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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob Desktop
There is an interesting Panther dock feature that enables a small blue Aqua blob that floats above all other windows, as seen in the top portion of the screenshot to the left. When you mouse into the blob, it higlights (the bottom portion of the image). When you click on it, ExposÚ come on in "Application Windows" mode (higlight all windows of the frontmost app while dimming others). You can move the blob around as you might expect - click and drag it to a new location.

This hack was detailed in this thread on the MacNN Forums; it was originally posted there by the user sandsl. To enable the blob, go into the Terminal and type this command:
 % defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-floater -bool true
If you ever get sick of the blob, just execute the same command, but change true to false. You then need to log out, or quit and restart the Dock, to see the changes take effect. You can easily do this by typing killall Dock in the Terminal.

A few other options that were found: When holding Option and clicking the blob, "All window" mode is enabled (the windows shrink to fit so they're all visible). If you hold Shift while clicking (or Option-clicking) the blob, the ExposÚ effect will occur in slow motion (very cool with lots of windows open and an Option-click).

It has also been mentioned that you can change the image of this floater by replacing two files within the Dock.app package. The files are called wvousfloat.png and wvousfloatselected.png, and they can be found on this path: /System -> Library -> CoreServices -> Dock.app -> Contents -> Resources. Replacing them (make a backup first!) is left as an exercise to the readers.

Enjoy!
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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob | 38 comments | Create New Account
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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: aranor on Oct 25, '03 12:35:00AM

How bizarre!

There's some other mysterious preference keys, such as:

[code]wvous-tl-corner
wvous-tr-corner
wvous-bl-corner
wvous-br-corner[/code]

No idea what these are, but the Dock set wvous-br-corner equal to 5 by itself. I have no idea what it means.

There's also:

[code]wvous-showcorners
wvous-floater-style
wvous-maindisplay
wvous-olddesktop
wvous-spring-delay
wvous-spring[/code]

I've tried setting wvous-showcorners, wvous-floater-style, wvous-spring-delay, and wvous-spring with no obvious effects. Can anybody else figure out what these are?



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: aranor on Oct 25, '03 12:36:04AM

D'OH!

Note to self: READ the preview before submitting!



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: Mikey-San on Oct 25, '03 06:42:03AM

top left corner
bottom left corner
top right corner
bottom right corner

Looks like those keys store hot corner settings.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: aranor on Oct 26, '03 01:57:13AM

I figured that's what the abbreviations meant, but hot corners for what? Also, the key that the Dock stored by itself was the bottom-right cornet set to 5? What does that mean?



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10.3: Side Effect
Authored by: skirtley on Oct 25, '03 09:34:10AM

I Ran the command in Terminal and also from terminal "killall Dock" Since then I logged out last night and in the morning I saw something strange!!!

There was a finder window open floating under the Login List window. I noticed that the Home Folder was labeled Root, and I Could run apps as Root! When I logged in as a user I never recieved the desktop, and Still Had my Finder window. When I ran an app, it Ran as that User. When going to Logout (from the Apple) I would see either log out "System Administrator" or log out "(the user's name)" depending on the Application I was currently Running. After Logging out then Back in as another User, I recieved it's desktop items, and Everything looks back to normal.

I grabbed a screen shot, but do not know how to post it.

Very Interesting!!!!!



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10.3: Side Effect
Authored by: t3hl33t on Nov 22, '04 02:41:25AM

Go to
http://www.imageshack.com/
and upload it there. Post the URL it gives you here.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: aranor on Oct 25, '03 12:37:44AM

...Wow. I just looked at the pictures again and realized that you did something with iTunes I never knew was possible!

Apparently trying to shrink the minimized version will get rid of the status fields entirely!

Maybe there should be a hint about that...



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: nosaj56 on Oct 25, '03 08:37:09AM

haha! You and I both got two-for-one hint!



