Command-Tab Between Windows?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ee99ee, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. ee99ee macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    How can I set Command-Tab to switch between windows rather than applications? It's such a pain to try to track down the right safri window using F10, because I have to either use the mouse or arrow keys to select the right window. With command-tab, I want to be able to do it with just that so I don't have to move around the keyboard to find my window.

  2. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You can't adjust that setting, but you can download this app called Witch that will allow you to assign a keyboard shortcut to do that very thing.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    command-~ will do the trick.

    Or, visually, you can hit F10 or F9 and then use the arrow keys to move through the windows in exposé. Then just hit Enter when you get the one you want.
  4. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I think that's only within the top app. I think the OP wanted a system-wide window chooser... but I could be wrong. :eek:

    Plus I should add that making a hot corner for the F9 (All Windows) option in Expose makes it much more accessible. I use the bottom right-hand corner to activate it. Its in System Prefs->Dashboard & Expose
  5. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    He was asking for a keyboard shortcut to switch between Safari windows. I'd think cmd+~ is perfect for that.
  6. ee99ee thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    cmd + ~ is what I was looking for. One thing I need to change is to make it remember the order I have viewed the windows in. Currently it cycles between the order in which the window was openend. If I used window #4 last before the current one, I have to hit cmd + ~ 3 times, I want to be able to hit it once.

    I had the same problem in Openbox (when I ran X11 on BSD), so I'm sure this is something that can be worked around somehow.


  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It's a little hokey, but one thing I occasionally use when I want this is that Cmd-Shift-Tab and Cmd-Shift-` (or the real Cmd-~), which move through the windows in the opposite order, go in fixed order rather than rubberbanding to the last window.
  8. warkior macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
  9. chrfr macrumors 601

    Jul 11, 2009
    The problem (aside from restarting this zombie thread) is that this is how the Mac OS has worked for years. Changing it now will dramatically change how the existing user base would have to work.
  10. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    If that's the most frustrating thing you've had to get used to when switching platforms, then OS X is to be congratulated! :p
    I've had to adjust to plenty more when using other platforms.

    If you want to move to another app: <Cmd><tab>
    If you want to move to a different window of the current app: <Cmd> `

    No one is going to have a hard time deciding which one they need to use.

    There's also Mission Control and Application Exposé.

    I doubt Apple is going to change its mind. I think it's one of those things that you'll have to find a third-party option to work around, to get used to it. There's always going to be something that's not quite exactly as everyone would want it.
  11. mrcrespo macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2013
    At least leaving the option to the user is desirable. I don't think it's a big deal implementing that change. Users that don't like it, just disable it. I think it's more useful to be able to cmd-tab between *any* two windows, instead of apps. And if there's a lot of people complaining about this, you must accept this fact, despite the so many years Mac has had this "feature".
  12. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    You can't cater for every possible option in a use interface. System Preferences would be a vast multi-layered dialog, with thousands of checkboxes for every possible variation that some group of people might like.
    I've got over 40 windows open at the moment. If Command-Tab cycled windows, and I want to move between two windows in different apps, it'll take me an average of 20 taps to get there.
    With the current system, I can reduce that number by tapping to switch app, then tapping to the window.

    I accept that people complain; but I don't accept that anything needs doing about it. People are very good at complaining, no matter what is done.
    If your biggest problem is "I have to press a different button from the button I used to press." then Apple have done a good job, I'd say.
  13. vanzandtj macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2016
    I probably have 40 windows open too. If I am typing into one window and want to refer to another one in a different app, I can command-tab to the other app, then command-~ to the right window. But often the first window is then entirely covered up, so I can neither type into it nor click on it to raise it. I can command-tab back to the previous app, but now the window I wanted to consult is entirely covered up. And usually the original window is not the one that gets focused. So I wind up having to move one of the windows so it's not hidden by any of the windows in the other app.

    With the Windows/Linux model, alt-tabbing to a new window moves it to the top of the stack, so it takes many fewer than 20 taps to reach a recently used window, and after that it takes only one tap to switch between the windows. I only need to move a window if those two windows overlap. Actually on Windows and Linux I prefer to disable raise-with-focus, so I can type into one window even while another overlaps it.

    Apple need not offer all possible options. But this one is familiar to maybe 75% of the new users.
  14. dotnet macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Indeed, that's what I prefer. Three-finger swipe down will show all windows of the current app, three-finger swipe up shows all windows of all apps, on the current desktop of course.*

    Also, instead of opening multiple Safari windows they could be organised as tabs of a single window. Safari tab view (pinch gesture) will lay out all tabs in a grid for the user to pick one.

    * These can also be four-finger gestures, depending on your trackpad preferences.

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