How can I best navigate that tangle of open windows on my desktop?

How can I best navigate that tangle of open windows on my desktop?

Use the App Switcher

By pressing Command-Tab, you can quickly cycle through open apps in the Application Switcher. But it’s also an easy way to quit an app. Just Command-Tab your way to the one you want to close and press Command-Q. Also handy: If you have an Apple Mighty Mouse, set your scroll wheel to be the Application Switcher (via System Preferences’ Keyboard & Mouse pane). Now you can press the scroll button to activate the Switcher, and then spin the ball to cycle through the apps.


Utilize the Dock

You launch applications from the Dock, so why not documents? Drag a folder to the right side of the Dock so you can access any file stored within by right-clicking it and navigating to whatever you want to open. Another tip: Right-click on any open application in the Dock to get a list of all the currently open windows in that app.


Find the right document by right-clicking on an app's icon in the Dock.


Learn Shortcuts

Speed through Finder tasks with the right shortcuts.

> Option-click the yellow button on a window to minimize all of that app’s open windows. Use the same command on a minimized window to reverse the effect.
> Hit Command-Option-H to hide every application except the one that’s active.
> To put your Mac to sleep immediately, press and hold Command-Option-Eject for several seconds.




+ Add a Comment


There is a wonderful little piece of OS X freeware called Spirited Away, available for download at, which will automatically hide all your running applications except the active one. Eliminates the windows from all of the background apps until you need them. I’ve used it for a long time, problem-free.


Ernest Phillips

Command-Tilde (tilde is `, right about the tab key, and possibly spelled wrong) will advance from one window to the next within the active application. I find this one VERY useful!

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