Command + Tab switching only on open desktop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by l0uismustdie, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. l0uismustdie macrumors regular


    Nov 30, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Hello, I am wondering if it is possible to set the command + tab application switching to work such that I only can command + tab through applications that are open on my current desktop. I am using OS X 10.7.3 on my macbook pro.

  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Afaik that is not possible.
    There is CMD+Tab for application switching
    Option+Tab for Window switching in the currently open app.
    Exposé used to be for windows in one space.

    It is more or less the only thing I really dislike about the OSX GUI. They want you to use it the way they intended it to be used and not the way you want to use it. As MC shows they want you to put different applications on different desktops. They give you (and gave in spaces) enough options to do that and manage it.
    I like you (I suppose) prefer to divide spaces by tasks and have multiple Windows of one app spread out on 2+ spaces.
    One reason I stick to Snow Leopard. If you arrange it right and don't really have much or anything in the background Alt+Tab is really all you need. I switch only between spaces and use Exposé, Alt+Tab and Alfred for the rest. Never really touch the CMD+Tab.
    No Idea how to deal with Mission Control and I have no intention to find out unless being forced to.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That doesn't work for me. I use Command-` (the ~/` key to the left of the 1) for switching between windows of an app. Is that new in Lion?
  4. dusk007, Mar 17, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012

    dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Nope it is Snow Leopard. I don't have Lion.
    It only works for switching between windows of focus app in the same space. I just figured that out it never switches to a different space.
    Two pdfs in space one and 2 in space two. It only switches between the first two.
    I use CMD+Tab only to switch between two apps like the previous and so on. If I am in Word I hit CMD+Tab to switch to preview that has some pdfs open. Move the thumb and ALT+Tab through the pdfs. Back to word with CMD+Tab.

    Seems I do use CMD+Tab after all just never to actually select an APP. It never has enough time to even show the App switcher dialog with the Icons with my use.

    ALT+Tab works in Snow Leopard maybe I activated it a long time ago. I just checked and you can uncheck it in Sys.pref -> keyboard -> shortcuts -> Keyboard & Textinput -> "Move focus to next Window in application"

    That short cut you mention doesn't work for me. I don't want to test it and hit restore defaults because I am not sure what else I might have change 1.5 years ago when I got the notebook. Could be that this is a custom short cut and it was previously different all the others seem to be ^(the key left of 1) and some F1-F6 keys. One would need fn key too I guess but I cannot get them to work.

    Know that I think on it there is a "Move focus to active or next Window" -> ^F4.
    I have no clue how to actually hit ^F4 with out hearing that error sound. FN+F4+^ doesn't seem to cut it. Yet if the ALT+Tab only works with in a space this one might also work only with in the space and therefore solve the OP's problem.

    Update: Just figured out by viewing the keyboard viewer and switching to US layout, that ^ is supposed to be ctrl. FN+Ctrl+F4 seems to do now what I thought it would. Horribly inconvenient short cut though. How does one, without looking like a spaz, hold FN & ctrl while still being able to reach the F keys??
    It does switch between Windows not applications but only within a tab.
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Isn't left of the 1 the key with §± on a US layout.
    / is left of shift
    ~ is on option+N cannot even find it on a US layout
    ` is left of the y on the us layout.

    What layout do you use?
    Mine is a German US custom mix for programming. QWERTZ with brackets and slashes more in the us style. Made it myself because regular german sucks for programming and US well QWERTY is just weird especially for writing english with all the y letters one needs. I also need to have öäü somewhere (3rd level option).
    I just went by the Keyboard viewer US layout and it shows no ~/´ key anywhere.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Here it is on the Apple Wireless Keyboard:
    And on the MacBook Pro Keyboard:
    And fromMac OS X keyboard shortcuts:
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Strange would have thought the keyboard viewer layout is closer to the real thing.
    There is one more key to map on the L shaped enter keys but why such a key that is used in so many short cuts moves its location strikes me as really strange.
    I cannot get CMD+' to work anyway I try or switch layouts around.

    What is really strange though is that
    here on the german short cut manual
    they actually say the exact same thing CMD´.

    You know where the ´ is on a normal german layout?
    Left of the backspace. That is not enough you need the Shift key too. :confused:

    I was finally curious enough to hit the Restore Defaults buttons.
    Alt+CMD is my work after all. Seriously they make millions of $ € whatever in Europe and have a hundreds if not thousands of people working on stuff and cannot find the one man to spend maybe a a couple hours to properly localize short cuts.
    It does kind of fit the picture with Apple German keyboard layout which is different than the normal one but not for the better. [] are next to impossible to find and not where they are on any normal keyboard. Kind of important keys for programming.

