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Add a Dock Spacer to Your Mac

Use Terminal to Add a Spacer to Your Dock

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Organize Your Dock: Add a Dock Spacer in OS X 10.5

Dock spacers show up as a blank area between two icons.

The Dock is a pretty good application launcher, but its organizational skills are a bit lacking. You can rearrange Dock icons to put them in the order you wish, but that’s about it. When you have a Dock of full of icons, it is too easy to get lost visually and waste time searching through the Dock for a specific icon.

What the Dock needs is some visual clues to help you organize and find Dock icons. The Dock already has one organizational clue: the separator located between the application side of the Dock and the document side. You’ll need additional separators if you want to organize your Dock items by type.

Using this tip, you can add a blank icon to the Dock that will act as a spacer. The icon will add a small gap between the two Dock icons of your choice, providing a simple visual cue that can save you time and aggravation.

The Dock is broken into two main areas: the application side, located to the left of the built-in Dock separator, and the document side, located to the right of the built-in Dock separator. Likewise, there are two different Terminal commands for creating Dock spacers: one for the application side and one for the document side. Use this Terminal command for whichever side you want to benefit from the addition of a spacer.

Once you add a spacer, you can rearrange it, just like any other Dock icon, but you can’t move it past the Dock separator.

Use Terminal to Add a Spacer to the Application Side of Your Dock

  1. Launch Terminal, located at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.
  2. Enter the following command line into Terminal. You can copy/paste the text into Terminal, or you can simply type the text as shown. The command is a single line of text, but your browser may break it into multiple lines. Be sure to enter the command as a single line in the Terminal application.
  3. 
    defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}'
    

  4. Press enter or return.
  5. Enter the following text into Terminal. If you type the text rather than copy/paste it, be sure to match the case of the text.
  6. 
    killall Dock
    

  7. Press enter or return.
  8. The Dock will disappear for a moment, and then reappear.
  9. Enter the following text into Terminal.
  10. 
    exit
    

  11. Press enter or return.
  12. The exit command will cause Terminal to end the current session. You can then quit the Terminal application.

Use Terminal to Add a Spacer to the Document Side of Your Dock

  1. Launch Terminal, located at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.
  2. Enter the following command line into Terminal. You can copy/paste the text into Terminal, or you can simply type the text as shown. Be sure to enter the command as a single line in the Terminal application.
  3. 
    defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}'
    

  4. Press enter or return.
  5. Enter the following text into Terminal. If you type the text rather than copy/paste it, be sure to match the case of the text.
  6. 
    killall Dock
    

  7. Press enter or return.
  8. The Dock will disappear for a moment, and then reappear.
  9. Enter the following text into Terminal.
  10. 
    exit
    

  11. Press enter or return.
  12. The exit command will cause Terminal to end the current session. You can then quit the Terminal application.

Using Your New Dock Spacers

An application Dock spacer will appear to the far right of the application area of the Dock; a document Dock spacer will appear just to the left of the trash can in the Dock. You can drag either spacer type to its final destination.

If you need more than one Dock spacer, repeat the Terminal commands above for each new spacer you wish to add.

Removing Dock Spacers

Dock spacers function just like any other Dock icon. You can remove them by either clicking and dragging the spacer out of the Dock, or by right-clicking on a spacer and choosing ‘Remove from Dock’ from the popup menu.

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