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DragThing dock window.
DragThing dock window.
Developer(s) James Thomson
Stable release
5.9.17 / 16 November 2016 (2016-11-16)
Operating system Mac OS X
Type Utility
License Shareware
Website www.dragthing.com

DragThing is a shareware Dock application for Mac OS X. Intended for organization and as an application switcher, DragThing allows for multiple docks with user-specified settings such as color, texture and shape. Dock contents can be organized into tabs and paying the shareware fee enables the user to assign a keyboard shortcut to any dock item.

DragThing has won many awards,[1] and in 2010 MacWorld gave it 4.5 mice, highlighting its utility for users who preferred using the mouse over keyboard-oriented launchers such as LaunchBar or QuickSilver.


In its early versions, DragThing brought many features useful in a multitasking environment to Classic Mac OS such as alt-tab application switching and an onscreen representation of running processes.[2] These features were not implemented by Apple until Mac OS 8.5.

DragThing was one of the first applications to adopt the Platinum appearance on Mac OS 8[3] and ran in the Blue Box on Apple's aborted Rhapsody project.[citation needed]

The DragThing release schedule slowed between 1998 and 2000, as its developer James Thomson was then employed at Apple Inc as part of the team working on Mac OS X's Finder and Dock. He surmised that the built-in Dock of OS X would soon make DragThing obsolete. Thomson left Apple shortly after Mac OS X was released and resumed work on DragThing, releasing version 4.0 on 24 March 2001, skipping version 3. None of Thomson's code survives in the current shipping version of Apple's Dock.[4]

DragThing was first released on 1 May 1995 and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2005. It was praised in a 2004 article by Bruce Tognazzini, who said "...if I could have taken all the lessons learned in Systems 1 through 9 and applied them to System X, I certainly wouldn’t have ended up with the Dock. No, I would have ended up with DragThing..."[5]

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