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: dwchin on Oct 26, '03 11:41:19AM

You should get a copy of Kelby's Jaguar Killer Tips, or just look through it in the bookstore. The teeny iTunes window tip is there. In "mini window mode", just grab the resize handle (lower right corner) and resize.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: babbage on Oct 25, '03 09:49:13AM

Ahhh! That screenshot! It's Rover from "The Prisoner"! Run away!

(I can't find a decent picture of Rover to link to, but this page does a decent job of explaining the reference and conveying the imagery almost as well as the original :-)

---
--
DO NOT LEAVE IT IS NOT REAL


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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: aranor on Oct 26, '03 01:58:10AM

Oh wow, you're right!



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: yadgor on Oct 26, '03 02:18:01AM
Ok, I did some playing around an this is what I found.
This will make little gray semi-circles appear in the corners
defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-showcorners -bool true

These refer to the exposÚ corners:
wvous-tl-corner
wvous-tr-corner
wvous-bl-corner
wvous-br-corner
tl=Top Left, tr=Top Right, bl=Bottom Left, br=Bottom Right
defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-tl-corner -int x
Replace 'tl' with what corner you want, and 'x' with a number between 1 and 6. The number is the action that is performed by exposÚ 1=Nothing, the semicircle will disappear 2=All Windows 3=Application windows 4=Desktop 5=Start Screen Saver 6=Disable Screen Saver All these can be set from the ExposÚ preference pane.

This will change the Desktop effect. Instead of moving all the windows to the edges of the screen, it puts them all in a small box that can be dragged around the screen.

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool false
Anyone had any luck with the others?
wvous-floater-style
wvous-maindisplay
wvous-olddesktop
wvous-spring-delay
wvous-spring

---
Do it today because tomorrow it may be illegal.

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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: magenta on Oct 26, '03 03:36:33AM

When I set wvous-olddesktop to "no" to get the hyperzoomy effect, as soon as I zoomed to desktop then back, all metal windows stopped responding to mouse clicks - including Finder! So apparenly that effect was disabled because of some really weird interaction with the window server or something.

It's a shame, too, because that effect is much cooler than the windows all flying to the edge of the screen, and it could probably be argued that it's better for usability too (since it preserves spatial memory and so on).

Also, when I enabled the semicircles, the entire UI froze up as soon as I tried any Expose action (though iTunes kept on playing).

It might make a difference that I'm just running on a G4/450 with a Rage 128. (I'm getting a Radeon soon, honest!)



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: aranor on Oct 27, '03 06:12:39PM

Wow, I love the olddesktop effect!

BTW, metal windows work perfectly fine for me after using it.

Erm, nevermind. The Preview button just stopped working until I scrolled the scrollbar manually (scroll wheel didn't work). But it's working now after trying the exposÚ effect again. Weird.



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: aranor on Oct 27, '03 07:07:52PM

Actually, I know the problem now. It leaves an invisible window (I assume) in the area where the windows shrink to that sucks up all clicks in that area. So wherever you place the tiny window, you can't click. Turning olddesktop back on fixes it, though.



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: aranor on Oct 27, '03 06:07:42PM

I figured out wvous-spring and wvous-spring-delay.

By default, if you drag a file (or probably any drag, but only tested with files from the Desktop) to an ExposÚ'd window (i.e. start drag, start ExposÚ, drag to window) and hover over a window for 1 second, it will flash and select itself. Just like spring-loaded folders (Space works for selecting the window as well).

If you do <tt>defaults write com.apple.Dock wvous-spring -bool false</tt> and restart the Dock, this behaviour disappears. To restore, do <tt>-bool true</tt> instead (or do a <tt>defaults delete com.apple.Dock wvous-spring</tt>).

To change the delay before the spring, set wvous-spring-delay. The value is an integer in milliseconds (i.e. 1000 == 1 second). For example, to set it to 2 seconds, type <tt>defaults write com.apple.Dock wvous-spring-delay -int 2000</tt>.



