Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

New poll posted -- app switching Site News
OS X offers a number of ways, both via built-in tools and third-party apps, to switch between active applications. Today's poll asks which method you use most often when switching apps. Personally, I used to rely on LiteSwitch X, and I still use Witch relatively often, or a window click when I can see it ... but the simple Command-Tab switcher is my most-used method.

I'm interested in seeing how many of you are using a third party tool as your primary switcher...

-rob.
    •    
  • Currently 1.20 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (5 votes cast)
 
[6,645 views]  

New poll posted -- app switching | 22 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'New poll posted -- app switching' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Lite Switch X rules!
Authored by: nick on Jul 13, '06 09:16:32AM

I second you on Lite Switch X. I bought it in the 10.2 days when the builtin app-switcher was way behind. I still use it because i fell it's still better than the builtin.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Jul 13, '06 10:47:17AM

Command-Tab or clicking in the app's window (although I've added ASM to restore OS9 window behavior when I use the "click" method).

Intel iMac, 10.4.7, etc.

---
-----
Two things in this world aren't overrated: Macintosh and Lemon Meringue Pie.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: Twist on Jul 13, '06 11:20:42AM

I am another LightSwitch X supporter. I prefer it to Apple's rip-off version thanks to all the additional features like being able to hide and force quit apps and the fact that the quit command takes effect after you release the command key and can be reversed. I am also a heavy user of another Proteron product called MaxMenus which besides giving you some pretty neat custom menus also lets you configure hotkeys. If the application is already open then the hotkey press with switch to it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Universal Binary of Liteswitch X???
Authored by: shmert on Jul 13, '06 11:45:53AM
LiteSwitch X is great, and sorely missed. If we all clamor loudly enough they'll release a universal binary of it!
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14857

[ Reply to This | # ]
Universal Binary of Liteswitch X???
Authored by: jackb79 on Jul 13, '06 07:00:49PM

I emailed the dev and he was able to supply me a copy of both maxmenus and lightswitch universal binary. I'm not sure why its not up on the VT and MU but he was saying that he needs more people who will buy it in order to continue development or somesort along those lines. So get the word out people.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: PopMcGee on Jul 13, '06 11:59:07AM

I've scripted my own solution: My 20 most often used programs are available with 1 keypress-combo, which works both for switching and starting them up (when they are not yet running). Once you get this setup up+running, it becomes second nature:
Ctrl-Shift-Space: Finder
Ctrl-Shift 1: Safari
Ctrl-Shift 2: Mail
Ctrl-Shift 3: BBEdit
...
(all numbers from the numberpad)

I'm using iKey (got it while it still was free) and was up and running after about 15 minutes. Really recommomended setup.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: tahlenius on Jul 13, '06 12:13:54PM

I have never used LiteSwitch X, but I do find the Command-Tab option very handy. Especially with the ability to quit, and hide and reverse tab within it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: Eagle Heart on Jul 13, '06 12:06:16PM

Been using Drag Thing for quite a long time. Not to dis other apps, but Drag Thing does so much more. Also you have a lot of control over how things look and work and can set hot keys to any dock you make. Comes with a finder style dock all set to go. You set it to looks and act like many others. Tons of features. is worth checking out.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: Eagle Heart on Jul 13, '06 12:08:39PM

Been using Drag Thing for quite a long time. Not to dis other apps, but Drag Thing does so much more. Also you have a lot of control over how things look and work and can set hot keys to any dock you make. Comes with a finder style dock all set to go. You can set it to looks and act like many others. Tons of features. is worth checking out.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: DanFrakes on Jul 13, '06 12:20:28PM

LiteSwitch all the way, Rob :-)

---
Dan Frakes / Senior Editor, Macworld / Senior Reviews Editor, Playlist



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: tshehan on Jul 13, '06 12:32:42PM

apple-tab combination. It is an easy span for my hand and what I have used for ages. I shy away from 3rd party software whenever possbile due to upgrade woes and conflicts. (but I read about them regularly, especially when numerous opinions are positive in case friends can benefit from their use) While I do most of my work on my computer I haven't found the possible lost seconds each day to be worrisome.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Folders in right side of Dock (also in Sidebar)
Authored by: Norm Nager on Jul 13, '06 01:09:53PM

I voted for the Dock, but those are my most frequently used apps. To get to others: I keep on the right side of my dock one folder of my Apple-installed applications and in a second folder third-party apps and scripts.

