

2) Restart the dock for the change to take effect

killall Dock
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If you'll ever want to revert it, just execute this.

defaults delete autohide-delay
killall Dock
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

That's it! We got rid of it and we can instantly bring it back whenever we want to. 100% screen real estate. Mission accomplished! 😎

Question it

Hmmm... but why are we even using the dock if we can leave our hands on the keyboard and use these keystrokes?

  • ⌘+space to open the apps
  • ⌘+tab to switch between apps
  • ⌘+Q to quit apps

A whole lot of redundancy going on.

End it.

Let's face it.

We might as well declare the dock obsolete. The Apple touchpad and keyboard evolved over the years, with the dock evolving from one of the most recognisable OSX visual characteristics to a screen-cluttering distraction.

The time has come...

Good night, sweet prince.

nighty night

πŸ₯‡ I challenge you to hide it for a week and try not to use it.

I made a gist which you can fork so you can easily find the delay rollback command later.

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