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: aranor on Oct 27, '03 06:09:23PM
D'OH! I did it again. The relevant code snippets were:
defaults write com.apple.Dock wvous-spring -bool false
-bool true
defaults delete com.apple.Dock wvous-spring
defaults write com.apple.Dock wvous-spring-delay -int 2000


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small box bug
Authored by: r0n on Jun 30, '04 07:04:10AM
I┬┤ve had bad luck with the small box feature:
defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool false
resulting in mouse clicks were not recognized at the screen position of the small box - Whenever i was clicking in some app window around that area the small box would reside nothing happened.

This was driving me crazy for i had to shift the windows to get the mouse click working, and i was seeking some weeks to find the reason why...

So i got back to the old fashined way again.

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small box bug
Authored by: Zo-1 on Jun 30, '04 04:32:39PM

Sure, it's the easy way - but fact is, The Blob, from crabby apple software, allows a set and forget blob. . . .of your own design! I'm always on a Powerbook, thus forever obsessing over screen real estate - but maybe you don't like overly-large glossy blue circles either.

Drop any graphic on The Blob's window. Now I have about a half-inch unobstrusive, pale blue green square in the corner below A-Dock's trash. That's plenty large as mouse/trackpad target.

Yeah, you have to enable the blob in Cocktail, Onyx, shell, whatever. Try the "desktop square" option. . very cool.



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: Batshua on Jul 20, '04 01:27:02AM

Okay, I'm a little lost, so please bear with me. I used OnyX to turn on the blob and now the windows don't go to the sides when I hit F10.

If I go to Terminal and type

"defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool true"

minus the quotes, will that fix it?



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10.3: Expose Corners
Authored by: Batshua on Jul 20, '04 01:36:31AM

D'oh!

F11. The one that's supposed to show the desktop.



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Didn't work - lost 2nd monitor instead!
Authored by: pgr on Oct 26, '03 12:33:28PM

I tried this in Panther and not only could I not get it to work, I lost my second monitor.

So far I have not been able to get it (the monitor) to come back. If I reboot into 10.8 which I have on another drive the monitor is still off but if I re-power it if comes back and works fine, until I start up in Panther again when it disappears.

I have a G4 mirrored drive door that is original except for two extra internal drives.



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Didn't work - lost 2nd monitor instead!
Authored by: imacusr on Oct 28, '03 10:06:13AM

10.8? What are you, part of some super-secret developer program from the future? :D



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Do you have Expose?
Authored by: juz10mac on Dec 04, '04 11:32:46AM

When you said 10.8, did you mean 10.2.8? Expose is only a feature in 10.3 and higher.

If you added information to your com.apple.dock and you are using Jaguar, I'm guessing that you are going to have to remove it somehow. And I'm afraid I don't know how to go about doing that.

Does this affect all users, or just your current user?

I hope this helps, if only a little.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: yubbie2 on Oct 26, '03 09:57:36PM

robg... Looks like you've got a secret (software engineer) admirer:

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/21323

-Jesse



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: twalther on Oct 27, '03 06:49:32AM

Does changing the images change its size, or is there another way?

I would find this feature really nicely useful if I could make the blob a little smaller and toss it in a rather specific place on my screen (currently unoccupied) but it is too big right now.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: sjonke on Oct 27, '03 05:09:27PM

Put the blob mostly offscreen in a corner and then you have a little blue semi-circle that when clicked triggers expose as noted in the hint. I put it off the bottom-left corner. Just a simple way to make the blob smaller. I like it. Of course you can set the corners to trigger expose just by moving to the corner, but I find that with such settings I frequently accidentally trigger expose. Gets annoying. The blob off the corner works much better for me. I wish I could set the default action to be show all windows instead of current apps windows. Any way to do that?

---
--- What?



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: brising on Oct 29, '03 04:55:11PM

I thought this would be pretty slick, but alas, when I enabled the Blob, and then tried to move it, I couldn't get the mouse pointer to drop the blob anywhere. The Blob stayed glued to the pointer. The keyboard could still talk to the computer, but the mouse was worthless (except as a Blob Bellboy).

