Exposé: Why all windows in a row???

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Damitri, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Damitri macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    New York, NY
    I searched the forums but could not find anything about a problem I am having with exposé.

    Sometimes (seemingly random) when I use exposé, instead of displaying all the windows nicely distributed all over the screen, all windows appear in a single horizontal row in the middle of the screen. With many apps/windows open that makes them tiny on my iBook's screen. Is this a feature I have missed or a bug? I usually restart the computer or live with it for a while and then it goes back to normal. Any thoughts on this?

  2. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Happens to me too. No idea why and i don't know how to fix it.
  3. smokeyrabbit macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    Escape from New England
    This is the normal behavior for equal-sized windows with F10 (current app windows). To try it out, hit Command-N right now a few times and then hit F10. As long as you don't have a smaller window like Downloads open you will see them all lined up horizontally. (I couldn't get this to work in Firefox, just Safari)
  4. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Yeah, it happens to me with Safari when all windows are the same size and at the same vertical position on the screen. It's been this way since 10.3.0. I often think about filing a bug report with Apple (http://bugreport.apple.com/) but I've been too lazy. :rolleyes: Presumably they already know about it, but it's a low priority issue.

    The fix for me is to simply move one of the affected windows up or down. Even a one-pixel offset will do it. Seems that if Apple were to fix it, they could simply randomly perturb the vertical positions of windows by a small amount when doing an Expose operation, so the placement algorithm doesn't get into this weird boundary case.
  5. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    No I won't. :) It only happens if windows are lined up exactly, which never happens by accident (to me, anyway).

  6. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Get safari open, make sure it is lined up to the menubar. Hit command+N a few time and then active expose. Just did exactly that and managed to reproduce it.
  7. Damitri thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    New York, NY
    Wow that is amazing. :eek: It seems to work exactly like that. Making several new windows with cmd-n reproduces it but moving one of those windows just 1 pixel fixes it completely. Thanks guys! No more rebooting the computer because of this... :D
  8. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
  9. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    Rebooting doesn't fix perfect math :rolleyes:
  10. NickElls macrumors 6502


    May 19, 2005
    I just realized something: If safari window #2 is to the right of #1, in Exposé it will appear to the right. If #2 is to the left of #1, it will appear to the left. Etc.

    If #2 is a little bit down and to the right of #1, it will be in the lower right corner of #1 in Exposé. Same works with lower left, upper left, and upper right.

    Hard to put into words, but it's fun. Try it.
  11. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I don't understand the confusion. The way Expose tiles the windows has to do with the size and placement of the windows in relation to each other. The Cmd+N "trick" works because the windows are all the same size and tiled a certain way. ...and that's why moving the window as little as a pixel fixes it.

    Like a poster above me said, it's a simple math equation...given the same input (same size and specific relative positioning), it will always produce the same output (all your windows in a nice neat line).

    It's not a bug - it's a feature ;)

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