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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior Desktop
This hack creates a new type of ExposÚ hidden desktop when you press F11. As seen in the screenshot below, all the windows scale down into a tiny translucent box. When you click it, they windows fly back open. Very neat effect!
  1. Launch Terminal.app in Utilities
  2. Type: defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool false; killall Dock
  3. Hit F11 and enjoy!
[robg adds: I personally prefer this "show the desktop" effect to the stock version, which shoves all the windows nearly off the screen. You can even drag the box around and place it whereever you'd like to. However, if you're going to test this, you need to know two things:
  1. When a friend was testing it, it locked up his machine tight. Near as we can tell, it crashed/locked the WindowServer daemon. A full reboot was required to unlock the machine, but after that, this trick worked as expected
  2. When enabled on my machine, I cannot move certain windows (Tools, Layers, etc.) in Photoshop Elements. As soon as I revert the behavior (repeat the above command with true replacing false, or use defaults delete com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop), everything works again. So for now, I've had to disable this useful hack.
Consider yourself forewarned ... save your work before you test this one!]
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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior | 27 comments | Create New Account
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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: ceugene on Oct 31, '03 10:30:03AM

This is an unstable setting. The sector of your desktop covered by the minimized Desktop will be unusable. It eventually crashes the WindowServer, which means you have to login remotely and kill -HUP the process...



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Exactly right
Authored by: mithras on Oct 31, '03 10:31:40AM

You can work around this by moving the window-box to somewhere on the screen other than where your Photoshop palettes (or whatever) live, but it's clearly problematic.

Hopefully it will get improved in future revisions, rather than dropped like Minimize-In-Place was...

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Listen To My iTunes Library (6500+ songs, iTunes 4 required)



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Exactly right
Authored by: M2 on Nov 02, '03 05:56:30PM

Other problems....

1. If you reposition the minized windows icon on the secondary display of a dual display configuration, it doesn't save the location and always goes back to the default location.

2. If you use DragThing 5.0 (haven't checked previous versions) and the mini-box is on the same plane of any of you DT docks, those areas of the dock will not be enabled.

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M2



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"Hint fails in Panther"...
Authored by: terceiro on Oct 31, '03 11:48:25AM

Ditto. It's very, very, very cool -- and I would much rather have this than the windows-all-fly-away version as it ships. However, broken is broken.

Someone should use the "Hint fails in Panther" link above... ;)

OK, I will.

Done.



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 31, '03 03:41:01PM

Under another hint, "10.3: Switch Terminal window focus with mouse movement", mithras accidentally posted a hint which should be here. Check it out: it has two links that, in Safari in 10.3, will open an AppleScript for you that lets you change this setting [you have to run the AppleScript first], or change it back.

That was very handy, because when I tried this hint, it locked up my Mac, and I was able to hard-reboot [it's a G&W G4 with a reset button], surf back to that hint, and run the second AS link to reset ExposÚ. Thanks, mithras!

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osxpounder



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: NEO2126 on Nov 04, '03 09:37:04PM

This hint is nice, but VERY VERY unstable. I have been running Panther for about 3 days, and this caused the first crash.



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unstable !
Authored by: Safar on Dec 15, '03 02:16:56PM

after weeks using it, i just reverted back to normal behavior : window server had started acting funny !



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Top hint
Authored by: dave@mmu on Oct 31, '03 10:33:52AM

Although this hint does indeed kick ass, i don't think it's sorted yet as it also stop some links being used in Safari.. Lots of potential though!
Dave

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Dave L



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ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' & other possible problems
Authored by: adrick42 on Oct 31, '03 11:06:46AM
Expose seems to have some quirky behavior.
For example :
1. When emptying the trash & the progress bar is showing activating the F9 (scale all windows) behavior seems to cause a freeze in the window manager.
2. When activating the F11 (show desktop) behavior & opening a window that causes an error to display also causes the window manager to freeze.
The only fix that I have seen is to remotely login & kill the process, or power cycle the machine, but that goes without saying.

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cd ~/ ; %20out

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Smart placement?
Authored by: terceiro on Oct 31, '03 11:55:36AM

I have my hot corner for "Show Desktop" as the lower-left, and when I originally tried the hint, the little box appeared in that corner. In the screen shot on the hint, it appears in the upper-left. So my question, for someone more brave than I, is: does the little box appear automatically by the hot corner associated with "Show Desktop"? If so, what happens when no hot corner is associated?

Since I tried the hint (and had the problems where I couldn't click anything where the box had been) and have disabled it, I'm going to speculate, but not investigate.

Just curious, but Inquiring Minds Want to Know.



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Smart placement?
Authored by: pknull on Oct 31, '03 01:19:15PM

Actually, you can drag and place that box anywhere you want, as specified in the hint. I liked mine being in the top middle. Glad someone found out about the dead areas though, I did this hint early on (from the dock blob hint), and thought the dead areas were actually a bug in panther. I was "missing mouse clicks, esp in safari.