Now, here's the setup for what it's worth: an AGP 400 with a kensington pocket mouse.

I'll just stick to slamming the mouse into the lower left corner...



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: beerguy on Nov 04, '03 04:18:53PM

I pulled the images out and shrunk them by 50% - works much better for me. Like others mentioned, the original was just too big.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: nepkin on Nov 05, '03 10:23:58PM

I have panther, and I have enabled the blob, however I can't get rid of it. I've tried restarting after setting the bool value as me, and as root, and killall Dock. Nothin. If anyone has any advice let me know.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: nepkin on Nov 06, '03 01:21:32PM

Ok, I fixed my problem by going to System/Library/CoreServices and then opening the dock package, then deleting the floater images. I archived them incase I want it back...but if anyone else had this problem that is a way to fix it.



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: Verbose on Nov 22, '03 03:53:13PM

I wish I had never seen this page. Right after typing that blue blob line into Terminal, my Kensington MouseWorks stopped working. I typed the "false" line to get rid of the blob, but MouseWorks still isn't working. I uninstalled, reinstalled both the latest beta and the older final, to no avail. I think it did something to the dock, because as the system boots up, the MouseWorks drivers ARE working (the mouse moves very smoothly), and only cuts back to normal mouse movement when the Dock comes back up.

So my question is: what can you do to restore the Dock to the way it was before I typed anything into Terminal?



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: bkaupe on Dec 08, '03 12:39:05PM

TransparentDock from
http://www.freerangemac.com
has a prefs selection to turn this puppy on and off



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ Desktop effect
Authored by: Developer on Dec 23, '03 04:15:30AM

How come the Desktop effect on desktop is being ghost to the montior? When I click or drag anything on my desktop in same location as Desktop effect is at and it acted like the screen is locked into exact same form as Desktop effect...

---
www.artistz.tk



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10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: osxfan57 on Jun 30, '04 05:36:37PM

This is all great. I love the blob - my favorite way to activate ExposÚ. However, one question: how do I make the default action when I click on it the arrange-all-open-windows rather than the application windows of the current app? I would rather have all windows be the default and use the Option-Click combo for the other. (Too bad right-clicking with a two-button mouse doesn't do this!)


---
iMac 17, OS 10.3



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Turn it on and off with AppleScript or Platypus
Authored by: juz10mac on Dec 02, '04 10:19:44PM

This works well if you setup an AppleScript or Platypus app to turn it on and off. More info on Platypus here http://sveinbjorn.vefsyn.is/platypus .

to make a Platypus app I used TextEdit to make two one-line scripts. One to turn the blob on, and one to turn it off. Put the following line in TextEdit:

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-floater -bool true; killall Dock

(change true to false for the script to turn it off.) From TextEdit's Format menu choose Make Plain Text. Save the script, then drag-and-drop it into Platypus and click 'Create'. Do the same for the script to turn it off, then put your Platypus apps in your Utilities folder, or where ever you may want to keep them.

Likewise, in AppleScript, this script will run the command in a terminal (if you don't want to mess with Platypus):

tell application "Terminal"
activate
do script with command "defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-floater -bool true; killall Dock"
end tell



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Turn it on and off with AppleScript or Platypus
Authored by: Emma Peel on May 04, '05 10:20:32AM

It still works beautifully with Tiger



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my blob disappeared... 10.3: Enable the floating ExposÚ blob
Authored by: memcinto on Aug 24, '07 02:05:00PM

Running 10.4.10 on a new iMac; I got the blob to appear ONCE, when I tried to click and drag to another part of the desktop, it zipped way off to the upper left of the screen, so that only a slice of it was still showing; when I clicked on that, it disappeared entirely, never to return (despite multiple attempts using defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-floater -bool true and false) -- any suggestions??? I would love to have it back...



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