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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default System
If you prefer being able to focus on one application at a time, you may find this hint useful -- it sets the Dock to automatically hide every application other than the one you're switching into. So when you click on Mail, for instance, the effect is as though you activated Mail and then chose Mail -> Hide Others (or pressed Command-Option-H).

To enable this switching mode, open Terminal and type these commands:
$ defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool TRUE
$ killall Dock
From now on, clicking on an application in the Dock will hide all other open apps while switching to the selected application. You will not see this behavior if you use Command-Tab to switch, or click directly on another application's windows. To disable the feature, repeat the above commands, but replace TRUE with FALSE. (Alternatively, you can delete the entry entirely with defaults delete com.apple.dock single-app.) Remember to restart the Dock as well.

For an easier method of implementing this feature, see this hint.
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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: Anonymous on Dec 29, '08 09:19:04AM

Or you could just hold down the Option key when clicking on an application in the Dock.



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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: CaptDeuce on Dec 29, '08 09:24:34AM
Hold down the option and click the mouse? What, and force me to put down my cup of coffee? Nay, sir! I shall never submit to such tyranny!

---
"Where's my other sock?" - A. Einstein

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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: r0n on Dec 30, '08 04:43:22AM

Being a lefty I can easily use my thumb for modifier keys and still operate the mouse with my fingers (specially the Pro mouse..). Right handed guys can't because of the cursor & numeric keypad is in between, at least they need bigger hands ;)



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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: FelixMendeldog on Dec 30, '08 05:34:27AM

Option Key only switches to clicked app and hides only the current app. The technique described here switches to clicked app and hides all other apps. I prefer this behavior since I rarely use the Dock to switch apps.

To switch easily to a clear desktop, I have programed iKey to switch to Finder, hide others with a keystroke. No new Finder window appears using this technique.



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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: MJCube on Dec 30, '08 11:16:25PM

Note, though, that Command-Option-click on a Dock icon does hide all other apps.



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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: luvosx on Sep 11, '09 11:00:04AM

Oh, I just accidentally stumbled on to <cmd><option>Click on desktop. This hides all windows as if you hit hide on each window. Very nifty use of suddenly hiding all windows when someone walks by or comes by your desk.
Just <Option>Click on desktop hides current window only.



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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: luvosx on Sep 11, '09 11:01:48AM

Duh, just saw the other comment earlier. Guess the newb still has a lot to learn :)



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Try the amazing Option key
Authored by: palahala on Sep 11, '09 11:44:29AM

Like meanwhile you've probably already read in the other comments: this will keep any Finder window open. (You're actually switching to Finder by clicking on the desktop.)

I guess that Exposť's Show Desktop (F11 or Command-F3) is easier used as your boss key then, though that will leave some borders visible.



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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default
Authored by: robogobo on Dec 29, '08 11:57:26AM
or use Freeverse's app Think http://www.freeverse.com/apps/app/?id=7013

It places a colored semi-transparent field behind a single app, selected by an alternate "command-tab" switcher. I have it set to activate on a middle click. You can temporarily bring other apps forward with the standard cmd-tab, and then send them back by clicking Think (or middle click in my case). It's free and really useful.

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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default
Authored by: Tim.Lance on Dec 29, '08 02:30:57PM

Is there some way to not have a Finder window appear? If there are none already open in Finder, using this hint has Finder creating a new window. My main use for using this hint would be to show a clear Desktop.



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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default
Authored by: dstewart on Dec 30, '08 05:55:28AM

To get to a clear desktop, simply Option-click on any visible part of the desktop. (Yes, it is hard to Option-click on the non-visible parts! :) )

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David



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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default
Authored by: dstewart on Dec 30, '08 05:56:57AM

Sorry, make that Command-Option-click on a visible part of the desktop.

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David



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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default
Authored by: Tim.Lance on Dec 30, '08 06:22:59AM

Nice. Now to figure out a way to get that done without using my other hand.



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Set Dock switching mode to 'hide others' by default
Authored by: Dr. T on Dec 30, '08 10:26:57AM

The hint will cause problems if you use third party spelling and grammar checkers. Every time you invoke the spelling checker, the application you were working in will hide.



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Set Command-Tab switching mode to 'show all' by default
Authored by: cbsurf on Aug 01, '12 11:51:03AM

Recently upgraded to mountain lion (after upgrading snow leopard to Lion). Now whenever I switch apps using either the Dock or Command-Tab, the apps default to "Hide Others".

I tried

defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool FALSE
and still defaults to single app when using both methods. HELP, this is incredibly frustrating.



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