OS X: Application Switcher Power Tips

If you're like me, you probably have lots of apps running on your Mac at any given time. Using the Application Switcher (aka Command + Tab) is a great way to jump between open apps, but there are quite a few things that you might not know it can do. When combined with Command and Tab, there are four other keys which will make you a master of running multiple apps.

First, the basic app switch. To show the Application Switcher (as most of you already know), hold Command and press Tab. A row of app icons which represent just about every app running on your Mac will appear. Letting go of Command will hide this list and switch your focus over to the highlighted app. To switch to another, simply hit Tab again. Repeat until you've selected the desired app and release Command. Easy enough.

Application SwitcherApplication Switcher

Now let's say you have lots of apps running and the app that you want is either eight steps to the right or one step to the left. Instead of hitting Tab to move forward through the list, press the ` key (the little sqiggle and line below the Esc key on most keyboards) to move backwards.

Next, what if you have lots of open apps that you want to quit? Simply jump into the App Switcher, highlight the app you want to quit, and press the Q key. You can then jump around between other apps in the switcher, doing the same with other apps which you want to quit.

Similar to the Quit trick, you can also hide apps from the App Switcher. If you already know how to hide apps from the keyboard, this will be familiar. Again, start out in the App Switcher and highlight the app you want to hide. Then press the H key to hide. It's as simple as that!

Now for the most illusive and enjoyable addition to the Command-Tab mix: If you switch to an app which has every window minimized or closed, the only thing that will happen is the Menu Bar will change. In order to call up one of the app's windows, you'll need to modify the switch. To do this, bring up the App Switcher and highlight the desired app. Now, before you let go of the Command key, press and hold the Option key. Doing this will show the app's default window or bring up the most recently minimized one.

That's it! You're now a pro at using your Mac's Application Switcher. If you have any others, share below in the comments. Happy switching!