In this Part 1, I will introduce you to Stacks and show you how they work in their most simple form. In Part 2, I will show you how to make Stacks really work for you.
Stacks are a way to quickly access your files from your Downloads folder and your Documents folder. They live in the Dock between the divider bar (which now looks like an airport runway) and the Trash.
When you click on a Stack in the Dock, one of two things happens, Either the last ten items pop up as a "fan' shape (see image) or the Stack opens as a bezel showing more than 10 files. From either the fan or the bezel you can click a file or folder and it will open up.
Stacks work fine if you only have a few files in your Downloads or Documents folders. But, since these are among the most used folders in your home folder, they probably have lots of files in them. (My Downloads folder has 73 items in it.)
Wait, you might be saying. In Tiger and earlier, couldn't you just drag any folder to the Dock and get the same functionality? Yes, indeed. But actually the old way was better because you didn't have "fans" or "bezels"; you just had a nice pop up list of your files.
So what happened with Stacks? Again, a nice idea that didn't get implemented very well. People griped. A lot. And Apple listened. In OS X 10.5.2, they added alot of new features to Stacks. They best feature, however, was the ability to go back to the Tiger way of doing things. That is what Part 2 will be about.