One of the best features in OS X Mavericks is Apple’s major improvement to multiple display management. A key complaint Mavericks addressed was to display the Finder menu bar at the top of each display. So whether one is working on their main display or a secondary one, the menu bar is readily available on the same display without having to always go to the main one to select a menu item.
Using Spaces (aka Mission Control) is improved in Mavericks as well. Rather than both displays being paired together into a “single desktop”, in Mavericks the main display can have its own set of desktops independent from the secondary display’s set of desktops. This make switching between multiple desktops extremely flexible (and powerful) for almost any work mode. And then there is the Dock...
Yes, the Dock. The Dock by default starts on the main display. However, if after a time after of working longer on a secondary display, and if the cursor goes to the bottom of the screen,... guess what? The Dock moves from the main display to the secondary one, whether this is the desired behavior or not. The only way is to get the Dock back to the main display is to work longer on the main display than the secondary one and then move the cursor to the bottom of the main display in hope that Apple has decided it is now time to move the Dock back to the main display. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be any documentation on how long is long enough. What a pain.
Dock Control Work Around
However, there is hope for the multi-display Mac enthusiast who goes mad when their Mavericks Dock misbehaves. The Dock can be told which display to appear on — at any time. The following three steps will move the Dock to the desired display immediately.
- Enable Dock Hiding — This can be done by pressing opt+cmd+d or right-click on the Dock separator and select “Turn Hiding On”.
- Now that the Dock is hidden, move the cursor to the bottom of the desired display where the Dock is to appear.
- When the Dock pops up from hiding, Turn Hiding Off (opt+cmd+d). Now the Dock will remain on the current display — until it decides to move again.
While this is a functional work around, the real solution is for Apple to give users more control of the Dock’s display preference. If Apple were to enable the following three modes it would be very flexible to suite individual tastes.
- Dock remains on one display only (with options to select either monitor as the default)
- Dock is visible on all displays simultaneously
- Dock behaves as it does today
With these three simple settings Apple could really make Dock management far better than what people with multiple displays must cope with today. Until then, we have the Dock control work around.
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