Multiple Apple Menus in the Dock!!

zootbobbalu

Registered
I know people have been posting this feature, but I haven't seen anyone mention the big picture of this feature. I have seen postings about dragging your HD icon into the dock and then simply doing a Click/Hold (aka "MouseDown/Hold") on top of the new HD icon in the dock to get a model finder window to pop up (not to be mistaken with an actual finder window that will open if you just Click on the HD icon in the Dock). You can do this with any folder too!!

For instance you can create a New Folder in your root (aka home) directory called "Desktop Publishing" and place aliases of your favorite Graphic/PageLayout/WebDesign applications into this folder. When you drag this folder into the right side (very important) of the Dock and Click/Hold on the New Folder icon in the Dock, you now have a model finder window of this folder. Repeat this for other groupings of applications like programming apps or just simply drag any folder with stuff in it that you use a bunch into the Dock. Doing this makes the Dock much better then the AppleMenu, because you don't have to organize everything into one AppleMenu (ever seen someone's AppleMenu with a million aliases and folders stuffed in it). Having multiple quasi AppleMenus in the Dock allows you to avoid having to use sub folders to organize things, but sub folders will pop open in a quasi AppleMenu.

BTW you don't have to keep the mouse button pressed down to keep the quasi AppleMenu open. Once it pops open after using the Click/Hold method, you can release the mouse button and move around in the quasi AppleMenu to select whatever is inside the folder or sub folders. To exit this mode, just Click anywhere outside the popup quasi AppleMenu (If your Dock automatically hides when the mouse is not over it, just Click anywhere outside the popup menu, but inside the Dock to keep the Dock open).

Note 1: The quasi AppleMenu is not an actual menu. It's behaviors are more like a model finder window (like an Open dialog), therefore the model finder window will be active until you select an item or until you click outside the window. Maybe Apple will make the behavior of this quasi menu more like a real menu, so you can get any folder icon to pop up when you move your mouse arrow over another folder icon.

Note 2: It is easy to make these quasi AppleMenus icons look different from each other. All you have to do is "Show Info" of the folder that you want to drag into the Dock and change the folder icon in the top left of the info window by pasting a piece of clip art of your choice. If you don't know how to create an icon from scratch, you can simple go to any item on your hard drive with an icon that you like and copy the clip art from that icon. You can copy the clip art from an icon by; selecting the item, selecting "Show Info" in the File Menu of the Finder, selecting the icon in the info window by clicking on it and then selecting "Copy" from the Edit Menu of the Finder. It's important to change the clip art of the folder icon before you drag the folder into the Dock to insure that the new icon will appear in the Dock.

Note 3: It appears that a sub folder that is an alias to another folder will not pop out a sub menu in a quasi AppleMenu. rharder commented on this bug and there is a way to fix this with a cshell command. rharder has agreed to write up a simple guide to do this for newbie Unix users. I'll incorperate his guide here when he posts it (thanks rob). If you're familiar with Unix, just check out his reply below. A simple but less flexable approach is to avoid using aliases of folders in quasi AppleMenus for now..... Stay Tuned...

Note 4: I heard that you can control-click on these quasi AppleMenu icons in the dock to get them to pop open.

I was one of the people who thought the Dock was incomplete and not as functional as the AppleMenu. In this case, ignorance was not bliss. Spread the word around about this feature. Figuring out this one Dock feature made me a bigger fan of Mac OS X. Isn't it funny how simple features really make a difference.

 

rharder

Do not read this sign.
Note that aliases to folders will not "pop out" from the Dock's popup menus, but you can use the Unix "ln" command to get this (proper) behavior. I don't know if this is on Apple's list to fix or not...

Anyhow, if you have a folder "My Favorites" in the Dock and you want "My Favorites" to have an alias to your Applications folder, for instance, open the Terminal app and navigate to your "My Favorites" folder. Something like this:

<pre style="font-size:larger">% <b>cd ~/My\ Favorites</b></pre>(the backslash is for the space)

And then execute the "ln" command:
<pre style="font-size:larger">% <b>ln -s /Applications MyApps</b></pre>

This will create a link called MyApps, and your /Applications folder will pop out from it.

