If you're having that problem then you're not using the Minimize command correctly. Never use Minimize when you intend to switch between apps.
You only use Minimize when you explicitly do not want to see a window when its app is active. Typically, it's a rarely used command, but it can occasionally useful when you're working in an app that has a lot of windows open (like, say, Terminal) and you want to set some of the windows aside for awhile.
More often, you should use the Hide command. (Command+H, select "Hide" from the app menu, or Option+Click a dock icon.)
This will hide the active app and activate the next app in order. When you return to the hidden app via Command+Tab, the app and its windows will be restored just as you left it.
In the old NeXTSTEP days, the Hide and Quit commands were top-level menu buttons and always just a single click away. It's unfortunate that those commands were moved to a sub-menu in Mac OS X.
I actually wrote a little app that puts Quit and Hide buttons in the top left and right corners of the screen. It gets a lot of use.
The old Exposé was a hindrance due to lack of proper multi-monitor support. Honestly it was a disaster and mostly unusable. As of a couple versions ago, multi-monitor has worked flawlessly. Mission Control has become indispensable to my daily workflow. Aside from a proper terminal with tools like ssh (seriously, fuck cygwin or Putty as replacements), Mission Control is the reason why OS X is amazing to me, and I can't stand to use Windows which lacks any kind of proper window management. Alt+Tab and Win+Tab on Windows are a joke, and all of the third-party software packages that try to hack on multi-desktop, multi-monitor functionality are a mere shadow of a native implementation. Last time I was forced onto a Windows machine at work, Dexpot was the only software that was even remotely bearable to use, and even then required binding mouse gestures via an additional third-party tool.
If you are reading this and using Cmd+Tab on OS X, do yourself a favor and spend some time retraining yourself to use Mission Control. It will save you so much time hammering the Tab key.
Personally I have 7 global shortcuts for the 7 major apps I use on Cmd+Shift+Number. And for frequent switching between only 2 apps Cmd+Tab.
I'd be 10 times slower with the mission control, no doubt.
I put a lot of effort into minimizing mouse usage via keyboard shortcuts. I've been using ⌘ + m consistently, not realizing I've been punching myself in the face the whole time, and thus gave up on ⌘ + Tab ages ago.
Looking forward to a bit more productivity.
The bad window management isn't limited to the Minimize command though. Open any window from the menu-bar and you'll never be able to switch to it with the keyboard.
Try it out: Open "About this Mac" from the apple menu. Now switch to some other application (with the keyboard). Now try to switch back to "About this Mac" with your keyboard.
Once you've hit up arrow, it's like a mode switch, now you are in app window switching mode. Use use tilde (on english keyboards) instead of tab, and it will switch apps in this mode.
go back to tab, and you are back to icon switch mode.
This is on 10.11.6 anyway.
Oh, and while just playing around now, it appears instead of up arrow, you can hit cmd-1. So single handed, no gyrations.
CMD-TAB to bring up the icon switcher. Hit 1 while holding CMD, switch to window switcher. Hit Tilde while holding cmd, to switch apps in window switcher.
It has its flaws. Doesn't show "full screen" apps, doesn't seem to work if you are viewing a full screen app.
I always stick with cmd-tab anyway, and for windowing I use BetterSnapTool. OSX needs a lot of help for that.
What it appears to do it trigger the "reopen" command on an application, which tends to open a new window if one does not exist.
The "reopen" event is described here:
- Press "q" to quit the selected application
- Press "h" to toggle hiding the selected application
- Press "1" to show all open windows for the selected application
Does anyone know if there is a built-in way to only switch to the frontmost application window (by default Cmd+Tab puts all app windows in the foreground)? Sometimes I need to switch between two windows of different applications which I both want to keep visible on the screen, but switching to the destination app with Cmd+Tab ends up covering the entire screen because that application has other windows.
Well, it would be a very useful shortcut if it behaved the same as Command+tab ... but it does not.
Command+tab behaves like every other "alt tab" you've ever used - no matter how far you alt-tab over, hitting alt-tab again brings you back to the just-previous application. This means you can go over to a new window and immediately toggle back and forth with alt-tab. Works great. Everyone loves it.
Commmand+tilde, however, has a totally weird memory to it - it sort of goes in a forced order, without having a memory at all, except that it (seemingly) switches directions after releasing the key combination ...
However it behaves, you can't pick two arbitrary app windows to start toggling back and forth between. If chrome window A is 5 spots over from chrome window B in "the list", you will always need to flip over 4-5 spots to toggle between them.
And that just sucks.
cmd+tab orders by last active application, while cmd+` orders by last window created.
(see my other comment above)
Another thing I noticed just now is you can browse to no-window-selected using cmd+`
As far as I can tell, the logic is the following, with numbers representing order of creation, with 0 being no window:
How do they manage to not fix this ? How do they live/cope with this ?
One theory is that there are no power users at apple computer - just a bunch of people mouse-mouse-mousing around their computer all day, every day. I think that's unlikely.
