Add Spaces to Separate Groups of Apps on Your Dock

| Thursday, August 26th, 2010

If you’re anything like me, you probably have your dock loaded with applications.

It can get really frustrating when you’re working with different applications (I find myself with Dreamweaver, Illustrator & Photoshop open all at the SAME time) and accidentally open another App because they’re all so close together.

So why not have your applications separated into groups that make sense to you? Sounds too good to be true? It’s a little secret, but I’m willing to share it.

Quick Terminal Introduction

For anyone who’s new to Terminal, here’s a quick boots-to-the-ground introduction. Otherwise, feel free to skip to the good stuff.

Open a New Finder Window and Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Terminal. If you’ve never worked in Terminal, this is a great way to learn just how powerful it can be to help customize the look and feel of your Mac’s User Interface.

When Terminal opens you should see something like:

Johns-MacBook:~suzy$

This just tells you that you’re logged in under “suzy” on “Johns-MacBook”. Nothing special really, it’s Terminal’s way of letting you know it’s ready for your bidding.

The Spacer Code

Type this into the Terminal Window:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}' (Press Enter)

You won’t see anything just yet, but you’ve just told your Terminal you want to add a spacer to the Dock.

Kill Your Dock

This is where the magic happens. To get your dock to update, simply type this into Terminal:

killall Dock (Press Enter)

Your dock will go away and when it comes back, Presto! At the right end of your Applications you’ve got a spacer that can be moved to separate your apps.

Add FOUR Spacers To The Dock

If you want to add multiple spacers at once (four in this example), you would type:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}' (Press Enter)

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}' (Press Enter)

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}' (Press Enter)

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}' (Press Enter)

killall Dock (Press Enter)

Just remember, the more spacers you add at a time before updating the dock, the harder it will be to move them around to make your dock look pretty.

So there you have it, in only a few minutes you’ve managed to organize the applications on your dock into groups.

My Dock’s Logical Structure

In case you’re interested, here’s the “logical structure” I go by to separate my groups:

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