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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

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Using the Dock

Most of the time, you’ll use the Dock as either a launcher (you click an icon once to open the corresponding program, file, folder, or disk) or as a status indicator (the tiny black triangles, identified in Figure 3-1, indicate which programs are running).

But the Dock has more tricks than that up its sleeve. You can use it, for example, to pull off any of the following stunts.

Switch Applications

The Dock isn’t just a launcher; it’s also a switcher. For example, it lets you:

  • Jump among your open programs by clicking their icons.

  • Jump among your open programs by pressing Switch Applications-Tab. (Details in Section 4.2.)

  • Drag a document (such as a text file) onto a Dock application button (such as the Microsoft Word icon) to open the former with the latter. (If the program balks at opening the document, yet you’re sure the program should be able to open the document, add the Switch Applications and Option keys as you drag.)

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