Highlight Stack target on mouseover

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There are many ways to both use and navigate OS X 10.5’s new Stacks feature. Once you’ve clicked on a given Stack in the Dock, you can select an item in that Stack (in either fan or grid view) by clicking it with the mouse, by pressing a few letters of the item’s name, or by using the arrow keys. If you use this last method, you’ll notice something interesting in both fan and grid view: the currently-selected item is highlighted. When in fan view mode, you’ll see a subtle blue box around the selected item; in grid view mode, a silver-gray gradient surrounds the selection.

Today’s tip will enable that same silver-gray gradient to be used even if you’re using the mouse to select items in grid view mode (it doesn’t, however, enable the blue highlight when using the mouse in fan view mode). All it takes to enable this feature is one quick trip to Terminal, and two commands, only one of which is somewhat complicated looking. Open Terminal, in Applications -> Utilities, and type these two commands, pressing Return after each line:

	defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilte-stack -boolean yes

killall Dock

The first line above sets a hidden preference value to yes; the second restarts the Dock so that change takes effect. That’s all there is to it.

So how does it look in action? Here’s a little before-and-after movie showing the differences:

I find the highlighted version to be much easier to use; my eye is naturally drawn to the highlight, so it seems easier to find things in a larger grid. But if you try this and find you prefer the old behavior, just open Terminal again, and repeat the above two commands—except in the first, replace yes with no.

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