OSX power users that actually work at apple ... why don't you get this fixed ? I live with this pain because I have no way to do anything about it ... why do you live with this pain ?
personally i found exposé and spaces to be way ahead of windows a few years ago, but the new task view in windows 10 and multiple desktops have basically caught up, and i think combining them into mission control was actually a bit worse than just using the features separately
window management with aero snap and actual, real maximized windows was always better though
of course, all this and much much more have been possible on various linux desktop environments for a long time, if one doesn't run any critical windows-only (or mac-only) software
Allows tabbing through individual windows (one icon per window, not just one per app) and doesn't have the problem of not showing anything after the selection. Downside: it does not include minimized windows.
Although it seems to have been in "beta" since forever, I've never really encountered any problems.
The only issue I encounter here and there is if I have windows scattered across spaces and full-screen windows, switching just to the app usually picks the wrong window, and then because of the full-screen window complications, I can't simple Command+` around, I need to use Spaces shortcuts to navigate to the left or right.
Edit: I think I understand the scenario after thinking a few more minutes: you've closed all the windows of an application, but you have not exited the application entirely. I agree with the existing behavior. I don't want apps spawning new windows every time I go to them. If I want the window later, I don't close it. If I just don't want to see it, I hide the app -- but not minimizing it in the Dock either. Hiding it is like turning the other way, minimizing is like folding it up and putting it in my pocket. If I just hid it, I can just turn back to it when I want it. If I folded it up, I have to go through the "pain" of unfolding.
Another thing that annoys me to no end: alt-tabbing to Finder takes you to an open window in another desktop! I want to open a new window on this desktop. I guess the linked trick may help with this behaviour.
Edit: Found a solution. Alt+Cmd+Space brings up a Finder search window on your current desktop. Good enough.
Look at it like this: the windows on your desktop are the things you are working on. Usually they will be documents or other kinds of content. In OSX the desktop metaphor works a little different than on Windows. In Windows a window represents an application. In OSX a window (usually) represents a piece of content, e.g. document in Pages. When you minimize a window you're not minimizing the app, you're putting a piece of content out of the way because you don't need it at the moment. Think of it like stashing something away in a place you can easily reach it if you need it. Cmd-tab doesn't switch between windows (pieces of content) but between applications.
I'd hate for this behavior to change, it would break my workflow horribly and is one of the reasons I can't stand Windows. It is perfect for multitasking. I have a lot of stuff open I don't currently need. Say I'm working on some code; I'd usually have an IDE, browser terminal, calculator and a whole bunch of text document (for note taking) open. The things I don't need I minimize. When you cmd-tab between apps you only switch between the things you're working on at that moment. Basically the whole point of minimizing is so it doesn't switch to those windows. If you need it, keep it on your desktop, thats what it is for, if you don't you close the document. Minimizing is a bit like a halfway point between that: I don't want with this document on my desktop right now but I might need it in a bit so I'll just stash it in the dock.
So, how about an option for the rest of us who like the Windows way better?
There should not be an option, that would almost be worse. If you start messing with the fundamental concept of how the desktop works things become a mess. Options just mean the developer is too afraid to make a choice.
There should be an option, for the simple reason that I and many, many others like me want one.
And I can also use trite phrases to prove my point: One size does not fit all.
> If you start messing with the fundamental concept of how the desktop works things become a mess.
No, they don't. It means there's an option to change something to the way the user wants it to be.
> Options just mean the developer is too afraid to make a choice.
No, it doesn't. Options mean that the developer lives in reality. The reality again is: One size does not fit all.
Furthermore, the numerous third party tools that actually add this option haven't made OS X fall apart or stop operating. It doesn't stop me from doing one single thing. It changes the one behavior that I wanted changed. The only problem with third party tools is that they're third party and they don't have all the API access that Apple has. So empirically, you're wrong.
Your sense of aesthetic is also way off if you think OS X has got window management right. Numerous hard core Mac fans disagree with you on that one and everybody else in the world using Windows likes it just the way it is. I think the only facet of the Mac OS that is decried even more than the bad window management is the Finder.
That doesn't matter. Conceptual integrity is more important than you having to relearn some habits.
> No, they don't. It means there's an option to change something to the way the user wants it to be.
No, it means breaking the conceptual integrity of the desktop as it implemented on OS X. Once you start mixing things up ,that's when it gets confusing. Unlearn your Windows habits.
Yes, it does.
> Conceptual integrity is more important than you having to relearn some habits.
It's not about habits at all. I haven't made that argument once, you're assuming that is the case here. Stop doing that. It's a really, really weak argument and an obvious straw-man.
Conceptual integrity is important, but OS X doesn't have any conceptual integrity in the area of window management. It's absolutely and totally illogical.
> Unlearn your Windows habits.
There is no habit here. Windows window management is logical, consistent and generally preferred by most people over the way OS X does things.
You need to learn how to think about things more logically.
Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's illogical, it just means you don't understand it. Learn.
It's a must have app for me. I actually cannot use other people's laptops if they don't have it.
⌘ + ~
Apple got it wrong.