Create a Sorted Applications Launcher & App Menu for the Mac OS X Dock
If you keep the Applications folder in the OS X Dock for quick app launching you’ve probably noticed it’s just a giant list of all the apps installed. Sure you can change the display to use a grid, list, or fan, but if you have a lot of apps you’ll still end up with a humungous unsorted launcher with a lot of apps you probably don’t want in there.
Here’s an easy way to get around those limitations and annoyances by creating a separate app launcher for the Dock that is sorted by defined categories, featuring only the applications you want. This is perfect for anyone with large amounts of apps installed who likes to keep things organized.
- First things first, pull the existing Applications folder out of the Dock
- Now create a new folder, preferably somewhere in the users Home directory like ~/Documents/ and name it “Applications”
- Within the newly created Applications folder, create subfolders for app categories, like “Productivity”, “Games”, “Music”, etc
- Open the primary Applications folder in a new window (Command+N followed by Command+Shift+A), and then drag and drop apps from the primary Applications directory to the respective categories folders you just created – in OS X 10.7 and 10.8 this automatically creates aliases rather than moving the app out of the Application folder, earlier versions of OS X will want to manually create aliases with Command+L
- Repeat until you are satisfied with the sorting, and then drag the sorted Applications alias directory to the OS X Dock
- Right-click on the new Applications folder and choose “List” as the view type
- Click to use the newly sorted and well organized Mac app launcher
You may want to remove the “alias” reference from each app name, or rename them as you see fit in general. Additionally you can complete the overhaul by copying the primary Applications folder icon to the sorted folder of aliases, this gives the appearance of it being the normal Application directory.
If you keep the Dock hidden by default don’t forget to remove the hide and show delays for much quicker Dock access too, it makes menus like these even more useful by rapidly speeding up their accessibility.
Thanks for sending in the great tip Jay!