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When Apple (s aapl) introduced the Dock with OS X, people immediately either loved it or hated it. Over time, we all got used to it. Among some of the usability complaints about the Dock is the fact that, without hacking, you can’t simply get rid of it. Hiding the Dock will only get you so far — it still pops up at inopportune times. If you’re frustrated by the inability to completely hide the Dock, there is a simple solution.
I know what you’re going to say. “Just hide the Dock; it’s simple.” While that is true, it’s not a complete solution. Hiding the Dock doesn’t really get rid of it, rather it just moves it off the screen — barely. Moving your mouse, even slightly, to the edge of the screen brings the Dock back into full view, and launching a new app makes the icon bounce into view even when the Dock is hidden.
I love the convenience of the Dock, but there are times when I’m working in certain apps like iMovie, iPhoto, Photoshop and a few others in which application icons, windows and scroll bars go right to the edge of the screen. Trying to use certain elements in those apps which are close to the edge almost always invokes the Dock, causing a brief yet annoying interruption in my workflow. At the same time, I want access to the Dock without a trip to the Terminal or other convoluted method to bring it back on screen.
Enter Dock Gone, by Old Jewel Software. Dock Gone is an OS X System Preference Pane which allows you to turn off the Dock completely, not just hide it.
Like any great Mac application, Dock Gone offers more than one option to turn on and off your Dock: via the Preference Pane, a menubar icon, or a keyboard shortcut — which you can customize any way you like. You can even have it play a system sound when the Dock is turned on and off.
Turning off the Dock using any method available with Dock Gone results in the Dock gently sliding off the screen, and playing the system sound if you have that setting turned on. Beyond the menubar icon, which you can hide if you so choose, you’ll not even notice it’s there — a great usability trait.
Whether or not you feel that such an app is worth having, I can say that Dock Gone performs as advertised, with perhaps the only ill side effect of using 9.2MB of my RAM to do nothing 99.9 percent of the time. Still, if the default behavior of the Dock is disruptive enough to you, it’s probably worth putting up with.
Dock Gone works on any Mac that can run OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or higher, and a single-user license is $14.95. A 15-day demo is available for download from the Dock Gone site.