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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X Classic
One of the many things I hate about OS X is embedded Command-Tab switching. Come to think of it, I hated it in OS 9 as well. Before all of this 'digital lifestyle' business my primary use for my Mac was as a production machine at work running Quark in which Command-Tab switched between tools on the toolbar. Why Apple has been so fanatical about embedding Command-Tab switching into their operating system I will never understand. Anyway, I have two tips for stopping the Command-Tab problem once and for all, for those grizzled old-school Quark 'power-users' who care.

For OS X, my favorite solution is PullTab which has been mentioned elsewhere, availabe for free. It does, however, require the installation of Unsanity's Application Enhancer (also free). PullTab seems to effectively kill Command-tab switching in all of OS X.

In OS 9 or Classic, the problem is more involved. As far as I can tell, you must boot your machine into OS 9 first and then access the Mac Help Viewer, do a search for 'Switching between open programs,' and on that page is a link (towards the bottom) that will launch an AppleScript which allows you to change the keyboard shortcut the Application Switcher control panel uses, or to disable it completely.

Alternatively, you can run the AppleScript directly and skip the Help Viewer altogether. The script is located at /System Folder -> Help -> Mac Help -> fp -> shrd -> SetKeyboardSwitching on my machine.

Some may be tempted to access the OS 9 help viewer from Classic while it is running under OS X. I was unable to get the required AppleScript to run under these circumstances, but rebooting into 9 solved the issue. That's it, few may care but those who do and are stumped I am sure will appreciate the info.
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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X | 18 comments | Create New Account
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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: Lectrick on Oct 02, '03 11:26:04AM
>Why Apple has been so fanatical about embedding Command-Tab switching into their operating system I will never understand.

If you've ever had the misfortune of working with a Windows machine for any length of time, you'd understand ;)

Since Apple's been all about "Switch"ing, those Windoze users expect their alt-tab functionality. It's not that bad a feature once you get used to it. It's unfortunate that Quark uses that same key combo, but you won't get much sympathy from me since I've thought Quark is a POS made by a lazy-ass market-owning company for some time now ;) (thank God for competition from InDesign...)

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In /dev/null, no one can hear you scream

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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Oct 02, '03 08:21:14PM
I always switch my Macs to Option-Tab. I love it. I use LiteSwitch X. Command-Tab is too close to Command-Q for its own good!


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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: baba on Oct 02, '03 11:31:53AM

This might be useful if the only app you were running is Quark, but there are other options now, thank heavens. The command-tab switching is a partial implemention of one of the few useful Windows features. I find it indispensabe, but only when full implemented via the LiteSwitch utility. With LiteSwitch it's possible to toggle, and it makes clear what is happening.
http://www.proteron.com/liteswitchx/



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Maybe the problem is Quark not Apple!
Authored by: digiglyphics on Oct 02, '03 11:37:16AM

There's been command tabbing and there's been Quirk Express. I absolutely have hated this program for years but have been forced to use it (until recently) because there was no alternative.

I switched to OSX and got tired of Quark in Classic QUICKLY! I switched to InDesign and never looked back. Until, that is, Quark 6.0 came out. I was curious (and hoping for a better Quark) but was less than impressed... all this wait and the thing is just like 4.1 & 5 it just runs in 10.2 now! (who really needed to design web pages in Quark? That seems to be a popular software trend now, so who blames them for following suite on that one.) No real improvements and way over priced.

But I made the purchase but probably won't upgrade it again unless something seriously changes, InDesign is doing exactly what it needs to do and works just fine.

Quark was a necessary evil at one point, and I had way more problems than command tab switching for all these years, but we all make do with the best tools available to us. Just not sure if Quark is the best tool anymore, see what happens with the next release should be interesting.

Sorry if I was a little off subject.

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"real skill comes without effort..." Li Mu Bai - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon



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Maybe the problem is Quark not Apple!
Authored by: twalther on Oct 02, '03 02:54:29PM

I agree with this post--the subject anyway....I don't use Quark enough to have an opinion on the program itself...InDesign is what's installed on my G5 and what I use.

Apple places in system-wide shortcuts for the convenience of the user. Additionally, they have guidelines on what shortcuts should be used for common functions.

Why blame Apple because Quark chose to ignore this? Yell at that bunch of idiots.

You wouldn't have a tool in Quark using Command-q on the Mac, nor one on Windows that used Ctrl-Alt-Del, so why not be consistent?



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Much easier way in OS 9
Authored by: mm2270 on Oct 02, '03 12:34:48PM

For disabling the Command-Tab switching, or, for more flexibility, changing the shortcut to something more of your liking, download a small app called "Dock Manager Lite" from VersionTracker's OS 9 section. I use it on all of the Macs I manage at my job, since we're primarily still running OS 9 and QuarkXPress. (Still trying to convince the company to allow us to move up in the world) It lets you disable it completely, or, as I mentioned above, chaneg the shortcut. It has a few other tricks too. It's not in development anymore for obvious reasons, but you can still find it. Here's a link:

http://www.everydaysoftware.net/dockmanager/index.html



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Defeat Quark in Mac entirely
Authored by: daveosx on Oct 02, '03 02:40:12PM

I attended Photoshopworld Expo yesterday in Miami while primarily sponsored by Adobe the Expo had many booths setup by industry leaders. The plugin vendors and layout companies where all there.
I happened to walk past the Quark booth and started laughing out loud it was so poetic the booth had 3 people in it two of them where sales staff for quark. Concrete floor, table taken from the break area and a single powerbook with projector(by the way the light from the projector was too dim to see the screen,) I stopped and asked if I could photograph the booth and the male in the picture became very confrontational he asked "What do you want a photgraph for ?" in a very rude and loud tone. Laughing I simply said this image speaks volumes to the commitment Quark has made to it's customers, total lack of concern for any of them.
Here is the image
http://www.iggly.com/quark.jpg
The male sitting at the Mac 17inch was running Quark in MacOS9.

