As an integral part of the Mac OS X interface from the beginning, all Mac users know the Dock is where people can launch their most-used software and check to see which programs are currently running. I always find it interesting to see how people use the Dock on their Macs because its inherent flexibility makes it something personal for every user. Everyone has a specific way they work or play, and the Dock is easily customized to fit each person's style.

A program I discovered today makes the Dock in Leopard even more flexible and customizable for the different ways that you use your Mac. Docks makes it possible for you to take a snapshot of your Dock and save it by assigning a name. Once your Dock is saved, you can drag icons off or add new ones, knowing that you can restore your original Dock in only a couple of clicks. This means that you can create and name customized Docks for the various ways you use your Mac and you'll have a handy list to select the Dock you need at any given time. You could have a "work" Dock, for example, with each of the programs you use to get through your workday, or a "games" Dock with all your favorite games easily accessible. To switch, simply use global hot keys and pick the Dock you want to use at the time.

Name your docks so you know which ones to choose later (Credit: CNET)

The latest version of Docks adds support for Spaces making it possible to launch a customized Dock automatically when you switch to a different Space. This demo is a 30-day trial of the software and costs $10 to buy. I think that once you get used to switching Docks on the fly, you'll find that it improves your work flow and makes an already useful feature in Mac OS X Leopard even more flexible.

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.