OSX 'Pop over' app behaviour

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Davowade, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Davowade macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2006
    Hey MR crew,

    Just wondering if anyone can give me some info about an annoying behaviour about Mac OS.

    As I work on my mac pro, I multitask heavily. Often switching between all sorts of apps and FCP, DVDSP, After effects and other multi-pane apps. The annoying thing is, when I open a new app (this is especially true of the multi pane apps) the new app pops over the one I am currently using, and often times I need to swap apps and then go back to the one I am working on to hide all of the windows of the just-opened app.

    The short answer may be 'that's just what happens', but I thought I would ask to see if there is a way to make the OS open new apps behind the currently active one?

    So yeah, mac pro running 10.6.7.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Not sure I really understand your problem, but...
    If you multi-task that much, you can have your apps setup to open in different spaces.
    Lets say if your using firefox and you assign it to open in space #2 you can just hit Control + 2 and it will instantly go to the space with all of the firefox windows. I believe if you were to click on its icon in the dock, it would also send you to that space.

    You can also switch apps by Command + Tab, then once on that app you can do Command + `(the key above tab) to switch windows for that app.

    Another nice one is to just click and hold on the dock icon, and it will tile your windows for the app you clicked on. You can also hit the Expose key (F3) then click on the app you want in the dock and it will do the same.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Davowade thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2006
    Hey Jagardn, thanks for the reply.

    I do use all of those tricks to switch between apps, with the exception of spaces. I suppose i'll have another go at explaining the problem to try and make it clearer.

    So say you are working on safari, and you open another app (After effects for instance).
    AE will open, and even if you are typing in safari, it will pop it's windows over safari and hide it from view. It won't make AE the active app (IE: in the top left of the screen it will still say safari next to the apple menu) but it will completely obscure the app that you currently have active.

    It's more of an annoyance than anything, but one that happens on a daily basis to me.

    Thanks again.
  4. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    So your problem is that when you open an app, its window opens in front of your other windows? That's quite natural, I think. Most people open apps when they need to use them, so a newly opened application will of course open in front of other applications.

    Why not just open the application you need when you need it, and not before you need it?
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Well that's the intended design as most people who start an app generally want to use that app right off the bat, not start it and then use another app instead.

    Of course the question is why are you starting an app you don't need to use initially. Wait until you need it, then start it. That way it will be in the foreground to be used.
  6. hopejr macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2005
    New South Wales, Australia
    It think the OP does what I do with large programs that take a while to start up, and that is open them while doing something else. I find the splash screen stays in the background, but when the program opens, all the program windows pop to the foreground, though the other app is still active.

    I don't think there's much you can do about it, even using spaces (because it will switch to that space once the windows pop up).
  7. Davowade thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2006
    So the answer to why I use so many apps at once is back to multitasking. In the work environment I am in, many things happen at once requiring me to switch apps and start new ones very regularly. We can't just sit and wait for the new apps to start.

    I suppose the annoyance is that if an app is active and I am working with it, (editing in FCP etc) the new one will still take precedence and obscure the one i'm working on. It does seem to be the default OS behaviour, but it is still really annoying in my case.

    Thanks for all of the replies, seems I have to just continue to deal with it. :(

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