How to Preview Application Window The Quick and Easy Way [Mac]

In Windows 7, its super easy to see what windows you have open for each application without leaving the window you’re currently in. In OS X however, this is not the case. While there is always Exposé, this requires an extra key-press or gesture, and takes you away from your currently active window. In trying to solve this problem, I found a great app called DockView.

DockView is a quick drag-and-drop install from the developers at Kapeli. It offers quick views of all an applications open windows, just by mousing over the application’s icon in the dock. The install is standard. Just click the download link and load up the zip file, then drag the app into your Mac’s Applications folder. The preferences dialog box offers options ranging from general application preferences to appearance preferences, and even offers filters, allowing you to force the application behave in a certain way depending on what specific program it is, or whether a program’s windows are minimized or not. It also offers options for hot-key assignments, for those of you who are more apt to use the keyboard.

To access the preferences panel, and more, just click the newly added icon in your menu bar, here:

dockview-menu-icon

The preferences panel will look like this:

dockview-pref-window

The default settings are recommended by the developers, at least to start out with, and I’ve found no reason to change them. They provide you with simple pop up boxes that will pop up as soon as you mouse over a dock icon. Once you do that, you can move on to the next app in your dock, or simply click a window to maximize it, or bring it to the front if it was already up. This is super handy for applications like photoshop or web browsers, where you tend to get a bunch of different windows open pretty easily. The pop up are elegant and non-intrusive. By default they appear like the example below, but can be tweaked pretty extensively as far as size and appearance.

dockview-dock-popup

DockView is free to try with rare pop-ups asking you to register, but a license is a great deal at $7.99. While you’re over at Kapeli’s site, they’ve got a few other inexpensive apps for Snow Leopard that are worth checking out as well.

Is this a feature that you like in Windows 7, and are glad to have on your Mac? Should it be included anyway? Know of any other cool programs to bring extra features to OS X? Tell us in the comments!

Download DockView here! (DockView requires OS X Snow Leopard, the most recent version of Mac OS)