By Deane Barker on May 19, 2005

Elias Fotinis TaskArrange :: Arrange the Windows taskbar buttons: Okay, this sounds stupid, but I’m wicked guilty of it. From left to right, it has to be Outlook, Thunderbird, Firefox. If it’s not, I get a little…anxious.

Sometimes we open our programs in a specific sequence, to keep their taskbar buttons in a desired order. But what happens if a program crashes or we close it, and then we open it again? That’s right – its task button ends up last in the taskbar.

Windows itself does not allow us to move the task buttons around, so we are stuck with two options: either accept the new order, or close everything and reopen them in the preferred order. TaskArrange brings an end to this annoyance, by letting us do exactly what we want: reorder the task buttons.

What I’d like to do is just drag the buttons back and forth. Sadly, the interface to this program seems to be more trouble than just closing the programs and re-opening them.

Via Shell Extension City.



  1. “Windows itself does not allow us to move the task buttons around…”

    Another reason I really like the OS X Dock.

  2. Man, I can’t stand The Dock. Why does it disappear? And what’s the the tiny little triangles to tell you something is open? And why mix information — The Dock is trying to tell you (1) what you CAN open, and (2) what IS open. It confuses the two tasks. Frustrating thing, that dock.

    I agree with Bruce Toggazini (who was Apple employee #6, incidentally):

    “Top Ten Reasons the Apple Dock Sucks” http://www.asktog.com/columns/044top10docksucks.html

    The Dock’s sole positive attribute lies in its improving the Mac’s “curb appeal” and demoability. Apple would appear to be after two separate and distinct market segments. First, the naive consumer who isn’t going to do much with his or her computer anyway. OS X, with its suite of simple apps would appear to be a good fit.
  3. i’m so glad to discover other people get this too…i confess it happens to me for firefox tabs too tho…is it serious?!

  4. For the Taskbar I use PowerMenu, a tiny program (49kb) free and non installable that you can put on the Startup folder. It adds four options to any task button: set priority, set transparency, toggle always on top and minimize to systray. To reorder the buttons, I send them to the systray and then bring them back In the order I want.

  5. It disappears because you tell it to. Open System Preferences, click on Dock, turn off “Automatically hide and show the Dock”. I have it hide so that I have a little more screen real estate to work with; if it doesn’t hide windows will only open to the edge of the Dock and no further.

    The beauty of the Dock is that it can tell you both what is open and what you can open; if you only want it to show what is open just drag everything off it, then only the running apps (that the user can interact with directly) are shown in the dock. (if you want to know what is running, hold down the Apple key and hit Tab to get the application switcher.) The Dock can also be used as an app launcher by having shortcuts to any app in a handy place. Think of it as a Start menu that is a lot easier to configure. You don’t leave the Start Menu with a stock configuration; the Dock needs tweaking to make it work for you too.

    Toggazini is entitled to his opinion on the Dock ; I happen to disagree with him. There is a certain amount of eye candy to it, but it can be put to good use as well. That said, I find myself using the Dock less these days because of Quicksilver. http://www.gadgetopia.com/2005/04/10/Quicksilver.html

  6. I use a little utility called tbarsort. It doesn’t have the most beautiful interface, but it gets the job done.

    One caveat is that you have to turn off the “Group similar taskbar buttons” property of the taskbar.

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