Why do App windows hide and behave bad on a Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ArthurDaley, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. ArthurDaley macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    After owning a Mac for over a year I still don't get why application windows behave a real pain. There must be an explanation.

    For example in Microsoft Word, i have 10 documents open. Here are the types of problems I have:

    1) I'm in a document, then use CMD+TAB to go to another application then I use CMD+TAB to come back to Word, and bingo, it's sat at a different document to what was on top before I did any CMD+TABing.

    2) I want to bring a particular open document to the foreground, so just like on the PC, I go to Window and select the document title, but NOPE it does not come to foreground.

    3) I search around moving document windows around to find open document I want in the foreground and click it expecting that to bring it into foreground, but NOPE that does not happen.

    Something is sucky. I hope it's me.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Does this happen in any other applications you use? Because citing Microsoft [product] as a canonical example of how all Mac applications behave isn't very solid reasoning.
  3. ArthurDaley thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    I know it happens with other applications, for example DevonThink, like 1Password, so probably all apps
  4. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2004
    Tulsa, OK
    Doesn't happen to me. So it must be something with your setup.

    Also, as a side note you can press CMD-`to cycle through all open windows (not minimized) for a particular app. This doesn't solve your issue, but it is easier than selecting a particular open window by clicking on "Window".

    Sorry, could not be of more help.
  5. Rhalliwell1 macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2008
    I have always wondered how to do this, thanks!
  6. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    Have you checked out the options for Exposé with your choice of gesture or key or button? System Preferences> Spaces & Exposé > Exposé

    For me the best way of dealing with lots of windows (and one of the first things I set up on any mac I'm going to be using for long) is assigning Exposé's 'All Windows' to the top left corner. Then I just throw the pointer to that corner and click the window I want in whatever app.

    But you can set it up in numerous ways depending on how you want it. Unless you have a huge number of windows you should be able to tell which is which just by looking, and you could set it to 'Application Windows' if that works better for you (though it means one more step than 'All Windows').
  7. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2004
    Tulsa, OK

    Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1343

    Another favorite of mine is OPT-CMD-H to hide windows for all applications except for the current app. I typically work with 10-20 windows on a 15" MBP. Could not be happier with OS X's tools to manage workspace.
  8. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Well you're in luck; I was bored so tried to replicate your problem. ;)

    I opened Word (2004) with 10 documents… cycled through all my open apps with Command-Tab, but every time I returned to the document I had started from in Word… in other words. I couldn't replicate your issue.

    Tried it with other apps as well — Illustrator, Preview etc.

    Couldn't replicate your issue once.
    Each time I got back to the open page/document I had started from.

    Seems to be something in your particular setup.
  9. ArthurDaley thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    hmmm did you also try using Spaces and cycling back to app to see if the last open window is still the foremost instead of being randomly buried?

    My MBP has been this way since day 1 so I assumed I was doing something wrong, however 1.5 years later, Ia m thinking what the hell is the OS X quirk that I ain't picked up and now folks seem to be suggesting something has been crap from the setup since day one.

  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Perhaps you should update the problem apps? Reinstall?

    Works fine here, so the problem is not OSX, not Mac, it's YOUR set up.
  11. ArthurDaley thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    It must be OS X.

    I've went from Office 2004 to 2008, same problem.

    I have the same problem with Adobe apps and many others.
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
  13. PrincessPeach macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    I can't replicate this either. I feel for the OP because this would drive me absolutely bananas - the relatively poor window/app management is one of my pet hates about Windows! I do use Spaces (though I don't really like it and am thinking of going back to working without it) and I use Expose very heavily. My version of Microsoft Office is the ancient v.X, so that might not have the bug.

    Is it worth making a new user account (without Spaces, perhaps?) and logging in as them, to see if the bug carries over with it? Might help isolate which preferences you need to trash if this is fixable without drastic action.

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