The same two folders also are in the Sidebar.

Respectfully, Norm



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: mikewatt on Jul 13, '06 02:46:02PM

From my first iBook loaded with OS 10.0 I have used the Command+Tab method with the occasional scroll down to the dock. Since the inception of Exposť I find I also like to obtain some perspective by hitting F9 when my screen is exceptionally cluttered. I find OS X's built in features to be more than adequate for my app switching needs.

P.S. I accidentally rated this topic a 1 out of 5. Sorry guys!



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: gidds on Jul 13, '06 03:31:30PM

I use a virtual desktop (Desktop Manager) with 5 screens, and I tend to use only one or two apps per screen (often in several windows): one for mail, one for web browsing, one for watching DVDs, and so on. So most of my app switching is done by switching screens, either clicking in the little Desktop Manager pager window, or using a keyboard shortcut. Within each screen, I use the good old-fashioned time-honoured mouse-click-on-the-window technique!

---
Andy/



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: harperska on Jul 13, '06 05:47:45PM

I use exposť for most app switching. I am a visual person, and the pretty yet functional interface of OSX suits me fine. However, I use my share of third party apps to activate exposť. I use a Logitech multi button mouse driven by USB Overdrive X (third party to both Apple and Logitech) for two of the three exposť functions, and a CornerClick hot corner for the third.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: stottm on Jul 14, '06 05:41:05AM

For running apps I switch using the Dock & Expose' on a laptop using screen corner activation. I drag and drop text/images between apps frequently using Expose' as well. For apps that are not currently running I use Quicksilver as a launcher. I also use Spotlight and Smart Folders quite a bit. Then there's the SIMBL plugin for Terminal.app called Visor (google: "OS X Visor") that gives you a transparent Quake terminal. Within Terminal.app on the console I run 'screen' to switch console apps within a single terminal session.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: geoffmallo on Jul 14, '06 06:14:55AM

I use Quicksilver and ⌘ Tab. Quicksilver does do a lot more than switch apps though.

---
Geoff
MacDisciple - Using YOUR Apple Mac as a digital media tool

[ Reply to This | # ]

New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: Jonsi on Jul 14, '06 09:26:08AM

I use LiteSwitch via Command-Tab due to LS's extra features. I have Witch installed but find it too unresponsive and seldom use it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: sjk on Jul 14, '06 03:09:58PM

Witch was too sluggish when I tried it, too. I'm satisfied using a combination of VirtueDesktops, Exposť, Cmd-TAB, and Cmd-` for app/window navigation/switching.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: mizraith on Jul 14, '06 10:05:38AM

Command-Tab or click on the window for 75% of app switching. The dock (fully loaded in my case) covers another 20% of it. For apps I use less regularly, it's Command-Space to spotlight and type the app's name, arrow key down and return to launch. Far quicker than navigating through the finder.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: billclinton on Jul 14, '06 02:44:41PM

App switchers that work by putting up any kind of window from which the user must select something JUST SUCK for advanced users, at least for your 40 or so most-used programs. It's just too much mucking around. The best solutions for users such as this are programs such as Keyboard Maestro and HotApp (excellent but not included in today's poll). These programs use a key combination for the switch and are probably five times faster than the "window" based methods. I have found that setting Shift-Option-Command + a single other key does not interfere with other keystroke combinations. (The only exception is the relatively new command that has shown up in some programs which is "Paste and Match Style," so avoid using Shift-Option-Command-V.)

My pet peeve with Command-Tab is that it re-orders the icons every time I use it, so one must scan the entire string of icons to find the one that you want to click on. I never use it for this reason.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted -- app switching
Authored by: shift-e on Jul 15, '06 10:03:00AM

I use System Preferences, Expose to make my scroll wheel show all windows, not quite for Apps but in most cases it does the job.

At one stage i was thinking of getting Steer mouse for this very reason because i never knew Expose had mouse gestures.

---
Powerbook 17" G4 1.67.GHz, 93.04 GB, 512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 , Bus 167 MHz
Thanx 'n Rgrds.
Daniel S



[ Reply to This | # ]