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Manage apps from the Application Switcher System
Press Command-Tab to bring up OS X's application switcher. Keep holding down the Command key. Press Tab to cycle forward through open applications, the tilde (~) key (just above Tab) to cycle backward, the arrow keys to move back and forth, or the mouse to point and choose an app. When you release the Command key, whichever application's icon was selected is made active.

However, without leaving the application switcher, you can quit or hide/unhide applications. Select the icon of the program you want to quit or hide, and press 'Q' to quit and 'H' to hide. Select the program you want to go to (for me, usually just the one I started in), and release the command key. This method also works for unhiding apps, just press 'H' again.

This is a great way to quit and hide applications without changing focus, and you can do it all with the keyboard. I've found it much faster than using the dock or switching, quitting, switching back.

Also, (I believe this has been noted here before) hold down option before dismissing the switcher and the selected application will come to focus and open the most recently minimized window, or, if there are no minimized windows, make a new one.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I think this has been around quite a while and may well have been mentioned here before as a keyboard shortcut, but shortcuts are always appreciated by the newer readers.]
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Manage apps from the Application Switcher | 16 comments | Create New Account
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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: Phosphor on Aug 04, '10 08:00:05AM
"...hold down option before dismissing the switcher and the selected application will come to focus and open the most recently minimized window, or, if there are no minimized windows, make a new one."
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to work in OS X 10.4.x—unless I haven't stumbled upon the correct way to invoke it, or release the keys in the proper way.

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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: nathanator11 on Aug 04, '10 08:59:06AM

The correct sequence of keystrokes should be:

command = bold

tab tab option release

So, you hold down the command key the whole time. Press tab the first time to invoke the switcher, then release tab. Press tab again to select the next application (or whatever other method you're using), and then release tab (keep holding down command). Now, hold down option. Then, release all the keys.

I can't say whether or not this works in Tiger; it may well not.

Good luck!



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: joelseph on Aug 05, '10 08:00:22PM

What works for me is to release the Command key and THEN release the option key. In my experience the option key must be the last one released.



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: syao on Aug 04, '10 08:05:50AM

Those who don't have the tilde (~) key on their keyboard (i.e. italian users), or just are used to windows-style application switchers, can also press shift-tab while still holding command to cycle backwards.



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: unforeseen:X11 on Aug 04, '10 10:07:18AM
Errr, this was already old news back in 2003. ;)

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this is not the sig you`re looking for.


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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: morespace54 on Aug 04, '10 02:02:03PM

Yep...
But I keep forgetting there is (now) more and more new Mac users around (that's got to be the iPhone hallow effect...;)

So I guess it's fine to reposted all those old-new-hints... ;)



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: unforeseen:X11 on Aug 05, '10 09:16:51AM

Certainly true. A wiki-system for all the hints would probably help to discover old information, but then again, this would basically require a new website. :)

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this is not the sig you`re looking for.



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: sjk on Aug 05, '10 03:23:06PM
A wiki-system for all the hints would probably help to discover old information, but then again, this would basically require a new website. :)
And is more beneficial if people take time to search/browse before posting, which a well designed/organized Wiki-based (or whatever) hint repository system would hopefully help encourage.

It's challenging to accommodate the interests/needs of both new and veteran users. I can get impatient with too much redundancy, while realizing it's beneficial for newcomers. When there's nothing new for me I look for satisfaction by helping people (learn to) find existing information instead of just parroting it and/or filtering the repetition.

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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: Creig on Aug 04, '10 10:07:46AM

Additionally, if you continue to hold the Command key down after switching to another application, use the up or down arrows to show a view of all the open windows in that application. You can now release the Command key and use the arrow keys (or mouse) to highlight which window you want to activate, then hit the Return key to bring it to the front.

If you don't see what you wanted, hold the Command key down again and repeat the Command-Tab or Command-~ to move in the Switcher and repeat with the arrow keys.



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: MurphyM on Aug 04, '10 07:36:07PM

Thought I knew everything about Application Switcher, didn't know this about holding the Command button and hitting up / down arrows.

While I hope all the old hints don't start getting repeated I was glad to see this comment.

Edited on Aug 04, '10 07:41:49PM by MurphyM



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: troelssj on Aug 05, '10 12:24:24AM

Moreover, if you hit the space bar while browsing your open windows this way, you get a full-size view of the highlighted window.



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: JimMueller on Aug 05, '10 03:54:05PM

Hmmm... wonder if the up & down arrow key part is peculiar to Snow Leopard. I tried it several times on my Leopard machines and the up & down arrow keys do nothing.



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: nathanator11 on Aug 05, '10 02:36:45PM

I searched on the site for an existing hint about this. I spent around ten minutes, but couldn't find the 2003 hint that was linked to.
In the original submission, I mentioned that I had looked for a previous mention, but that was removed when the hint was posted.

Sorry for overlooking!



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: crarko on Aug 05, '10 02:59:09PM

No need to apologize. I have trouble finding things via the search here too, sometimes.

I also do not subscribe to the Duplicate Hint Apocalypse theory. ;)



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: OmniDragon on Aug 07, '10 04:04:17PM

Thanks. I didn't know about the tilda key to go back. This whole time I've been using command + shift + tab. :)



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Manage apps from the Application Switcher
Authored by: alset on Aug 08, '10 09:12:32AM

Let's give credit where credit is due when rehashing old hints:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030928140534224

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standing on the shoulders of giants



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