In most respects the Mac OS X Dock has the beating of the humble Windows Taskbar, which probably explains why Windows 7's Taskbar was redesigned to function more like a dock, with distinctly mixed results. It's not all bad news for Windows users though, because one of the niftiest features in Windows 7 is its Live Preview feature, which shows pop-up preview windows of all open windows in a particular application when the mouse is rolled over its Taskbar icon.

It's one of those features you don't appreciate until you experience it, but when you do, you discover that being able to quickly preview all open documents quickly and simply is a feature you miss when it's not there.

Thankfully this fact hasn't been lost on Mac programmers, and HyperDock is another example of a program designed to plug the gap left by Apple. Once installed you can roll the mouse over a dock icon to view a pop-up window showing a thumbnail preview of all open windows or documents in that application. And unlike the Windows 7 version, HyperDock allows you to fine-tune the behaviour of these pop-up windows from its very own configuration tool, found in System Preferences.

We particularly like the Appearance tab where you can increase the size of the thumbnails, plus tweak the grid layout (by default five windows per row are shown) and choose whether or not to display the application name above the preview window.

That's not all HyperDock does, however: switch to the Dock Items tab and you can configure various keyboard shortcuts for hiding, quitting and creating a new window in any application on the Dock, even if it's not currently selected.

HyperDock also adds another nifty feature found in Windows 7 to Mac OS X: window snapping: just drag a window to the left or right edge of the screen and it'll automatically resize itself to take up half of the available screen space – repeat with another window on the opposite side of the screen to quickly view two windows side-by-side. It works best on widescreen monitors, and can save you the hassle of switching between open windows or programs.

This trial version will function for 15 days before requiring registration.

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HyperDock is an excellent utility that could transform the way you work on your Mac – and at $9.95 is a small price to pay.