Switching between open applications, your method?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mark88, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. mark88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    #1
    I'm interested to know what method people use most to switch between open applications? I find I tend to use Expose and have a hot spots in the corners of my screen. What do you use most?

    I use windows on a daily basis for work, and one of the things I find hardest to adjust to is the fact that the dock and windows taskbar are very different. To change between windows/apps in XP I tend to always click the window on the taskbar, but in OSX I rarely click the application icon in the dock unless I need to open it.
     
  2. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    If I have a heap of stuff open I'll usually just click on the dock to bring the app I want to the front (or I'll use expose if I feel the vibe). If I have an app with a heap of windows open I'll just give it the old F10.
     
  3. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames
    #3
    I use a combination of Cmd-Tab and Expose.

    With Cmd-Tab, I tend to press it just once and then use the mouse to move to the app I want (so much more user friendly than the Windows equivalent - I keep trying to do this at work to no effect :mad: )

    I also have All Windows in Expose mapped to the side buttons of my Mighty Mouse, so I just give it squeeze when I want to see what I've got open.

    I don't think there's any pattern to which method I use - whichever seems most convenient at that point in time.
     
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #4
    I usually hide any apps I'm not currently using (mapped to the top middle mouse button on MX1000), and bring them up using the dock. Occasionally use Cmd-Tab, but not often.
     
  5. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #5
    cmd-tab all the time then expose a lot in a single app to see which window i want, or just to bring all the windows of one app forward. though i ocasionally use cmd-` to change windows in just one app.
     
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #6
    Pretty much the same. I have expose mapped to the "scroll" buttons on my logitech mouse (there's two buttons above and below the scroll wheel for some kind of fast scrolling which I don't care for, and also a "home" button right below the scroll down button. I use the bottom one for Dasboard, the top for show all windows expose and the scroll down for show desktop). If I have two apps open I use cmd-tab, but if I have more than 2 I use expose.
     
  7. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #7
    I use a bit of everything, depending on my mood. Sometimes I'll just click on the actual window or the dock, otherwise Expose or cmd + tab
     
  8. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #8
    Cmd-Tab is great for quickly toggling back and forth between two applications, but I use Exposé with hotspots normally. One thing I don't like about Exposé is that it can reorder windows between invocations. For example, I use it a lot to shuffle multiple Xcode windows (using the "application windows only" hotspot), but it will frequently move the position of the windows around, even if every window is exactly the same size (full screen). This makes it a lot less efficient than it could be because I have to mouse over and read the window titles each time (they look similar enough that it's hard to go by the thumbnail) instead of just immediately clicking on the "left" one, or whatever. This is kind of like the horrible and frustrating "Dancing Tabs" experience on Windoze where you have a few rows of tabbed items, you click on one and all the tabs change positions!
     
  9. agm2001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    #9
    It's amazing how we Mac users get so used to being able to do things like expose and using Dashboard, amongst other things of course. I always end up trying to scroll windows horizontally reading Mac forums and such on the piece of crap PC at work. Of course they won't buy me a mighty mouse, and there'd still be no expose. It really is all about OS X. There just is no other commercially viable operating system. Corporate IT guys just don't seem to realize that all the work they do keeping their PCs and the network running is about as effective as putting a screen door on a submarine, as opposed to just a gaping hole. Sure it slows the water down, a little, but tell that to the poor bastards stuck in the submarine :) Linux, despite having some things going for it, powerful, secure, etc cannot be commercially viable because, let's face it, most computer users are morons. For those of you who "get" Linux and prefer it, kudos. But most of us aren't there yet. Unix is more of same. Which leaves us with OS X. Secure (just used FileVault to encrypt my stuff last night), beautiful, delightful to use, powerful and can run Unix/Linux apps for those who wish to set up their Apache servers, do heavy scientific calculations, try and take over the world, those kinds of things. That's why I feel it's the only commercially viable OS. Now if only more of the Windows users came to share my opinions.
     
