Why you should use a vertical Taskbar/Dock

For a few, it may sound weird. For others, it may even make them think whether the writer of this article was okay. So would I, a couple of months ago. But as I had nothing better to do, I gave it a go. Maybe I would switch back to the traditional layout again. The thing is, I never did. I fell in love with essentially a bunch of pixels vertically stacked on the left of my computer screen, it felt needless to switch back. This is why:

Math

Do the math, for any traditional monitor, be it your 12" ultrabook or a glorious 48" Ultrawide PC, every modern screen is landscape-oriented, and no, this is not including those of you who are using a vertical monitor, sorry. But a vertical taskbar will take up considerably less screen real-estate, fewer pixels, and in short, give you more room to work with.

Software

For what most of us do on our machines, the software almost always utilizes more vertical screen, and while using a landscape taskbar, it will cause the taskbar to cut through your content, limiting screen estate significantly. A good example would be while simply reading articles, like this one, if you’re on your computer and using a horizontal taskbar, look at how the taskbar cuts the content at the very bottom:

Whereas a vertical taskbar would only cut across the white space to the left.

Screenshot of a vertical taskbar
Screenshot of a vertical taskbar

This will apply to almost every application one has on the computer, exceptions include viewing timelines while editing videos, and gaming, and perhaps more, however the number is surely less than what the horizontal taskbar cuts through. For these scenarios, you might as well enter full-screen mode anyway, to take up all that screen.

Labels

If you use labels often, you’ll find it comically simpler to use the taskbar in a vertical layout. But also, you’ll need to set it to auto-hide too, but for what it’s worth, I absolutely recommend it. With tons of windows open, suddenly, the labels get increasingly difficult to read, after a point, they even cut off, and then there is little point to them being present.

Screenshot of a horizontal taskbar
Screenshot of a horizontal taskbar

But when you keep the taskbar on the left, stretch it out really wide, and set it to auto-hide, they get really simpler to read.

Screenshot of a vertical taskbar
Screenshot of a vertical taskbar

This may look ridiculous, but since the taskbar auto hides, you are returned with your screen looking just normal, and even more, as you can see above, there is plenty more space for even more windows to open!

Also, it is much more natural to read, mostly because we read everything from left to right and when stacked upon each other, you can quickly locate the application of choice at a glance.

You’ll get used to it

Not necessarily a reason, but it really is not as bad as many might imagine. The worst thing that could happen, is that you might want to switch back, but be sure to only after using it for at least 5 hours, after which, it might not be that daunting anymore.

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A student, Tech Enthusiast, Graphic Designer, Marvel Fanatic