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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé Desktop
I know there have been a lot of Expose hints posted here, but I could resist pointing out a really mindbogglingly neat touch Apple has put it to this feature.

There are a number of keyboard shortcuts built into Expose, for example; if you put it into all windows mode (f9 by default), you can use TAB or tilde to cycle through individual app windows only (with a really nice zoom back look to it). However what I found truly amazing was using the arrow keys to change the window focus in the app window mode (f10 by default). If you have a number of windows opened in a particular app, and you use f10 to engage Expose, you can use the arrow keys to change the focus and then hit enter to bring that window to the forground. But the really neat twist to this functionality is that the way you navigate with the arrow keys has a direct spatial relationship to the position of the windows in Expose.

Try it, open up a number of Finder windows and hit f10, you will notice that when you hit an arrow key, one window will be in focus, then if you hit the down arrow, the window below it will come in focus, or hit the right arrow and see that the focus switches to the window to the right.

This is an amazing little touch, it is very intuitive to move around in this enviorment. Apple always seems to put these little touches in there that make one go "Wow... Macs are great".
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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: bjmorgan on Dec 09, '03 11:24:32AM

Very interesting... I'm still getting used to Exposé, but this really helps in the way of navigation.

I also noticed (via this hint) that when you're in the F10/App mode that not only can you can still hit the TAB or Tildé and it switch to other apps and still remain in Exposé F10/App mode. Very cool!



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: mrandre on Dec 09, '03 01:43:13PM

I got the impression from this tip that it only works for single-app expose, but it works just as well with the all-apps mode, at least on my machine. In either case, I was unaware of the functionality. Cool.



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: spyro on Dec 09, '03 06:35:02PM

In fact both hints work in both views.



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: gunnmjk on Dec 09, '03 02:45:09PM

Press F10 to expose an application, then use TAB to switch what application is expose'd up! nice.



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: asher on Dec 09, '03 03:54:26PM

Before OS X, one could always arrow or tab moving the selection from one icon to another on the desktop. This looks like an extension of the same behavior.



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: vindu on Dec 10, '03 12:09:10AM
There's a difficult mathematical problem related to this arrow-navigation feature, which Apple (understandably enough) have chosen not to solve. The problem is "What is a good rule for hopping between rectangular windows, so that evey window is accessible one way or another?"

Just for fun, I found a way of "breaking" arrow navigation. Set up five windows, resized appropriately, in the following configuration (hashes represent window regions, dots represent the background; apologies for the crudeness of this picture).

................
..##..########..
..##..########..
..##............
..##........##..
..##...##...##..
..##...##...##..
..##........##..
............##..
..########..##..
..########..##..
................

Now hit F10 and play with the arrow keys. You'll find (if you get the setup right) that there is no way of getting to the middle window -- if you try to, you simply end up cycling through the outer four windows. :-)

cheers, Vin

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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: bluehz on Dec 10, '03 12:44:32AM

BY george you are right. I just put a Safari window in the upper left and the lower right... not operlapping and moved the small downloads window into the section left on the lower left. You can't get to the Downloads window.

*********..................
*** 1 *** .................
*********.................
*********.................
...............**********
...* 3 *.....**** 2 ****
...*****....**********
...............**********

Try to get to #3



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: asher on Dec 10, '03 01:52:40PM

Use the TAB key to jump to non-arrowable islands.



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: Heineken on Dec 12, '03 07:03:24AM

That's very true!



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: axhole on Jul 07, '06 12:58:00PM

Anyone know how to change the key bindngs on Expose F10? Vi bindings would be so much better than arrows.



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10.3: Use spatial keyboard navigation in Exposé
Authored by: kbradnam on Jan 30, '07 04:06:47PM

Pressing space achieves the same as pressing enter. However, if you haven't pressed any arrow keys, then pressing space (or enter) acts the same as pressing escape, i.e. it quits expose.



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