Overflow 3 review: macOS app launcher doubles as a spacious Dock alternative

There’s only so much room available to cram applications,
folders, and documents into the macOS Dock. But don’t worry,
there’s a way to add a second dock to your screen that’s even
more spacious and powerful than the original.

Overflow 3: Visual launcher

Overflow 3 is a popup window where you can stash
all the stuff you don’t have room for in the Dock. In addition
to folders and files, Overflow works as an application launcher
for software you might not use every day but want to be able to
access quickly.

Although you have the option to show or hide the Dock at all
times, Overflow lurks in the background until it’s summoned,
either by clicking the menu bar icon or pressing a hot key
shortcut of your choice. The sparse, dark-themed window (you
can’t customize the look) contains a list of categories at
left, with rows of icons on the opposite side representing what
is saved there.

overflow 3 web bookmarks

Drag URLs from the Finder or any web browser and drop them
in Overflow 3 to create quick shortcuts to favorite

These so-called “collections” can be anything: groups of
related apps (such as the expansive Adobe Creative Cloud
collection), bookmarks to favorite websites, even files and
folders organized into specific projects. Once added, icons can
be rearranged by clicking and holding the mouse for a moment,
then dragging the item to a new spot or moving to another

By default, Overflow 3 displays nine icons in a relatively
compact space, but you can expand the window larger, and that
setting will apply moving forward. New items remain where
originally added but clicking the small three-dot button in the
upper right corner opens a menu with options to organize items
alphabetically instead.

overflow 3 menu IDG

Want to organize the contents of a collection
alphabetically? Overflow 3 has a shortcut for that.

Overflow 3: Type to search

The convenience of Overflow 3 becomes apparent when it comes
time to find a specific item. There’s no search field
available, but whenever the window is open, simply start typing
to instantly find what you’re looking for. Best of all, search
works across your storage device, rather than only what’s been
saved in the app.

Keyboard jockeys can navigate Overflow 3 with arrow and return
keys, navigating between collections by holding the command key
while moving up and down. The window itself is like a
mini-Finder; while hovering over an item, hit the space bar to
Quick Look preview its contents. That last feature works
particularly well with URLs, which you drag and drop from web
browsers or the Finder and are updated with the latest content
during preview.

overflow 3 type to search

Overflow 3 offers lightning-fast search results. Just start
typing whenever the window is in view.

Because the window automatically disappears when not in use,
Overflow 3 is a two-handed affair; one to control the mouse or
trackpad, another to press the hot key shortcut. One
improvement we’d like to see is a setting to change the size of
icons, which are a little on the large side. Worth noting: The
app is now 64-bit, and therefore requires recent hardware
capable of running macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later.

Bottom line

Save the Dock for essential stuff and give the rest of your
apps, folders, and files a comfortable, more spacious home in
Overflow 3.

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