Replacement of DragThing

Can you put a Trash Can in a collection?

I don’t think so.

@apMKE: Well said. You’ve expressed my experience and sentiments regarding DragThing and James Thomson exactly. After trying Application Wizard, I then tried and chose iCollections after reading your post and following the link.

iCollections offered to import my DragThings “collections” on first start-up. It made transitioning easier and encouraged me to keep digging to find features that are essential to me (i.e., auto hiding & showing collections, open on single-click) but are poorly documented.

To fill in for DragThing’s “Application Dock,” I have now configured the Mac OS Dock to show only running applications, and to auto-hide on the left side of my screen. @Dennis Swaney, the Trash Can can’t be deleted from the Mac’s Dock, so this may be a work-around for you.

As you say, it’s not perfect, but it’s a darned sight closer than the alternatives I’ve read about. Thank you for the tip.

Glad I could be helpful, thanks. :slight_smile:

Just found your reply as I haven’t been able to figure out how to get email notifications of replies in this new format. Yes, the trash can is still there in the dock, but I prefer it be on the desktop in the lower right corner where it belongs!

A post was split to a new topic: How to get email notification of new posts

Hi. I’m going to try out Station and iCollections. Another app that might be worth checking out is Overflow 3. I think it has potential to be a replacement, but I honestly haven’t used it much since I’ve always had Dragthing handy (until I installed the 10.15 beta).

Still looking.

Station, iCollections, UnClutter and a couple of the other apps are missing some DragThing functionality.

Keyboard Maestro is replacing some of the launcher capabilities and provided a couple of useful features.

SuperTab looked promising, too.

It seems all of these can only handle “standard” clipboards (text, images, etc.). I want to grab filemaker clipboards, which are some structured XML object. For some reason, DragThing can see, store, allow you to name and paste by keyboard trigger. I wonder why all of the others can’t see this?


just after I posted, I think I found how to do this (store FileMaker clipboard snippets) in Keyboard Maestro, so apologies to Peter Lewis if I’ve misled).

So this looks promising…:+1:

Been looking myself before upgrading, the one that looks closest to my usage of DragThing is

Still need to find a good way to get the trashcan, but with a bit of work that should replace DragThing as my main app launcher.

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I was looking for a multi-layers app instead of dragthing which I used forever, I found this one, which answers my needs.

So far I installed the free version in order to test it.
I can’t make the bar smaller and always on, however, I looked into other apps, maybe I got it wrong, but I didn’t see multi layers in them.


:slight_smile: i’m replying to myself. I just noticed that this app was last updated 2 years ago. I’ve downloaded the light version of iCollection and saw that there is something similar to multi-layer tabs. I’m unable to use prefs with light version so I can’t see if it fits to my needs or not…

The thing that was most useful to me was the automatic hiding of apps when switching. Do any of the alternatives mentioned do that?

I’ve recently released a launcher that has many of the features I’ve used and loved from DragThing for some many years, with global key equivs and custom styles being the most important in my book. It’s called Apps Are Go and can be found on (via the Mac App Store). If there are DragThings features you’d like to see in AAG, please let me know.

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Andy I just discovered iCollections as well, via … I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it prompted me automatically “Do you want to import your Dragthing collection to iCollections?” . I clicked yes, and it did a pretty good job of displaying it instantly.

I noticed a few things right out the gate that were not as flexible as Dragthing — but then I sent a side-by-side screenshot to the devs just now, with some Questions, and they responded in under 2 minutes, describing line-item changes that were already in the works on their upcoming version. That gave me a good feeling, that it’s an app that will continue to be developed going forward.

Examples of things I commented/asked about:
I use a 2-display setup, a LEFT DISPLAY and RIGHT DISPLAY, and I have used Dragthing as a 2-icon wide vertical stripe that I place at the left edge of my RIGHT DISPLAY, with a wide mix of apps, folders, system prefs, etc.

(1) But Dragthing allowed for greater density of icons, whereas iCollections added more horizontal and vertical padding between items. THEY SAID THAT IS BEING HANDLED IN NEW VERSION, and will even enable overlapping of icons.

(2) Dragthing allowed me to snap the vertical panel to the very top of my screen. iCollections enables you to make the palette label at the top “hidden”, but apparently it holds that space, preventing nudging upwards to snap to top. (They have not addressed this item yet)

(3) Dragthing allows for “blank spaces” (blank cells) where there are no icons. iCollections auto-wraps, preventing blank spaces. *BUT AGAIN HERE, they said they are already in beta on their new “Grid Mode” which will allow that very thing, so that’s two things already they’ve improved for next release. He even gave me a link to the beta grid-mode. (It does not appear to be a private link, but rather appears in the open on their feature documentation pages. So here: )

(4) I use a ton of custom icons, for not just special folders, but also to replace the ugly icons of various applications. With Dragthing, if the icon is changeable in Mac’s Finder, then if I drag that app into Dragthing, the new custom icon i assigned gets used by Dragthing. Not so in iCollections, it uses the default application icon, disrespecting my cusom icon. (I should add, though, that Dragthing does NOT accept custom icons I’ve applied to certain website URLs i’ve dragged into it. But iCollections DOES display custom icons — making it so much easier to recognize various websites that are part of my daily workflow.

So, I’m thinking iCollections is a great bet for the longhaul, because the devs are responsive.

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I have used DragThing for over 20 years (since Mac OS 8.5.1 IIRC) so moving on has been a challenge. Thanks to this thread, I found iCollections which for me is a nearly equivalent functional replacement for DT. The fact I could import my DT collections into iCollections was a bonus, but the key use for me is a multi-tabbed dock so I can organize the items I access frequently and that hides out of the way when I don’t need it.

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The only thing that seems to be still missing is the ability to put a working Trash Can icon on the desktop; that was a major feature of DT for me!

After reading this thread, I decided to try Apps Are Go, mentioned above by the developer sjmills. There’s no free trial, but it’s only $3 on the Mac App Store. Setup is trivial. Start the app, then go to the File menu and select Replicate DragThing Dock. It did that quickly. It doesn’t have all the features of DT, but it does have tabs and the docks just slide out of the way.

FYI, Version 3.0 of Station was released.

Station on the Mac App Store

Has anyone tried SwitchGlass?