Pimp My Mac’s Behavior (Cmd+Tab and Arrow-Key Control)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by pepe26, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. pepe26, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017

    pepe26 macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2016
    Hello to all of you power users out there. I would like to share my experiences in dabbling with the general behavior of my Macbook and ask for your personal advice as well.

    Current Problems to Solve:
    a) Cmd+Tab behavior (my favorite pet peeves of all times)
    b) arrow-key control for buttons on system popups

    Recently, I’ve started my vendetta against these suboptimal features on my Mac. I’ve had some success but I’m not there yet. Here’s what I’ve done so far and what these things have achieved for me.

    a) Nemesis 1: Cmd+Tab Behavior

    Goal: Only have very few, select apps in the application switcher, hide all the others from it and reach these role-player apps though custom hotkeys instead

    - Witch: https://manytricks.com/witch/
    - Automator (native)
    - Apptivate: http://www.apptivateapp.com/
    - Command-Tab Plus: http://commandtab.noteifyapp.com/

    Witch has had some minor positive effect on a side problem of Cmd+Tab. It provides a slightly superior way to switch between windows of the same app over the native Cmd+~ function. This is not really ground breaking, though, and therefore not worth the $10 by itself. You shouldn’t go for it, if you don’t like any of the other Witch features.
    Automator seems to work for others in order to create custom hotkeys to launch apps or to switch to them directly. It has worked for me, but there is a much easier alternative. Apptivate (freeware) achieved the same thing with only very few clicks and an extremely comprehensive interface.
    Lastly, there is an app which came the closest to aiding me in my vendetta. Command-Tab Plus goes in the direction that I need. Yet, it only achieves my goal partially. When installed and activated, it hides Finder and other unnecessary apps in the application switcher. Unfortunately, it does really exclude them permanently, as I intend to. The appear again, once they are open, cluttering the application switch just as they have before.
    This is the most important thing about my urge to improve the Mac's behavior. The changing order of apps in the application switcher when cycling through more than two or three apps is confusing me a lot. When it happens, I often switch to the wrong app, which then interrupts my train of thought. Then I wildly jump from window to window looking for the app I was going for. Eventually I forget which one it was, so I start tabbing though the windows to find the anchor of my thought process before I completely lose it and start over. This has been really frustrating me for the past 10 to 15 years on both Windows and Mac.

    One convenient accurate possibility would be to have only the most important apps like the browser and maybe an Office app available on the Cmd+Tab application switcher and reach everything else by custom hotkeys. This would prevent messing up the order of a long list of opened apps, as it is happening to me so often today.

    b) Nemesis 2: Control System Popups with Arrow Keys

    As an old Windows user you appreciate that you don’t have to take your hand of the keyboard when the OS prompts you for an action like save/abort/quit. On Windows you simply cycle through the options with the arrow keys and confirm with Enter or often with hotkeys. This function is dearly missed on macOS leading to the mouse hand reaching the device, moving the cursor to click the intended button, only to then return to the keyboard.

    How can I make this more convenient?
  2. pepe26 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2016
    I was hoping on a bit of input from you guys on how to proceed, just in case it wasn't clear... ;)
  3. pepe26 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2016
    May I ask what the problem is here?

    a) not interesting to the others
    b) unclear description of the problem
    c) no advice to be given
  4. Rok73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 21, 2015
    Planet Earth
    A lot of text, a very specific topic no one really cares about. There are lots of different ways of reaching a goal in macOS. Maybe you should just find a different workaround that's ok for you.

    I'd also recommend to get rid of your "Windows thinking". You won't reproduce the way you worked with Windows a 100% in macOS.
  5. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    If you get it working for you, that's great and more power to you. But, yeah, I agree with Rok73. Learn to use the OS, don't sweat the small stuff.

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