Something that bothers me as Windows user on OS X is that I can't minimize an app window by clicking the dock icon of the application. Is there a hidden setting for enabling this behavior or a utility that someone could recommend?
You can hide an active application by option-clicking (alt-clicking) its icon in the dock. You can also hide the active window and open another window by alt-clicking whatever application you want to open in the dock.
But I agree with you that it would be more symmetrical to be able to click to minimize all the open windows in an application. I am a long-time PC user and this is one area where PCs got it right. That and combining closing and quitting (and the related window management issue).
As you can see, there isn't a way to click the dock. Another option past the accepted answer of using a keyboard shortcut is to enable hiding from clicking the window's title bar.
Open System preference, select General, select Double-click a window's title bar to minimize'. On Lion this is above the control for Sidebar icon size.
One thing that is significantly different between Windows and OSX is how OSX treats, well, windows in an app. An application can have more than one individual window. Each window is treated independently of the application itself.
So, if you want to minimize a specific window, instead of the Dock icon (which is for the application) you want to use any of the options for window minimization:
- Click the yellow ball in the title bar
- Command + M
You can't actually minimize an application (you can get that effect if there is only one open window and you minimize that window). The "Hide" effect is probably what you are looking for.
The trouble is, if you hide (ALT-click or CMD-H), you hide all windows of that application. You probably don't want to do that, just to minimize the current window.
In OS X you don't have the Title Bar, with an item for each open window (eg. 3 different items for 3 windows of the MS Word) - but instead, an indicator for applications that have open windows, but nothing indicates how many windows are open... so you don't actually know where to click in the Dock to minimize which exact window (if more windows of the same app are open). You can right-click on the app in the Dock, then you'll get the list of the open windows, but that's for people with muuuuch time to spend clicking. For Zen practitioners :-)
Some Windows-like behavior can be achieved with 3rd party tools like HyperDock, but I don't remember I had a way to click a window to minimize it. But frankly I tested it for a really short time.