New Mac user here, trying to figure out how to adapt my workflow and the like from Windows/Linux to Mac.

I think the answer might be "it's not possible" but here goes anyway.

I'm used to leaving documents open as a reminder to complete them later. This means I'm used to quickly glancing at the taskbar (dock) to determine which documents I have open and what I need to do. Since the red x doesn't actually close a lot of apps - terminal for instance - it makes it a little tedious to determine if I have an open document.

The only solutions I can think of are either remembering to manually Q-ing each window (oof), or to right click each open app to determine if there are opened documents and then remembering the answer. Neither of those are great so I'm wondering if anyone has any good methods around this.

I realize this might encourage discussion/opinions, but I'd like to emphasize that I am looking for concrete answers EG: "there isn't a way" or "This setting will make the number of opened documents be displayed on the dock". One of the biggest issues I'm having with moving to Mac is determining the best way to solve a problem, and I'm guessing that what I think is a solution here might not actually work.


this are my settings where a black dot are shown in the outer edge of the dock to mark open applications. and all the minimised apps are stored as an icon in the dock itself.

I assumed you used document to say app.

if it is about one application, multiple windows, open documents can be seen in window menu on the top. OR by sliding down three fingers(app expose; set the gesture in touchpad gestures.) to see if such window is present on other document.

however only #2,#5,#6 are relevant.

My settings

also, feel free to ask more such tips as that's what I like to explore on my Mac.

  • Ahh, yes, thanks. I had had #2 checked. I think with app expose and being able to actually see minimized apps I'll be able to work with this. Not the exact same workflow of course, but just as quick. – Biggs Dec 13 '18 at 18:24
  • why do you think #5 wouldn't work? thats what I check before shutting my Mac down, to close all open apps except finder (can't be quit). the dots appear towards the bezel and are white in dark mode o/w black. also, please mark the answer correct! :) @Biggs – ankiiiiiii Dec 13 '18 at 18:28
  • Oh, it did work. I had #5 checked, but it on it's own wasn't quite enough, I needed to have minimized applications easily viewable when I used app expose. If #2 is checked then the minimized window is only discoverable by right clicking the app. – Biggs Dec 13 '18 at 18:46

Just by looking the taskbar I think you can't. But you can set an easy shortcut and if you click on the application you want to view and the press the shortcut you can see all the windows opened (active and minimised) for that application.

In System Preference > Mission Control, you can set a shortcut for Application windows. Just try it once and with time it will become smooth for you.


You can click on the yellow ball upper left of the window, the minimize icon, to minimize the window to the dock.

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The minimized windows appear in the right side of the dock.

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The right white sheets are the minimized windows.

The macOS dock paradigm is a little different than windows. The mini-small black triangle below the app icon indicates that the app is running. You can see that I have terminal, system report and acrobat reader running. I have my dock icons to expand when the mouse pointer is over an icon. I have a minimized folder and three application windows minimized.

This would seem about the same as windows, I think.


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