Get rid of quark it has been the scourge of the print industry for far too many years. If you are afraid of learning the software of the day you can simply change th keyboard function in Indesign and Creator2 to Quark layout.

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42 who really knows the question



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Defeat Quark in Mac entirely
Authored by: jda on Oct 03, '03 04:31:06AM

Quark is pants, it's true, but Illustrator is not so pants and also uses Command-Tab (to switch selection tools when using another tool) and I really miss this in OSX; I'm sure they could have come up with something better than Command-Control-Tab, which is a complete nightmare, especially on a PowerBook. It has to be one of the naffest shortcuts ever.



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: amrc0308 on Oct 02, '03 07:39:14PM

solve all your problems by using the very nice Apple Mail program. I use Windows and Mac regularly, and I can tell you that the command tab feature is very nice; why mouse when command tab does it quicker. Jeers to Quark for picking the same key combo.



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: GutBomb on Oct 02, '03 10:34:12PM

quark is a desktop publishing app used in many publishing houses, not a mail program



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: digiglyphics on Oct 03, '03 09:05:39AM

for the record Outlook Express isn't that great either. can't wait til mail eclipses that one (feature wise).

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"real skill comes without effort..." Li Mu Bai - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: aranor on Oct 03, '03 02:36:16AM

I'd just like to point out that Cmd-Tab in Panther has been revamped and is now very nice and very useful.



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DragThing works again!
Authored by: TomatoMan on Oct 03, '03 12:03:16PM

Beautiful. I've been steaming about 10.2's hijacking cmd-Tab ever since it was released. I use DragThing, and I LOVE its context-sensitive switching; also, I hide my dock, and it's distracting to have it pop up every time I switch apps, which I do constantly.

This hack makes DragThing work again the way it used to. I hope there's a way to make it work in Panther too.



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DragThing works again!
Authored by: aranor on Oct 03, '03 07:59:15PM

Context-sensitive switching? I don't know what you mean.

However, in Panther, Cmd-Tab no longer involves the Dock (as can be seen from the WWDC keynote)



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: ghlbtsk on Oct 03, '03 01:46:16PM

Another great app for OS 9 is Prestissimo. It can be used to set the scroll bar arrows as well, and also some hidden Application Switcher settings. It should be on VT as well.



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Quark Already Has a Built In Workaround
Authored by: richaber on Oct 05, '03 03:19:25PM

Okay, I know some people aren't aware of this, but when Quark first included the Command + Tab tool switching hotkey, there was no Command + Tab app switching built in to Mac OS, that came later.

When Apple finally did build in the Command + Tab app switch, Quark countered by adding the additional hotkey option of using Command + OPTION + Tab, or Command + OPTION + Shift + Tab to switch between tools, and that is how I have used Quark tool switching ever since OS 8.

I don't have Quark 6 yet, so I don't know if that still works (I'm willing to bet it does), and I haven't tried using Quark 5 under Classic, as my OS X machine is primarily for Web Design, not Print Design. Our IT guys are "studying" the feasibility of using OSX in a Print Production environment right now (slow pokes).

Slightly off topic, InDesign may be great for the rest of you who are designing mostly 4 color work and sending files off to a commercial printer, but running a Scitex PS/M 6 RIP to a Dolev 450 imagesetter, InDesign files tend to suck. The PostScript options only allow for PS Level 2 and 3, the transparency and drop shadows play funny tricks on the RIP when rasterizing, some of the vector information becomes rasterized incorrectly making it look blocky, and the color list can add some unnecessary color definitions, making for some unusual trapping problems in FAF. BTW, if anyone else is running Scitex PS/M 6 and has some workarounds, I would love to hear those, my IT guy isn't much help. :-)



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: Thom on Oct 06, '03 10:11:10AM

Sorry if it's slightly OT -- because I prefer InDesign over Quark (and am a PageMaker user from way back) and LOVE cmd-tab switching.

I have to say that Proteron's LiteSwitch is indeed hard to beat -- in v2.0 they even threw in an 'exclude list' of apps that should never show up when you switch -- but I wish it also had Keyboard Maestro's 'commonly used apps' list... e.g. if you have five favorite apps, three of which are already running, and you switch... then by hitting a modifier key to toggle 'favorite apps', the remaining two unlaunched apps will appear at the end of the row. Fastest and most comprehensive way to launch an app that wasn't open, for me.

Then again, it's not such a big deal anymore since I found out about LaunchBar.


Thom



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Defeat command-tab app switching in OS 9 and OS X
Authored by: cosmo64 on Mar 03, '04 09:10:58PM

Well, I installed PullTab and the Application Enhancer... which worked fine, but killing cmd-tab in OS9 wasn't as simple. That applescript to modify the keyboard shortcuts (I used to use it all the time in my 0S 9 days) didn't work, because "the Application Switcher could not be found". Sure enough, it's nowhere on my system. (I guess it actually makes sense that Apple would remove it since it's overridden by switching features of X, which is always running above OS 9 anyway.) I'm wondering how the earlier poster found it!

Also, I was under the impression that you can no longer boot up into OS 9. I'm in X 10.2.8 and I don't see how it would be done... am I missing something?



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