  10. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames
    #10
    Had completely forgotten about this (or wiped it from my memory :D ). I seem to remember this was particularly bad in Word, which at one point had three rows of tabs. *shudder*

    Have tried my Mighty Mouse on my work PC - horizontal scrolling doesn't seem to work. At least not on the versions of Word & Excel we use. We're upgrading soon, so hopefully this will be rectified.
     
  11. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #11
    Apple's market share, while still small, is increasing big time, so your wish may be coming true! A lot of that has to do with the iPod but hey, whatever it takes.
     
  12. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #12
    Cmd-Tab because I'm always on a windoze pc at college, and just got used to it. Normally F10 if I'm in the app, and any expose (normally in slow mo) when I've got friends over :cool:

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  13. stevietheb macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #13
    ME TOOO!!!!

    I also use Witch (search for it at versiontracker), which I've got set to opt-tab so that I can switch directly to a certain window (rather than just an application).
     
  14. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Again, I use command-tab a lot, and expose is wonderful (arguably the biggest productivity increase I get from working on a Mac rather than XP). However, I never use F10 in expose, always F9 and F11. That may be due to the fact that I'm not using the machine for anything design or graphics related....
     
  15. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #15
    I use cmd-tab at least 95% of the time.

    The rest of the time I use any of a number of "techniques", like Exposé (using active corners, never F-buttons), clicking on the application icon in the Dock or just ckicking a window from the application (like a Finder window or the Desktop to switch to Finder).
     
  16. mark88 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    #16
    I personally still prefer the windows method! Let me explain why...

    When I have all my open documents/applications/windows on my taskbar I have a permanent visual identification of where they are. If I want to go to application X, I know instantly where to move my mouse because it's already on my screen.

    The problem I have with OSX is that changing applications/windows requires usually a couple of actions. For example, if I use Expose to show all my windows I have to look for the app/window I want on the screen and then click it. This can be frustrating if there's lots of stuff open because you can't instantly get the window you want. Same goes with CMD/TAB, it's not instant.
     
  17. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #17
    You do realize that you can click on dock icons to bring an application to the front. Of course, each window doesn't have it's own dock icon like in Windows, but many apps will list their windows in the menu you get when you right-click/ctrl-click/click-and-hold on the dock icon.
     
  18. mark88 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 30, 2004
    #18
    Ofcourse, but if you have 4 safari windows open, like you say. It's kinda hard to go straight to the one you want within 1 action
     
  19. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #19
    True, but even Windows XP eventually starts grouping multiple windows into the same taskbar button once you've got enough open. Of course, you can set it not to do that...

    Between Exposé, cmd-tab/cmd-`, and the dock, I find it much easier and more efficient to work with multiple windows and applications on OS X than on Windows.
     
  20. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #20
    I CMD-H (hide) apps when not using them, so exposé is out as a means of switching. I either dock click them or CMD-Tab.

    When I'm working with multiple windows, I have my Mighty Mouse's scroll wheel mapped to exposé-all windows.
     
  21. Annon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    #21
    I almost always use CMD-Tab to change apps, and CMD-` to change windows.
     
  22. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #22
    I have a hot corner that does the F10 expose... love it
     
  23. Dark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #23
    I recently switched over and bought a Mighty Mouse....im in love with it now.

    Sidebuttons on the MM ...perfect for switching through open apps.
     
  24. Excursions macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    #24
    I don't know how anyone lives without mapping expose to extra mouse buttons. It is so easy and useful. Another kind of unrelated short-cut that I use for launching apps is Spotlight. It is just like some of the third party apps that you can download. If you know the name of the app you want to launch and its not in your dock: cmd-space (first couple letters) and its always the first hit. Much faster than clicking on the finder then searching for the app in my opinion.
     
  25. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    #25
    Miraculously X-Assist still works with 10.4.4

    It basically brings the old OS9 app switcher back.

    I cannot understand why Apple don't resurrect the old menu-bar switcher back. It's not like it takes up any space on the desktop.
     

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