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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Get Switched On, Baby! With Program Switcher
March 6th, 2000

Program Switcher 5.1.0 ($10 Shareware)
ClaireWare Software

One of the few features of Windows that makes sense in the Mac world is the ability to switch among applications using only the keyboard. Recent versions of Mac OS allow this using a Command-Tab key combination, and that's it. But you may want more features. How about being able to change the keys used to switch? Or being able to switch among open windows too? Program Switcher gives you this, and much more...

The most basic feature is being able to define any key combination to allow program switching, and another for window switching. If you choose the same Command-Tab combination for program switching used by Mac OS, you may want to run the included Turn Off Application Switcher script to disable the Mac OS version of this feature. Users of ACTION GoMac should also disable the Use Keyboard Switcher option.

Now that you are switching among your applications and windows, you may want to customize the look. Program Switcher has 12 different views to choose from, ranging from text-only to a display showing icons and memory usage for each application.


Some of the Many Program Switcher Views

An interesting twist which makes this more useful than original program switching is that you can define a launch list, which places an application's icon in the switching list, allowing you to launch it while you are switching through other applications. This can be a great time saver if you frequently switch among applications, and also have an application that you use frequently. There is also an exclude feature, where you can select one or more applications which will not be shown in the switching list.

To round things out, you can quit an application while switching (by using Command-Q), and also map your function keys to several useful switching, quitting and hiding functions. For maximum control of your applications and windows, be sure to check out Program Switcher.

Have any other Mac OS gadgets you'd like us to look at? Let John know via e-mail, or share it with the rest of us in the Mac Gadget Forum.

Useful Link

Program Switcher Home Page

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.

John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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