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What are the best dock replacements?

It's frustrating to keep track of windows in the dock unless they're minimized. For instance, I often have 10-15 separate PDF documents open. It's a mess to keep track of them on the dock.

-- Harry Gindi

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What do you dislike so much about the Dock? I don't really have a problem with it. Knowing what issues you have would help create better solutions. – jmlumpkin Dec 10 '10 at 20:31
I think the question would be better received if it didn't editorialize so much. – Philip Regan Dec 11 '10 at 0:37
Thanks for toning down the harshness of the question. You'll get a better response as a result, and that benefits everyone here. I do care about the context of the question because I want to see this site succeed; having questions that contain unnecessary swear words and full paragraphs of near-argumentative, opinions doesn't help the community. Similarly asked questions get closed on other SE sites, and I don't see why this one should be any different. I have seen too many other good forums devolve into negative rant-fests over the years and I want to avoid that here. Every little bit helps. – Philip Regan Dec 12 '10 at 18:01
@Harry: That may be true in your social circles, but it may not be in others. We have to be careful in making such assumptions. – Philip Regan Dec 12 '10 at 20:16
@Cawas: it's not so much the question but the way it was originally asked (before edits). I think voters are avoiding giving the OP any reputation. However, I have converted this to community wiki so that is no longer a problem. – Robert S Ciaccio Dec 28 '10 at 23:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

HyperDock gives you window previews for each running app in the dock, which helps tremendously.

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So does the Dock if you click and hold on the icon of a running app. – Greg Dec 11 '10 at 10:00
Yeah, but not like this. This is instantaneous and it doesn't take over your screen like the Expose view you get when holding a click on the app. HyperDock shows you the windows from all spaces, unlike Expose. Plus there are a whole slew of other useful things I haven't mentioned. – Matthew Frederick Dec 11 '10 at 18:02
This app is pretty slick, thanks for posting it – Kyle Cronin Dec 11 '10 at 20:21

A quasi-replacement worth considering is Quicksilver (download: and guide:, used by a large number of devout users.

Though, that it depends on what you're looking to replace: access to apps, documents, tasks etc? It should work great. If you want something that looks vaguely like a dock/taskbar/GNOME panel, it won't replace that.

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LaunchBar... Alfred... Google QuickSearch Box... Even Spotlight! – Jason Salaz Dec 10 '10 at 22:02
Quite right! I've actually had Spotlight replace QS for months… – msanford Dec 10 '10 at 22:37
I use Spotlight instead of QS too. Works fine. – Greg Dec 11 '10 at 10:01
The YouTube video requires sign in! – Flimm Aug 27 at 8:37
@Flimm This answer is 5 years old and probably no longer relevant… – msanford Aug 27 at 14:20

I was impressed with this. It is the closest thing to a task bar replacement I found. Some of its behavior annoyed me so I did not purchase it at the end of the trial. You may fare diffently.

The DOCK is rather ill conceived for a variety of reasons, but programs leaving the dock when open is a huge one. Finding open windows is OSX is far more difficult than in Windows. alt-tab > cmd+tab then cmd+~. Seeing the window clearly on the task bar is also nice.

EDIT: I found this forum while looking for a replacement for ubar. I was unable to find one worth a crap. So I ended up buying Ubar, even tho it has some issues. Even with its issues it is better than the dock. The dock is a common complaint for windows users; this isnt a case of stubborn users rejecting change or a different way of doing things. This is a case of the taskbar really being the better way fulfill these functions.

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Hi, I'm the developer of uBar. Send me an email with your issues and I'll see if I can resolve them. Cheers. – Edward May 21 at 17:54
An issue I am having is that multiple instances of the a program do not show up as multiple (or grouped) items on the ubar, and go to the dock. So I need to use both. – Unknown Jun 9 at 13:27

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