Four OS X app management shortcuts

Sit and watch any Apple OS X user for more than a few minutes and you’ll notice that their hands don’t leave the keyboard anywhere near as much as Windows users. The reason for this is because Apple has built in a number of super useful keyboard shortcuts that help make switching between programs and managing open ones as easy as pressing two keys.

Here’s four keyboard shortcuts for OS X that will help make it easier to manage programs where you have multiple windows open e.g., Internet browsers or word processors.

Hide the current program
If you are working with two or more different programs, it can be quite distracting. Imagine having your browser with three windows, a word processor, iTunes and Photoshop open all at once. It’s a lot of clutter isn’t it?

When not using the program, you can hide it by pressing Command + H. Hiding a program won’t close it, rather it will just make the windows you have open invisible. This is similar to Minimize on Windows systems. When you click on the program’s icon in the system tray (bottom of the screen), your windows will reopen. You can also hide programs by pressing Option (alt on some keyboards) and clicking on the icon at the bottom of the screen.

Hide all other open applications
If you need to focus, you’re not going to be able to do so with numerous programs and windows open, as it’s too distracting. You also don’t want to lose the content in these open windows. So why not hide them? Yes, you could click on each one and manually hide it, but this takes time. Instead, go to the program you want to keep open and press Command+Option(alt on some keyboards)+H. This will hide all other open applications and windows. They can be opened again by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the screen.

Cycle between windows in same application
Look at your current browser. Chances are high that you have more than one window open and are normally switching between them on a regular basis. It can be time consuming and annoying to have to move your mouse and click on another window. To save time, press Command+` (located above Tab, it’s often labeled with ~). This will cycle through open windows within the same program.

Shift to another application
If you have hidden other programs, or want to quickly move from one program to another without having to close open ones, you can press Command + Tab. This will move you to the next open program (usually organized alphabetically, with the current open program first). If you keep Command pressed, and hit Tab you will see a window pop-up with open programs. You can press Tab to cycle between programs. You’ll notice a box around an icon, and when you let Command go it will switch to that application.

These four shortcuts are just a few that can help make navigation and program management more convenient. If you would like to learn more OS X shortcuts, or about how OS X can make your life easier, please contact us today.

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