StatusDuck Replaces Your Mac’s Dock With Menubar Icons

Love your Mac, but not the dock? Replace it with something smaller. StatusDuck ($15, free trial) lets you manage your open applications completely from the menubar.

The dock is an iconic Mac feature – one many Windows users attempt to copy – but that doesn’t mean every Mac user loves it. It takes up a lot of space, unless it’s hidden; if you hide it, you can’t see at a glance which applications are currently open. If you’d like another option, and don’t mind adding more icons to your menubar, check out StatusDuck.

Is your menubar so cluttered you can’t even consider this? We’ve shown you how to tidy up your Mac’s menubar with Bartender ($15), and StatusDuck works well with that program.

Managing Apps From The Menubar

Launch StatusDuck and you’ll see all of your currently open apps in the menubar, represented as tiny icons:

statusduck main   StatusDuck Replaces Your Mac’s Dock With Menubar Icons

You can basically use this the same way as you use your dock. Click an app’s icon and you’ll be shown the open window you’ve used most recently. Click that same icon again to cycle through windows.

But there’s also a trick here that your dock doesn’t offer. There’s a red circle above all open apps. Move your mouse to hover over this circle and it will grow, revealing an “X”:

statusduck close   StatusDuck Replaces Your Mac’s Dock With Menubar Icons

Click this and you’ll close the application in question. And by close, I don’t mean close the currently active window, I mean close the application altogether as though you had hit Command+Q. It’s possibly a little too easy to close applications this way – I ended up doing so accidentally more than once – but it’s still nice to have a single-click means of doing so.

Some applications already offer menubar icons, meaning it’s redundant for them to show up in StatusDuck. You can right- or two-finger-click any icon to hide an icon:

statusduck sticky hide   StatusDuck Replaces Your Mac’s Dock With Menubar Icons

You can also pin any icon to StatusDuck, meaning the icon will be visible regardless of whether an app is open or not. As with the dock, you can drag a file to any StatusDuck icon to open it with that app.

statusduck drag and drop   StatusDuck Replaces Your Mac’s Dock With Menubar Icons

You can also add any folder, though you’ll need to hold the “Command” key while dragging in order to do so.

statusduck add folder   StatusDuck Replaces Your Mac’s Dock With Menubar Icons

Clicking a folder here opens it directly in Finder – the Stacks feature of the dock is not copied. As you can see, StatusDuck can replace your dock almost completely if you want it to. It doesn’t look as nice, but it’s fast and functional. Give it a spin.

Can I Turn Off The Dock Now?

With StatusDuck you don’t really need the dock anymore – but you probably don’t want to turn your dock off. It turns out the process that manages the dock also runs a number of other Mac features, and turning it off causes the Finder to misbehave. Read more about this on StackExchange.

Having said that, you could remove all icons from the dock, set it hide and shrink it.

Replacing Your Dock?

If you don’t want to completely replace the Mac dock, but would like some new features, Hyperdock($10) can add features from Windows 7 to your Mac. You’ll get things like window previews, and the ability to control iTunes.

Will StatusDuck replace your dock? Let me know in the comments below, along with any other dock replacements you might find.

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Anonymous

I’m sorry, but your comment about windows attempting to copy it seems like you’ve only for half the research. This to me seems like a less intuitive copy of the application launcher “Gnome Pie” offered completely free of charge open sourced
on Linux ( Only a few versions of Gnome support it however ).

-D

Post Script: by far my most favorite GUI/ Navigator

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Justin P

I’m kind of confused here. You really think all of the many docks that have popped up on Windows since OS X came onto the scene around the turn of the century aren’t at least partially trying to copy the Mac’s user interface? Even though many of them marketed themselves saying as much?

I wasn’t saying StatusDuck was copied by Windows – I was saying the famous OS X dock was. Which is obvious, isn’t it?

Oh, and I’ve used Gnome Pie. I love it. Reminds me of the inventory interface from Secret of Mana, and I mean that in the best way possible. Gnome Pie does look a bit like the featured art above this article, but that’s just art – it’s nothing like StatusDuck, as the actual screenshots in the article reveal. This is more like the old shortcuts you could pin to the top bar in Gnome 2.

Oh man, I miss Gnome 2. Those were the good old days, weren’t they?

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