Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 25, 2017
Customize your display, menu bar and dock in Sierra

The menu bar in Sierra is located at the top of the desktop and also in each window that is open. You can change the way it looks to accommodate the way you like it and the same goes for the dock too. Here are some customizations for both that you may prefer to make so they look just the way you want them to.

Open System Preferences by selecting the Apple menu at the top-left and then selecting System Preferences. Next, select Accessibility and then to the upper-left, select Display.

For these settings, on my iMac, I like to checkmark “Increase contrast” and “Shake mouse pointer to locate.” The first setting makes the menus a little darker and easier to see, and if you shake your mouse back and forth quickly, the cursor size will increase momentarily so you can find it faster. I also like to move the slider for Cursor size to the right a little bit to make my cursor just a little bit larger all the time. You can see your changes instantly.

At the bottom of the box, select “Open Display Preferences.” In the window that opens, you change the brightness of your screen by moving the slider to the right. If you would like to change the resolution, select “Scaled” and then select your desired resolution. I recommend you use the “Default for display” setting unless you have specific reasons for the change.

Select the icon with the rows of dots to go back to the System Preferences menu and then select Dock.

There are dock options you might discover are visually appealing. First, I find the default size of the dock a bit intrusive so making it smaller by moving the “Size” slider to the left will decrease the size, giving you more desktop room. You can also checkmark the box: “Magnification” and when you move your cursor over the dock, it will become larger and when you move it away, it will return to its original size.

If you would rather have your dock on the left or right side of your screen, checkmark the appropriate box. In the dropdown menu next to “Minimize windows using,” if you select Genie effect, when you minimize a window by clicking the yellow dot at the top-left, it will move like a genie going back into its bottle. If you select Scale effect, it will minimize straightway to the dock without any effects added. Try both and see if you prefer one or the other. The difference is minimal.

The remaining boxes may need some explanations. When you double-click the title bar of a window, you can have it minimize into the dock or you can have it zoom, which means it will make the window larger, but not full screen.

If you checkmark “Minimize windows into application icon,” when you click the yellow dot it will drop it back down into the application icon, otherwise, it will minimize into a separate icon at the end of the dock.

If you select “Animate opening applications,” when you select an application icon, it will “bounce” in the dock a few times before opening, otherwise, it will open immediately without delay. If you checkmark the box: “Automatically hide and show the Dock,” your dock will be hidden until you move the cursor into the dock area and it will appear until you move the cursor out of the dock area.

Lastly, if  you checkmark the box: “Show indicators for open applications,” when you open an application, it will show a little white dot below the icon signifying that specific app is open.

I recommend you try all of these options to see which ones you prefer to use. Once you have made your changes, you can close all open windows.

For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at

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