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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintHere is a way to switch between a remotely shared screen and a local machine without losing the newly added remote control with Command keys, specifically, Command-Tab.

I just finished reading a post on how to bypass (and users weighing in on) the new Screen Sharing feature where commands are passed to the remote machine. I'm split; I do like the increased control over the remote machine with one exception: switching applications, specifically back to the Finder. Command-Tab is now sent to the remote machine, but that is how I used to switch from the shared screen to my local machine. I want both; remote commands but local switching.

My first solution works because my remote machines are desktops, and my local machine is usually my laptop. This allows me to use the four finger swipe which is ignored by the remote machine.

But then I hit on this solution: Spaces. As far as I can determine, Spaces commands are always local. So I assigned Screen Sharing to Space 2 and use whichever key command I've set to go back to 1, which has the Finder and everything else. Voila, fast switching between remote and local without giving up the new remote command keys. Plus, having the shared screen on a different Space clarifies which machine you are working on; remote or local.

I also set my remote machine to grayscale for faster refresh and clarity. This can be done using this command in Terminal on the remote computer:

defaults write com.apple.ScreenSharing controlObserveQuality 2

[crarko adds: This hint talks more about adjusting the remote machine's display depth.]
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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise | 9 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: XCool on Aug 17, '10 08:18:27AM

Thanks for the tip!

I switched from using Screen Sharing to iChat's Theater instead via Bonjour so I can control my Mac mini. There's one catch though, iChat's Theater requires that the receipient (e.g. the Mac mini) authorize the sharing request. My Mac mini's a few walks away so it's quite okay to go over and click on 'OK' :)



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: robogobo on Aug 17, '10 02:13:20PM

If you install Chax, you can authorize automatic accepting of AV requests from specific contacts. This should also work with Theater.



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: frank_martin on Aug 17, '10 09:42:54AM
If you are saying that Screen Sharing will not transmit command-tab to the remote machine when Screen Sharing is running in a Space other than 1, that is not the case. I just moved my Screen Sharing to Space 2, and command-tab still goes to the remote machine. Which, like you, is not what I want.

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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: leamanc on Aug 17, '10 11:55:46AM

That's not what he's saying. He's saying that the keyboard commands to switch Spaces are always sent to the local machine, so when he wants to use the app switcher locally, he sends the keyboard command to switch back to Space 1 and then does command-tab.



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: robogobo on Aug 17, '10 03:16:12PM

On my wireless aluminum keyboard, the expose key (f3) is not sent over screen sharing. So if I hit it I can cycle through the open applications with the arrow keys or tab key and hit enter when I get to the window I want.



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: dcottle on Aug 17, '10 06:12:01PM

I hadn't thought of Expose, but it makes sense that it would work too. Once launched, tab works as well as com-tab to switch back to local control. That's probably easier then Spaces.

XCool: yes, that's the whole point. Com-tabs are sent to the remote machine. I wanted to preserve the command-tab function on the remote machine but still be able to switch from Screen Sharing (the remote machine) to the Finder (local machine).



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: asmeurer on Aug 17, '10 07:32:07PM

Of course, this raises the obvious question: what if you want to switch spaces on the remote machine?



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: dcottle on Aug 18, '10 12:48:03PM

Change the shortcut on the remote machine to option-arrows and option-numbers. You also have the option of F-keys, but those are always sent to the remote machine if it is the focus. You could also use macro software such as Quickeys and assign any key combination. (System preferences only offers arrows and numbers).



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10.6: Screen sharing/app switching compromise
Authored by: lazyatom on Aug 19, '10 04:29:48AM

I've found that activating Spotlight (normally cmd-space) can also kick the mouse and keyboard focus back to the local machine, although occasionally it doesn't work. YMMV :)

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-- james



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