With many of us having new Macs here or on the way, it’s a good time to do some housekeeping: tidying up your existing Mac ready for a restore from Time Machine, or to think about how you want to organize your new machine if setting it up from scratch. (Cue comments war on which is the better approach …)

One thing I do is a periodic rejig of my dock, to ensure it contains the apps I use most frequently, and to keep them in some kind of logical order.

dock

Adding spacers to the dock helps a lot when it keeps to keeping things organized. This isn’t a standard macOS feature, but I think it should be …

If you look at my own dock, I have four logical groupings:

  • on the left, the core apps I use all the time (Safari, Postbox, Notes and so on)
  • next, the main additional apps I use for my 9to5Mac duties (Vienna, Slack, Tweetdeck, etc)
  • third, the apps I use for creative work in my spare time (including Scrivener, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro)
  • finally, the other apps I use on a regular basis in a ‘miscellaneous’ grouping

My lesser-used apps I access via Spotlight, but I prefer the Dock for the ones I use all the time, both for convenience and to see which ones are open.

Once you’ve added one or more spacers to your dock, moving them around works exactly like apps – just drag them to where you want them. But getting them there in the first place requires a clunky terminal hack.

It’s not difficult, you just paste the following code into Terminal:

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

followed by:

killall Dock

To add more than one spacer, simply repeat as many times as required.

But this isn’t an ideal approach for two reasons. First, many non-tech Mac users don’t even know what Terminal is, and are nervous about using it if you explain it to them. Second, it’s a nuisance to do it this way because it re-opens all your minimized windows along the way.

So, as a tiny feature request, I’d like to see Apple add this as a standard option. The obvious place to do so it to make ‘Add a spacer’ an additional menu item when you right-click on the divider:

dock-options

What do you think? As ever, let us know your thoughts in the comments. If you have any other features you’d like to see added to macOS, do let us know those, and perhaps those will make it into a future Feature Request.

Photo: mobilesyrup.com