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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window Pick of the Week
This week's Pick of the Week is actually a rerun. Back in 2005, Witch was very new, and very welcomed -- it was the first program I'd found that let me switch windows, instead of just switching between applications. Over the years, I've come to rely on Witch quite heavily. Unfortunately, the release of 10.5 caused some issues for Witch -- nothing critical, but (for instance) some annoying repetitive log entries.

Witch 2.0 (now up to 2.0.1) fixed those problems, and added one nifty new feature -- you can use (and display, if you wish) "shortcut" badge icons on your first 10 open windows. So I can switch to any window by pressing Option-Tab to activate Witch, and then pressing 0 through 9 to select a window by number. This is a great timesaver when switching away from a window that's near the top of the open windows list. (Witch is also now officially shareware; it was donationware before.)

The other reason I love Witch is that I can use it to cycle to minimized windows in the Dock (they'll then expand out of the Dock) without touching the mouse. (I'd love to be able to see an indicator for hidden and minimized windows in the Witch interface; this would prevent me from picking them by accident.)

You can also add keyboard shortcuts to switch between only minimized or non-minimized windows, in either all applications or the frontmost application. If you want, you can set up other shortcuts to, for instance, close or deminimize all minimized windows, or just those in the frontmost applications. I leave most of these options unassigned, however, as I find Witch quite useful with just the window switching shortcut.

Between the improved 10.5 functionality and the new shortcut badge feature, I've found myself using Witch even more than usual -- so much so that I seldom use Command-Tab any more. I love being able to jump to the open window I want to use, instead of just to the application containing that window.
  • Currently 1.50 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (20 votes cast)

Witch 2 - Switch to any open window | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: jeckyll on Oct 28, '08 08:21:51AM

But, i think, what is missing in the actual version in comparison to the 'old' one is the fact that you cannot escap the witch selection. For example if you take Command+Tab to switch between Apps you can press Esc and come back to your actual app. In witch you can't do it. Kind of annoying for me because you have to use the up arrow key.

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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: CarlRJ on Oct 28, '08 10:51:59AM

Hmm, I'm using Witch 2.0.1 (with Option-Tab set up to cycle all application's windows forward), and hitting Esc (while still holding down Option, from the original Option-Tab) works just fine for me, drops back to current app -- am I missing something?

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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: leamanc on Oct 28, '08 11:47:07AM

Option-Escape still works for me also.

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Witch 2 - How I use it
Authored by: Paul Burney on Oct 28, '08 11:51:24AM

I've been using Witch for a long time, but not in the way most people do. I use Command-Tab to switch between applications, and Witch with Command-` to switch between widows in the application.

Typically, I'm working within one application at a time, so it's nice to have a list of the open windows without all the clutter of windows from other applications. The Command-` shortcut overrides what some applications already use for window cycling, but it gives a consistent interface with windows in last-accessed order.

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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: dudemac on Oct 28, '08 12:29:21PM

Ok, maybe I am missing something but using F9 and then tab and then the arrow keys to select which window I want actually focus on. Expose´has worked like this for me since the beginning. So does this actually do more than that? I have read over the website and it seems that this is all that it does.

Let me know if I am wrong.


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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: leamanc on Oct 28, '08 04:26:07PM

It's a lot faster than going to Expose, for one. I'd say just download it and try it out...I used to use Expose in the way you describe, but I downloaded Witch and am now hooked.

The only thing that miffs me is that OS X really should have something like this built-in. Windows has it, as does Gnome and KDE on the Linux side (in all cases, using the same key combo, alt-tab).

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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: kaz219 on Oct 29, '08 05:19:24AM

What I'd like to see, is an improvement in the way Witch supports Spaces.

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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: nova42 on Oct 30, '08 03:53:22PM

There is a native OSX way to switch Windows instead of apps Try:
1. System Preferences
2. Keyboard & Mouse
3. Keyboard Shortcuts
4. Scroll down to "Move fous to next window in active application" set to whatever works for you (I got "Option+<" )

Enjoy native Option-Tabbing for Windows in just one app ;)

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Witch 2 - Switch to any open window
Authored by: Peter Maurer on Nov 08, '08 02:17:26AM

You're absolutely right, nova42, but that doesn't work across apps. Believe me: if Mac OS X did everything Witch does, I wouldn't have wasted my time creating it. :)

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