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, shiny reflective spots 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.
The Dock isn’t just a launcher; it’s also a switcher. Here are some of the tricks it lets you do:
Jump among your open programs by clicking their icons.
Drag a document (such as a text file) onto a Dock application (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, then add the ⌘ and Option keys as you drag.)
Hide all windows of the program you’re in by Option-clicking another Dock icon.
Hide all other programs’ windows by Option-⌘-clicking the Dock icon of the program you do want (even if it’s already in front).
Switch windows in one program by pointing to that program’s Dock icon without clicking, and then doing a three-finger downward swipe on your trackpad. (This feature, called App Exposé, doesn’t work until you turn it on in System Preferences→Trackpad→More Gestures.)
If you right-click a Dock icon, or Control-click it, or click-and-hold on it, you see its very useful shortcut menu (Figure 2-25).
If you’ve clicked a minimized window icon, this shortcut ...