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OS X Tip: Add a space(s) in your dock

I am very retentive and like to keep my workspaces very very clean. My iPhone 5 is very clean and I only allow one page of apps on it at any given time. It’s sorted alphabetically etc. OCD….
With all things in my life, I like them a certain way. As with my iPhone 5, my Macbook Air is just as retentively setup!

In comes a way for you to group applications on the dock in a more simple yet fantastic way! Spaces!

By default the dock in OS X has no ability to add spaces for the end user. It’s not a right click option or what not. With this simple trick you can setup your desktop and apps to look simple, clean and help minimize your time spent hovering over the dock looking for that app!


Here’s how to add a space in your OS X dock:

  1. Open the terminal. You can use Command + Space to bring up Spotlight and then type in “Terminal”.
  2. Copy and Paste the following into your Terminal session: 
    defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{tile-data={}; tile-type="spacer-tile";}'

    and press enter.

  3. Then type: 
    killall Dock 

    and press enter. This will restart the dock, so you will see the dock close, and then reappear.

  4. You should now see a “spacer” on the end of your dock over by System Preferences.
  5. Repeat for as many spaces as you like.

Pretty cool trick right?!

If at anytime you want to remove them, just pull off the dock and hold till you see the “poof” happen. Any questions let us know in the comments below.

About Matthew Snider

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10 Replies

  1. I never knew about this. Great tip. Strange that it’s not a default option.

    1. Totally agree. Would be great if this was an easy setting somewhere.

  2. I did this to a previous install and loved it. COMPLETELY for got about it, so thanks for the reminder.
    Just created 6 of them.

  3. Dan

    I keep getting an error that says the following:
    2013-04-17 00:40:37.557 defaults[599:707] Could not parse: ‘{tile-data={}. Try single-quoting it.
    -bash: tile-type=”spacer-tile”: command not found
    -bash: }’: command not found

    Any idea what is causing this?

    1. Dan

      Never mind. I figured it out.
      It is because of how the single quote was copied over. Manually type it out, or copy from here:

      defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add ‘{tile-data={}; tile-type=”spacer-tile”;}’

      1. Glad you figured it out! I have updated the post, hopefully it isn’t a WordPress issue with the line of code.

      2. Hey Dan,
        I ran into the same issue and found the same fix. Strange that the copy and paste didn’t work.

  4. HEY MOE! I love that background, where do you get art like that if you don’t mind me asking.

    1. Oops! I thought this was a piece by Moe. So instead I ask, hey Matthew… ;-p

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