    Still the OP's problem should be solved by assigning something better than ctrl F4 to that one action.
  8. M.I.N.E. macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2012
    Command + Tab

    You must disable the "Move focus to active or next window" checkbox.

    You can do this by going to Systems Preferences >>> Keyboard >>> Keyboard Shortcuts >>> Then disable the 5th checkbox.

    Hope this helps! :)

    :apple: M.I.N.E.
  9. Lindberg macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Denmark, Aarhus
    Does anyone know I can toggle between windows within the same app when I am using mountain Lion on with a Danish keyboard?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Command + ` (`/~ key located above tab key, below Esc key on US keyboards)
  11. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Just enable option+tab in the sys prefs if it isn't.
    It is layout independent.
  12. refuserefuse, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

    refuserefuse macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2009
    Similar switching problem

    Like a lot of you have multiple windows of an application open in multiple spaces which is the way any reasonable work flow might be set up.

    What I am running across is Alt-tab switching from an application to another. I tab to a browser (any browser, safari included) from PP or the like. When I try to alt-tab back Spaces in its divine wisdom decides I really mean to go to an open window of that program in another space. I have to manually go back over to space and window I really want. Alt-tab will get me back to the original window in 2x+1 with x being the number of windows I have open for that tab. In other words I have to switch between the multi-window program and the alternate for every window of that program I have open and then one more to get back to where I started. Obviously I don't get back this way but maybe it's a clue. It also happens no matter how I switch back. Right now I was just trying some of the changes suggested here from system preferences and when I was done I clicked with the pointer on the PP window behind system preferences and it still switched to an open window of that application in another space. It is doing it with PP right now but it has done it with every program I have. Sometimes it really fights me and even if I manually swipe back over it will automatically swipe back to the window I just swiped from. I have to close the window and maybe all other windows to make it stop.

    It seems like an error in the switching to "space with an open window for that application" option where it designates only one open window for that application to be the open window for that application. Except I have disabled automatic switching by now and still does it.

    I do this kind of switching a lot. Sometimes several times a minute. And every time I have to four fingers swipe back to the window I alt-tabbed from seconds ago.

    I think I have two good options that must exist somewhere. 1. Disable all switching between spaces except 4 finger swipe. 2. Limit Alt-tab absolutely to only the space it is in. But I can't find these anywhere or I find something that looks right and change it but to no avail.

    I am a fair way to literally pulling my hair out. Please help! Will try anything.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I am not entirely sure what you are talking about. Your word choice confuses a little.

    Are you saying that when you hit Alt+Tab aka Option+Tab it switches between all open Windows regardless of application.
    Say I have two browser windows, iTunes and 3 pdfs open.
    You switch through all of them?

    At my Mac Alt+Tab never leaves the space it is on. If I disable auto switching to a space with open windows, it doesn't do anything if there is none.
    Are you actually talking about Alt+Tab or do you mean CMD+Tab or something else. It seems Alt+Tab is not really a universal command.
    Also you may want to call an application that and not tab or something. A Window is a Windows. I read through your description thrice and don't really understand it.
  14. refuserefuse macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2009

    Sorry. You are right that I was unclear on some things. I did mean command-tab. This switches between programs. Only I can not keep it so it switches to the alternate program in the same space. It always goes to an open iteration of that program in another space. Right now with the "when switching to an application, switch to space with open windows for that program." toggled off this is what happens.

    I start in a firefox. Command tab takes me not to the word document in in the current space but to a word document in another space. Command tab again will switch me back to firefox without switching spaces again, whether there is an open iteration of firefox in that space or not. Command tab a third time takes me back to the original space firefox on top. Command tab a fourth time takes me to word in the first space where I was trying to get to in the firs place. This is just with one alternate word doc open in another space. More means more cycles of this switching. It also happens if do mission control and try to click on the program in the same space. Still switches me to another space.

    Sorry for the confusion the first time. Hopefully I have made things more clear. Not an easy thing to explain as it sometimes seems very random. Also seems like no one else has this problem. Say you have 2 programs each open in 2+ spaces and "when switching to an application, switch to space with open windows for that program" turned off. What does command tab do for you? Does it switch to another space? Let me know if there are any more unclear points.

    The solution is basically that it never ever EVER switches spaces save that I do it manually. Only I can find no way to make this happen.

    Running 10.7.4

    Thanks. And sorry for the late response.
  15. refuserefuse macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2009

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