Most of the time, you’ll use the Dock as either a launcher (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.
In some ways, the Dock is exactly like the torn-off Application menu of Mac OS 9. For example, it lets you:
Jump among your open programs by clicking their icons.
Jump among your open programs by pressing
-Tab. (That keystroke highlights successive icons on the Dock from left to right. Add the Shift key to move backwards—right to left—across the Dock.)
-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.
Hide all windows of the program you’re in by Option-clicking another Dock icon.
This is just a quick summary of the Dock’s application-management functions; you’ll find the full details in Chapter 4.
If you turn on the amazing Mac OS X feature called full keyboard access, you can operate the Dock entirely from the keyboard; see Section 4.4.
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