Switcher question: How do I....

Discussion in 'macOS' started by countach, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. countach macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2006
    I'm trying to switch to OS X from Windows and there's a few things I can't figure out how to do.

    One really simple thing, how do I launch a new window for an app without opening an existing window for that app? I'm thinking especially here for Firefox or a browser. I may have a number of browser windows minimized on the dock, but I need a brand new window to browse something else. On Windows, when you click the firefox icon, you get a new firefox window. Seems sensible. On Mac, I get one of the old Firefox windows - not what I really wanted. Obviously I can do that, and hit Apple-N, or something, but is there an easier way?
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Like you said: Apple+N, or you could press File->New window

    Congratulations on your switch
  3. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Well, specifically for Firefox, I'd advise using one window and opening different tabs instead.
  5. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Am I missing something?
  6. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Camino and Safari both have "New Window" options in their Dock menus, but Firefox does not. I guess the easiest way would be to command-Tab to Firefox (which won't open minimized windows), then hit command-N or File->New Window.
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Web browsing and the Finder are the only real situation in which I can think of people doing this on Windows, and I tend to agree that the most transparent solution will be to learn to use tabs for browsing. I think you will really end up liking them, if you give them a try.

    As far as Finder, I could see doing the same thing on Windows as you describe... and Finder behaves like Safari and FF do on the Mac -- if you click on the Finder icon with no open Finder windows, you get a new one, but if you open a window and minimize it, and then click on the Finder dock icon, you un-minimize the existing window.

    Mmmm, what I would suggest for this is probably getting used to a couple of OS X shortcuts. In Windows, if you Ctrl-click an item in an Explorer window, it opens in a new window. Apple-click does the same on a Mac. Also if you open an icon for a specific location (e.g. the hard disk icon on the desktop or a link to a folder, etc) then you will always open a new window.

    So if that's also an issue, perhaps that helps?

    Another thing to explore is that there are several different ways of managing multiple windows on Macs, and different people end up doing different things.

    1) Hide -- if you Apple-H, windows hide. This is different from Minimize. You can get them back by Apple-tabbing to them or clicking on the dock icon. When you start an Apple-Tab, you can also press h while still holding Apple down to hide windows of non-active programs.

    2) Minimize -- sounds like you already know this one

    3) Leave them open and use Exposé to go from app to app. OS X is based on Unix and in the Unix world there is a much greater disposition towards leaving all the windows open vs. minimizing things. This is also essentially why OS X does not really have a feature for making a window maximize to use the entire screen. A lot of people who are more accustomed to OS X get used to having most windows take up part of the screen with overlap. So right now, Adium is running IM to the right of my Firefox window, and iTunes and Mail are somewhere in the background. ClamXAV is also running, and I have it moved over so I can see it poke out between Adium and FF to keep an eye on it. I very rarely do this on Windows but it seems to work very well on OS X.... Try out hot corners from the System Preferences -> Dashboard & Exposé. This is what I personally use and you may really like it.

    Good luck! :)

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