-Rob
 

sfish

Fark Lover
rharder, thanks for the kick@$$ info! It's exciting to learn BSD! :)

This is so cool!
 

rharder

Do not read this sign.
Yeah. Hopefully you have a better memory than I. Every time I'm about to use "ln" I have to do a "man ln" to make sure I get the order right!

-Rob
 

sfish

Fark Lover
I did get the order wrong the first time I tried, if that's any consolation. :)

BTW: This command is a perfect excuse to drag and drop folders from the Finder onto the Terminal. I just type<pre style="font-size:larger"><B>% ln -s</B></pre>
and then drag and drop from the Finder to the Terminal any folders I want to make aliases of. Mac OS X auto-types the paths complete with quotes for paths including questionable characters.

I love this learning process!
 

zootbobbalu

Registered
Rob

I think aliases of folders in the dock do work. Are you dragging the alias into the right side of the dock?
 

pbrice

Member
Why are you creating aliases of folders to drag to the Dock?

When you drag something to the Dock, it isn't moved there, so why create an alias? Just drag the folder to the Dock.
Create a folder called Desktop Publishing and then fill it with aliases of the apps or docs you want, then drag the folder to the Dock.

However, you don't even really need to create the app aliases. You can move apps around in your hierarchy as long as you keep the folders in the top-level APPLICATIONS folder. Just like you have a UTILITIES folder in the APPS folder, you can create DESKTOP PUB folder, FINANCE folder, GAMES, and move the APPS to those folders. Then just drag those folders to the Dock. No aliases need apply.
 

sfish

Fark Lover
What I love about Mac OS that has been maintained in X is that if you create an alias of an item (a folder for this discussion) and move the original folder to a new location, the alias still resolves to the original folder. In Windows, this will break the alias (or rather, what they call a shortcut).
 

zootbobbalu

Registered
pbrice,

I didn't think that you should move an alias to the Dock. I was only pointing out to Rob that you could. The rest of your suggestions is exactly how I have my Dock and Application Folder arranged :)
 

rharder

Do not read this sign.
Right: there's no good reason to move an alias to the Dock, but you might have moved a folder to the Dock that <em>contains an alias</em>. That's when the "ln" command comes in handy.

Strange, that the HFS style aliases don't work properly. That's just like Windows and putting shortcuts in the Program Files hierarchy even though the "ln" technique is a much closer match to Windows' style of shortcuts.

For those who don't know: links made with the "ln" command will break if you move the original file/folder. That can be good or bad, so be sure you know why you choose that link style over the HFS aliases created in the Finder.

-Rob
 

rharder

Do not read this sign.
Oh yeah, and you can't do the HFS style aliases (where you can move the original) on a file system other than HFS or HFS+.

-Rob
 

zootbobbalu

Registered
rharder,



I guess I never had an alias of a folder in a folder. That's a neat trick to get an alias in a folder to pop open a sub menu!!

I think this site is great, but I think a couple of things can be done better. One thing is to keep postings clear and easy to read. The info you posted is very helpful, but I don't think that most people can decipher what is really being said. If I write up a "how to" of your comments, will you be willing to remove your replies? I'm not trying to take credit for your comments. I'll even make reference that you posted the solution. The best thing would probably be for you to write a clear "how to" for non Unix heads if you're interested.


ftp, mkdir, chmod, jobs, & and stuff like that are not foreign to me. So from an intermediate level unix users I think it's safe to say that you're a little more advanced than the average joe. I think if we start a trend of trying to speak out to all levels, then this site will draw that much more attention.
 

rharder

Do not read this sign.
Sure, nice summaries are always good, and seeing *nix commands tossed about can be overwhelming.

-Rob
 

pbrice

Member
My face is red, I stand corrected!

Sorry about that zoot!

I'll have to agree with the above post, I have learned a great deal from these forums. I appreciate everyone's help!

 
Top