I constantly switch between windows while working. Is there a way to speed up my workflow?

I constantly switch between windows while working. Is there a way to speed up my workflow?

Like you, we often find ourselves shifting between different apps while working, and Command-tabbing between windows isn't efficient for the number of apps that we run. Salvation comes in the form of the Expose feature, which fills your screen with thumbnails of all the different apps you have open (pictured below).


From here, you can just click on which ever window you want to use.


By default, Expose is mapped to the F-9 key on your keyboard. But there's a much faster way to use it. Go to System Preferences > Dashboard & Expose, and choose All Windows on one of the drop down menus under Active Screen Corners.


Expose will activate when you move your cursor to the bottom-left corner of the screen.




+ Add a Comment


I've set the "fn" key of the keyboard of my MackBook Pro to show all windows. It's blazing fast to switch through windows since my hands are always on the keyboard anyway.



For a true multi-tasker, I think your best strategy for getting around windows quickly is a combination of Expose, command+tabbing through apps and hiding apps. The nice thing about all of Apple's apps is that command+option+h will hide all other apps other than your current one; or you can just use the menu command. That's a great way to quickly clear away things that don't currently need your attention. You can also hold down the option key and click into the window of another app (or the desktop) to quickly hide the current app you're using. Or for another example, if you have a bunch of files open in one app that you won't get to right away, you can hold down the option key while you click the minimize button, and make all open windows drop into the dock.

Expose & Dashboard are really nice to have, but the downside is that there are four functions available, and if you have a Mighty Mouse like me you can't cover all of them with your rodent. I have mine set up as scroll button= all windows Expose, side buttons= app windows Expose, lower left screen= Dashboard, and lower right for Desktop.

Expose is an extremely handy feature - I can't remember what life was like before it existed - but all the same, it's not that great if you have 50 windows open. Which is where judiciously hiding applications is the smarter way to work.



Using a corner for expose, you can easily drag and drop things between windows: just drag something to the corner, mouse over the window you want until it pops open and drop it where you need it. Like a super version of springloaded folders. Also useful setting a corner to desktop.

Using a separate keyclick or mouse button makes that sequence more cumbersome.



Is this the Mac Life tip archive from 2003? I can't believe MacBytes actually featured this non-tip.



I have created a mapping configuration on my mouse that includes INSTANT access to Expose via a mouse button. Expose in this configuration is a single mouse click. Since my hand is usually on my mouse, it takes a fraction of a second, and I'm sure much faster than dragging the cursor to a screen corner.

You can see how to do it and my configuration which includes a lot of other productivity enhancements at:




So, correct me if I'm wrong,

your suggestion is 'Use expose?' Inspirational. Like something straight from the Apple.com's tips - but without the tip and more of the 'read the manual'. Woot.



WoW... Mix it w/ Tab for real screen action

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.