Reading Time: 5 minutes

I was reading the Show me your Dock series on Grace Smith’s blog and it inspired me to do my own show-and-tell Mac OS X Dock.

I can use Windows. I used to know Windows backwards. Heck, I even used to know DOS backwards! But, I’ve been using Macs since forever and had my own since 1996. I loved them way before they became popular. And I love using the command key instead of the control key! Anyway, onto the dock, I love the dock!

Since I have a widescreen display, I chose to have my dock running vertically to maximize the screen real estate. I ummed and erred about whether to put it on the left or right hand side for ages (it was, afterall, a life-changing decision! 😉 ) before deciding on the right because I didn’t want it interfering with the tool palettes in Photoshop and such.

I don’t actually use all the programs that often but I just like to have them all there. And I like my pretty Adobe rainbow. I did have Adium and Skype too but accidentally took them out. I should add them back again. I should also put MAMP in there. And take some others out.

mac dock vertical
  • Finder – it’s there whether you like it or not. The Finder basically runs the Mac.
  • Dashboard – comes with the Mac. Allows you to add your own widgets and doodads. I don’t really use it much though.
  • Safari – Apple’s own web browser. I also use it to test websites.
  • Firefox – My favorite web browser. Also used to test websites. I have the Web Developer toolbar installed on it.
  • Fetch – FTP program. I’ve been using it for many years so just stuck to it even though there are newer and better ones out there. I particularly like the little dog running when you are uploading files.
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 – I ummed and erred about getting this or Apple Aperture (they are both very similar) but this apparently was less resource-intensive and also it integrates nicely with the other Adobe programs. It is used to catalog and edit photos. It makes editing a breeze!
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3 – the old faithful photo editing program. It’s come a long way baby. I tend use Lightroom or iPhoto for light editing and Photoshop for the trickier stuff, or for making montages or things that require layers.
  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 – Formerly owned by Macromedia, this is a beast of a website design software program. Since I already know how to code it’s definitely not one of my favorite programs but it does have its usefulness. I don’t like longhand CSS and some other quirks it has but I hear CS4 is much much better.
  • Adobe Fireworks CS3 – Also formerly owned by Macromedia, this little beauty is a photo/graphics editing software that is made especially for web design. Not many people know about it or use it but I love it. For doing website mock-ups it is the bomb! However, the photo editing part is lacking so I still have to use Photoshop for that.
  • Adobe Illustrator CS3 – This is a vector-based illustration program, and it is one of my faves. I probably use it more than any other Adobe software. I love the lossless scalability factor, and the ease by which the graphics can be imported into Photoshop, Fireworks or Flash.
  • Adobe Bridge CS3 – I don’t really use this much but it’s a program for finding and viewing files and integrates between all the Adobe programs.
  • Adobe Flash CS3 – I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Flash. I don’t like websites that are 100% Flash, I like the possibilities with it and I like making stuff with it, but the software itself I find… well let’s just say it seems like it’s more aimed at Windows users or techy/programming people. Originally all the Adobe software programs were Mac only but of course now they are both. But Macromedia’s software always had a more Windows-feel to them. I’m not sure how to explain that properly but for anyone who has used Flash I’m sure you know what I mean. I can’t tell you how long it took to make my Flash header (on this page). It looks simple but there are so many graphics, layers, tweens and timelines involved and a few scripts thrown in for good measure. You really need to know ActionScript to get the most out of Flash too.
  • Adobe InDesign CS3 – This is a great program for multi-page documents. Much better than Pagemaker but on par with Quark XPress which does pretty much the same thing (and is the rival).
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 – For making Acrobat (PDF) files.
  • CSSedit – I’ve got a demo version but this is a very cool program for editing CSS stylesheets (much better than Dreamweaver!) However, I actually use Firebug which is a plug-in for Firefox.
  • DigitalColorMeter – This comes free with Mac OS X (it’s in the Applications | Utilities folder). This is so ridiculously useful. It can pick up the hex color code from anywhere, any program, any window. It is great for matching colors on a website.
  • Font Book – a font management utility. I’m pretty sure there are better programs for doing this but this is free and comes with Mac OS X and I’m pretty happy with it. Cataloguing all the fonts is tedious though.
  • Flickr Uploadr – Easy-to-use Flickr uploader. I also have the FlickrShop plug-in for Photoshop.
  • CopyrightInserter – Very useful and simple app for batch inserting watermarks onto your images.
  • iPhoto BuddyI wrote about iPhoto Buddy before. Absolutely love this app. It saved my life! Well, my computer.
  • iPhoto – iPhoto – photo editing software. Easy to use and lots of fun! Comes free with Mac OS X as part of the iLife package.
  • Preview – one of the simplest and most useful pieces of software ever! Free with Mac OS X. It can open any type of graphic including your usual JPG/GIF/PNG files but also Photoshop PSD, Illustrator AI and RAW photos. It also opens PDFs.
  • Photo Booth – The silliest program ever. For taking silly photos of yourself. It comes with built-in filters and backdrops. Before I actually owned this program I would always play with it on Macs in computer stores.
  • QuickTime – For playing and editing audio/visual files.
  • iTunes – Apple’s MP3 player software. Anyone with an iPod would have used iTunes some time or another. Sometimes I work in complete silence, other times I love my music pumping! It’s a must-have.
  • Microsoft Word – I can’t really talk about this program. Plus I’m sure everybody knows that it’s a word processing program.
  • Microsoft Excel – Spreadsheets anyone? I’ve never used Apple’s Number spreadsheet program so I can’t compare but for a spreadsheet program this is pretty decent.
  • Microsoft Powerpoint – Slideshow presentations. Don’t really use it much. But certain people (who shall remain nameless) like to send me funny little doodads which require Powerpoint to watch.
  • Apple Mail – Such a beautiful email program, how I love thee… I used to use EudoraMail and I’ve never touched Outlook or Entourage. One of the best things about Mail is that you can find emails very quickly using Spotlight. For the eagle-eyed viewers you’ll probably notice that I have a lot of unread emails. The reason for this is because I actually have all my gmail emails forwarded to my POP account and since I read them online I don’t need to re-read them again in Mail. This is just a backup procedure (since I’m big on backing up).
  • TextEdit – I actually created this website with TextEdit, which is a very basic text editor. It can also open Word files too! I love it but now I use…
  • Smultron – If Dreamweaver and TextEdit had a baby, it might look something like Smultron. And how could you not love a strawberry icon? It is a simple text editor but the code is color coded and has a multi-page tab feature like all the Adobe/former-Macromedia programs. One of these days I’ll get around to buying and using Coda though.
  • Screenium – For screencasting. My tutorials were created using Screenium.

I just realized that this has unintentionally turned into a mini software review. So there you go! Don’t say I don’t give you anything 😉

(Disclaimer: All URLs are accurate at time of posting. I am not responsible for sites that go down or URLs that change, but I apologize in advance if this happens. And remember: Google is your friend).