Use a Mac OS X Stack to Show Recent Items [OS X Tips]

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Recent Appliations Stack

Here’s a fun trick with stacks, OS X’s answer to the original rainbow Apple menu functionality, which used to feature recent documents and the ability to place folders in it for quick and easy access to them. This was replaced in Mac OS X with stacks, a visual way to do a similar thing, but from the Dock. Today, we’ll use Terminal to make a Stack that shows the recent items from your Mac. Fun!

OS X comes with two stacks in the Dock by default, one for downloads and one for documents. This tip, from the fine folks over at Macworld, will create a special stack to show recent stuff. To do this, launch Terminal and then type or paste the following command in:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

Then restart the Dock with
killall Dock

When I issued those commands, I ended up with a Recent Applications stack. A simple control-click on that stack, however, gives me the option to make it show recent Applications, Documents, and Servers, or favorite Volumes and favorite Items. This should give you access to all sorts of things in a handy and visual way, right from the Dock. Enjoy!