Round CircleDock Launches Programs and Files

Circle Dock (free) takes all the expected features of a worthwhile program launcher and presents them in a distinct circular format capable of organizing a large number of items. It's available in a 32-bit and a 64-bit version.

Circle Dock screenshot
True to its name, circle-shaped shortcut dock Circle Dock makes a neat geometric shape on the desktop.

To add new shortcuts and folders to Circle Dock, you can simply drag and drop items to the dock. Or choose a manual add option, which allows for choosing particulars such as a different icon or a specific working directory. Either way, the shortcut icons appear in a ring around a central button.

When that first ring fills up, additional shortcuts automatically begin to fill in a new ring outside the first. Dock items can consist of links to programs or files, a dock folder containing other shortcuts, or special folder stacks that can display the contents of a regular folder in a vertical stacked list without opening an explorer window.

You can set Circle Dock to automatically hide when you're not using it, and then have it come back up in response to your choice of hotkeys or mouse button presses. You can also opt to have it appear when you move your mouse to a selected edge of the screen. Unless you choose to lock the dock's location to a particular place, it will pop up centered on your mouse pointer, which might push some of the icons off the screen.

The utility allows for plenty of customizations regarding its look and feel, such as the distance between rings, number of items per ring, button size, etc. Since the program starts out on top of everything without any enabled auto-hide options, you'll need to spend a little time enabling some of those customizations before using the dock.

While Circle Dock covers all the bases, its main draw is its Saturn-like looks. Choose it if you want to try its circular presentation. For other worthwhile launchers, try Berokyo's well-organized cabinets, or Enso Launcher's human-speech controls.

For support, see the Circle Dock forums. This program is donationware. It is free, but the authors accept and encourage donations towards further development.

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