OS X Mavericks is very good at handling multiple displays. Any active display can have a Menu Bar now. But how do you get the dock to actually appear on the active display? Here's how to do it.
In Mavericks, any display can be the active display. You can tell which one is active by looking at the Menu Bar at the top. The active display will be crisp and white while non-active displays will have a Menu Bar that's dimmed and translucent.
My second display, made active but no dock.
One might expect that by clicking in a secondary display, the dock would jump over there. But it doesn't.
To bring the dock over to a different display:
- If you've clicked on a display to make it active, note how the Menu Bar brightens. But you don't need to.
- Without clicking the mouse again, move the cursor all the way down to the bottom of the screen. This is the same technique as if you had invoked System Preferences > Dock > "Automatically hide and show the Dock."
- When the cursor touches the bottom, the Dock will rise up from the bottom and stay there on the selected display. (If you had previously enabled "Automatically hide and show the Dock," it will disappear as you move the mouse upwards, but remain tied to that display.)
- To move the Dock back to the main display (or any other display), repeat the process starting with Step #1.
Active (second) display after sliding the cursor to the bottom. The Dock rises!
My theory is that the dock doesn't jump between screens when you make a new one active because it may not need to. There doesn't seem to be any point in this kind of abrupt, possibly dizzying animation, especially without the user's consent.
Also, this movement of the Dock isn't really a Preference. It's more of a dynamic user action, a Finder gesture if you will. I believe that's why there's no reference to this gesture in System Preferences - which is where one might be tempted to look.
Finally, if you're one of those people who puts the dock, vertically, on the left side of your main display and the second display is logically to the left, the cursor will just slide to the second screen, as it should. As with this case, there may be other combinations that don't work as expected.