Turn on the application frame. For some reason, it's off by default.
Afraid I already tried that, and mentioned so in the question:
I've tried on a variety of Window > Arrange settings, and with Window > Application Frame both ticked and unticked, and nothing works. I can make it snap to position in a corner, but it doesn't dock and doesn't stop floating.
I've also tried a variety of timings incase there's anything funny there: like removing and re-adding the tools panel with and without application frame turned on, switching, etc. It just doesn't want to dock for some reason. Also same result maximised as not maximised.
Is it definitely possible to dock the tools palette on InDesign 8.0 on a Mac (Lion)?
Sorry about that. I'm not having any issues with that here but you might want to try turning it to two columns and then drag it.
That might kick start it a bit. Perhaps a new workspace would help, also.
If all esle fails, trash your prefs.
Interesting: I tried switching to a workspace where it's docked by default (Book), and it was properly docked (so it's definitely possible on my version/OS). I dragged it out so it started floating, and then couldn't put it back. (while docked, it does fix the F3 bug as expected)
Also, one funny thing that is happening is, about a quarter of the time I drag it into a place where I'd expect it to dock, the cursor turns into the Mac crashing beachball until I move it away again.
I guess this probably a sign something's corrupted. Will try deleting the preferences file when I've got some free time to set things back up again.
Another sign that something is probably corrupted: Ticking and unticking "Enable floating document window docking" makes no difference to anything. Ticked or unticked, I can still dock and undock all windows except the Tools palette.
I had this identical problem. The latest update fixes it.
Great, I updated and it now works fine.
Side note - I thought I was on the latest version as Updates... was greyed out and About InDesign said 8.0 - turns out if it doesn't say 8.0.1 or higher, it means 8.0.0. I double clicked on the greyed-out Updates... link and somehow, that made it no longer greyed out. Odd.
Dammit - this issue has come back. I accidentally knocked the tools bar out of place, and now it won't go back into place. Exactly the same as before, including the spinning beachball.
try resetting the wokspace.
Seems like this bug happens when InDesign has been open for a while - I find if the first thing I do after opening InDesign is to try to dock the tools palette, it usually works.
1: Check for updates.
2: If the problem still arises, and if there's definitely no available update, close InDesign and re-open it, then try to dock the tools palette before doing anything else.
(p.s. I like the sound of Wokspace - sounds like a bright open-plan Chinese restaurant )
Its a strange bug, but I have found a work around.
If you dock another palette (is info, layers etc...) to the left, you can then dock the tool bar to the left of that pallete. You can then detach the pallete and the tool bar will stay docked.
crayz77's tip seems to work. For me, it doesn't give the normal blue preview while hovering that it is going to dock, I had to just hold it right on the left of the screen to the left of the freshly docked random window and let go, and it docked anyway.
Bob's suggestion above worked for me - thank you.
I went to the Window menu and, all the way at the bottom, I clicked Application Frame. Everything docks now.
This drove me nuts. What fixed it for me was setting Window -> Workspace Layout -> Expanded.
When this was set to "Compact" the files window always floats for overlapping.
You can also drag floating menus all the way to the right side of the application window and a blue line appears on the right indicating it will now be docked. Just release and voila.