Any way to conveniently "Hide All"?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by hologram, May 17, 2016.

  1. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Up until OSX Apple had a system-wide preference to hide all apps except the one you were in. You could move from app to app, or to desktop, and the only things visible would be whatever windows were open in your current app and everything else was automatically hidden.

    They dropped that in OSX, but there was a small app called Isolator that did the same thing. It lived in the menubar and you could turn it on or off by clicking it. I had it set as a login item, so I never had to think about it. It worked up through Yosemite, but El Capitan broke it. Now my screen is constantly cluttered with overlapping windows, some of them full-screen, and it’s a mess.

    I know I can hide an app with cmd-H, and hide all apps with cmd-opt-H, but it’s a real time and productivity waster to have to do that every time I change apps. I can’t believe I’m the only one who likes to concentrate on one thing at a time, so am I missing something obvious? Is there an app or utility that will do this, or maybe an applescript that could be used as a login item?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  2. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Spaces isolate apps in it's own window. Using Mission Control, add another desktop/space (or two, or three etc).Then, go into each space and open the apps you want limited to it. For example, Safari and iTunes in one, Mail and Messages in another, etc. Then, you have to select each individual application in the dock, right click it, and under options select Assign to this Desktop. That should force them to open in your selected space.

    See these links to get you started...

    Note: when you click on the green button in top left, your window will automatically go full screen in it's own space. This will hide the top Menu bar. To go full screen and still see the menu bar all the time, hold down Option key when clicking on the green button.
  3. hologram thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate the suggestion, but that's not what I'm talking about.

    I know about Spaces, but I don't want to group apps together, or switch between spaces, I just want to move from one app to another and only see that app and its windows without having to press any key combos. Using spaces would be just as much of a pain as using cmd-opt-H.
  4. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
  5. hologram, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 17, 2016

    hologram thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Thanks for the link. That might help, but one of the commenters on MacUpdate said this:

    "The only thing I wish it had is "single-app mode" option so only one app would at a time, automatically hiding any other open apps; that would make for the ultimate clean workspace."

    Which is exactly what I'm looking for. Anyway, the d/l link is broken at the moment, but I'll try it later and see what it does.

    I was also wondering if there was any way to remap cmd-opt-H to the f12 or the ~ key... it wouldn't make everything automatic like I had hoped, but it would be a lot easier to get used to hitting one key than a 3-key combo. I couldn't find anything that would let me do that, but maybe someone might know.
  6. hologram thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    I was finally able to grab a copy, and it seems to work pretty well.

    Thanks for the suggestion!
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Yes, that is actually possible. In System Preferences, go to Keyboard, then Shortcuts. On the left side, click on App Shortcuts. There you add a new one for all applications which you should call ‘Hide Others’ (letter for letter the name of the menu you want to override, you can find this particular one e.g. in the Safari menu). Then assign the shortcut you want. This will override the previous command–option–H though.

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6 May 17, 2016