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OS X Lion: Switch between applications and windows

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Switch between applications and windows

If you have many applications and several windows open at the same time, it may be difficult to find the one you want. Your Mac has several shortcuts you can use to view and move among windows.

Quickly switch to the previous application

Press Command (⌘)-Tab.

View all open windows while switching applications

  1. To display all open windows for the current application as thumbnails, press and hold the application’s icon in the Dock. From the shortcut menu that appears over the icon, choose Show All Windows.

    You also see smaller thumbnails for closed documents you recently worked in.

  2. Press the Tab key. All the windows for the previous application are displayed.

Keep pressing Tab to see each application’s windows in turn. To enlarge a window so you can work in it, click its thumbnail.

View all open applications

  1. Hold down the Command (⌘) key while you press and release the Tab key.
  2. While holding the Command key, use the mouse pointer, an arrow key, or the Tab, Tilde (~), Home, or End keys to select an application’s icon.

    Then do any of the following:

    • To switch to a selected application, press Return.

    • To hide a selected application, press H.

    • To quit a selected application, press Q.

    • To resume work without switching applications, press Esc or the period (.) key.

Last Modified: Oct 31, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 31, 2013
  • Article: PH4049
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