Expose Alternative or Active Window Manager

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dodgeb20, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. dodgeb20 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #1
    Can somebody please recommend an app for MAC OS that will display my active windows? The app can run in the menubar or dock, or mount next to the doc.

    Basically, something like the taskbar from Windows XP and Vista. Not Windows 7 as that shows the active programs, but not specific windows.

    I'm basically looking for an Expose alternative. So if I have 10 different windows running for Firefox, I can quickly look at my menubar or somewhere near the dock, and just click the window I want to see.

    Yes, I know that is what Expose is for, but I prefer to see me active windows without using a shortcut.

    So far here's what I've tried:

    -Going to System Preferences, and unchecking "Minimize windows into application icon" in the Dock settings. This offered a partial solution as the icons could not be distinguished for the same program. 10 firefox windows minimized would just show 10 firefox icons.

    -Googling the following terms:
    app switcher for mac
    mac expose apps
    show running apps in menubar
    show expose items in menubar
    pin active applications to menubar in mac
    always show expose for mac
    application management for mac

    I've also tried running these apps:
    alunch: http://mactips-lib.net/m/software/alunch/en/main.html
    WindowFinder 1.4: http://keakaj.com/windowfinder.htm
    Running Applications for Mac: http://www.altomac.com/running_applications/
    XMenu: http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/freeware/index.html
    Himmelbar: http://softbend.free.fr/himmelbar/

    All of these apps more or less place one icon in the menubar, which when clicked on shows your running apps, favorite apps, and system folders. This is fine, and is very similar to the windows start button. However, they all fall short because they only place one icon in the menubar, which must be clicked on to show active apps or active windows.

    Can someone please point me to an app that will always be on my screen, and will show icons or labels of active windows. Again, similar to Windows taskbar before Windows 7. I know this is a difference in Mac and Windows, and that I can use the dock to see my active applications, and use the various shortcuts to see my windows, but there's got to be an app that will just always shows my active windows.

    So if I have Apple Mail Open, and have 3 compose new mail windows going, I would like to see 4 icons or labels somewhere in the menubar or near the dock.

    I'm on a Macbook Pro - OS 10.6.4
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
  3. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #3
    There is only 1 active window: the one you are currently working in. No need to click as it is the one that's visible. I think what you mean are the windows that aren't minimised. Expose can be used to view only the windows from a single app, multiple apps or all windows. Application expose only shows the windows in the current active application so if you want to see the windows of a different app you need to switch to it and press a key. This is where dock expose comes in handy. You simply click and hold on the apps dock icon and it will show you the windows. Right-clicking the dock icon will give you a list of the opened windows, the same as what happens with application/dock expose only faster (disadvantage: it only shows the title of the window not its contents). Basically Windows 7 mimics the dock expose feature with only one difference: you only need to hoover your mouse over the icon, with dock expose you need to click and hold.

    Showing labels and such is something completely different. The dock shows icons. If they are running it will show a dot underneath the icon. If you hoover the mouse over the icon it will show you the label. The menu you get when right-clicking a dock icon is the closest to a list of labels like with Windows XP and grouped taskbar items (vista does the same thing as well as Windows 7 if you disable Aero).
    Changing this would mean that you'd need to change the way OS X works regarding windows. It does things completely different from Windows. For some people this takes quite a lot of getting used to. That almost boils to Gregg2's reply: install Windows.

    If you want something like the application switcher (cmd-tab or alt-tab in Windows) that will show you the windows grouped by application instead of only the applications, you should really take a look at a program called witch. It can even show you some previews. However, there is also application/dock expose you can use in the application switcher to get the same results (cmd-tab and then hit the up arrow).
     
  4. dodgeb20 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #4
  5. dodgeb20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #6
    No good. Those are Mac solutions.
     
  7. ShadowSpandex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    #7
    I've been using the DragThing's windows dock which I found to be less obtrusive than Fantastik. I can bring up the window when clicking on it, and it will also display windows that are minimized into the dock. You can customize its display and appearance too; it can sit on the edge of the screen, hide, float above windows, etc. Dragthing is bit more pricey than Fantastik but also has many other features you might find useful too.

    www.dragthing.com
     

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  8. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #8
    That's the idea ;)

    I think that something like Dockland Fantastik seems to be doing what the OP wants. I don't quite like the interface though, it seems a bit too confusing to me.
     
  9. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI

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