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: smorr on Oct 31, '03 12:41:49PM

This also seems to create dead areas on in your workspace that seem to correspond where the minimized desktops resides -- for example If se the minimized desktop to sit in the top left, then that rect of the screen doesn't respond to mouseclicks in any application after I use F11.

Great feature -- buggy implementation (I guess that is why it is hidden)



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: freeridevt on Oct 31, '03 02:50:55PM

To Fix-

Remove the file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist

This will revert your dock settings and expose settings to the default.



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: Cantus on Oct 31, '03 08:44:28PM

And lose all your Dock apps and documents settings in the process. How nice!



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Uh, but, ah...
Authored by: thinkyhead on Nov 01, '03 12:55:36AM

What's wrong with

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool false; killall Dock

??

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Oops, I meant...
Authored by: thinkyhead on Nov 01, '03 12:57:14AM

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

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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: tim1724 on Oct 31, '03 05:18:57PM

This is broken in a number of ways, as others have pointed out. I found another thing that breaks .. if you have multiple monitors and have a window which is half on one monitor and half on the other, sometimes it won't move when you press F11.

If you use the normal "fly off the edge of the screen" effect then it works fine.

Clearly this effect is not ready for use, which is why Apple doesn't make it available.

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Tim Buchheim



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: bluehz on Oct 31, '03 07:49:34PM

this will also get you back up and running - very cool! but problematic!

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



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: aranor on Nov 01, '03 12:30:14AM

What's with people giving hints on how to disable this, when it specifically states it in the hint itself? (granted, it states it in rob's editorial comments on the hint, but it's still there)



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Plus, it's scalable!
Authored by: Mitchell on Nov 01, '03 06:39:20PM

I found that this effect can also be altered in scale. By default, the minimized desktop floater is 1/8 scale. If you edit ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist in Property List Editor or any text editor, take a look at the property wvous-pip-5b000000. The "Picture in Picture" which is what I infer pip means in the above, has a subproperty "scale" (I changed mine to 6 from 8, making it just a little bit bigger) and an x and y for position if you want the minimized image to park somewhere else on or partially off your screen.



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: yadgor on Nov 02, '03 03:33:32PM
This is a fairly pointless exercise, but good for a laugh. Enter this into the terminal to turn on the alternate ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' feature
defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-olddesktop -bool false
killall Dock
Then run the a screen saver in the foreground by typing:
/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -foreground &
Then when you use the ExposÚ Desktop feature you have a mini screen saver in the box. This looks great with Flurry, especially if you go the desktop and hide all other windows.

This works fine on my Quicksilver 2002 G4, but I've had reports of it locking up other machines.


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Do it today because tomorrow it may be illegal.

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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: Elvis on Nov 04, '03 02:08:35PM

I like this hack, even though an area of my desktop is unusable. Here's a fun trick though... I used grab to just get a picture of that empty darkened area on my desktop so I could add it to the desktop background in the corner I like my windows to shrink to.

This way I have a steady reminder that that corner is unusable in the shaded area.

E



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: Blacktiger on Nov 04, '03 06:46:42PM

An easy way to fix this if it breaks your login account somehow. Log in as another user (they will still have the default setting), then open up the terminal and type login userName to run a terminal session as yourself. Finally, simply remove it as explained above!

Also note that if you have multiple users, only the one that changed their settings will have it enabled.



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: Blacktiger on Nov 08, '03 02:28:14PM

I just found out the most useful part of this feature by accident! If you click and drag on the 'minimized' windows, you can change the position of the floater!

Expose will remember the floater for the next time that you use it. This also means that if the floater is in the way you can temporarily move it and then bring it back when done.

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Concentrate on the Solution, not the Problem



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10.3: Replace the Expos├»┬┐┬Ż 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: hatoncat on Jul 26, '04 09:52:15AM

Just to let people know, Apple appears to have fixed all the problems with this hack in Mac OS 10.4 as of the WWDC Developer Preview...



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Unclickable area on screen, bottom left 1 inch
Authored by: dzurn on Oct 08, '04 05:10:50PM

I found this hint again after almost a year. I had changed to this hidden feature, and completely forgot about it. Then a month or so ago it hit me since I put an Adobe Illustrator palette there. This produced the unclickable area for the palette. I tell you, I panicked at the thought of reinstalling my system or applications to get rid of this!

I searched for this on Apple's forums and someone suggested an upgrade to OnyX as a utility that can install/uninstall this feature. Now I re-discovered this hint, and I know why it's happening. (OnyX is otherwise quite useful, and free: http://www.titanium.free.fr/ )

Long story short, I just wanted to refresh the discussion in case others are searching for the Expose/ExposÚ problem.

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Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change.



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10.3: Replace the ExposÚ 'Show Desktop' behavior
Authored by: pendraggon87 on Dec 02, '07 12:05:56PM

Running Leopard 10.5.1, I found that if you use this hack, you can no longer drag applications. I pressed F11, saw the cool effect, pressed it again to get back the windows, and found I could no longer move them, though I could minimize them and mazimize them.



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