Secrets of the Command-Tab Mac Application Switcher

Nov 17, 2009 - 12 Comments

command tab

Command-Tab in Mac OS X works really well as a quick application switcher and I use it all the time, but there’s more features available within the Command-Tab application switcher than just hitting Command+Tab itself. Once you’re in the application switcher you can try some of these other commands.

Command+Tab launches the Application Switcher. Continue holding down the Command key and then try the following buttons:

  • tab – move selection to the right in the app list
  • ` – move selection to the left
  • h – hide the selected application
  • q – quit the selected application
  • mouse scrollwheel – move the selection back and forth
  • left arrow – move selection to the left
  • right arrow – move selection to the right
  • up arrow – enter expose within the selected application
  • down arrow – enter expose within the selected application

Memorize these tips to master the Mac application switcher and speed up your workflow! (Note: the expose features appear to be Snow Leopard only)

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in 10.5, 10.6, How to, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Utilities


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. FroZnShiva says:

    If you tab in exposé you can quickly choose between applications with previewing them.

  2. Zack says:

    Actually, pressing ‘H’ toggles visibility. It can be used to unhide as well as hide.

  3. [...] المصدر التصنيفات : تلميحات var addthis_pub="techwd";  اطبع هذه المقالة |  أرسل المقالة لصديق [...]

  4. Klaus says:

    great resource as alwasy. thx

  5. [...] This is just one of many cool tricks you can do with the Command+Tab application switcher. [...]

  6. Johannes says:

    Another way to move the selection to the left is “shitft + tab”. Its more common (imho) because many Tab actions can be reversed by holding down shift. Thanks for the tip, great page!

  7. Lzygenius says:

    If you select 1 it will do the same thing as selecting up or down, which is great for one-handed operation.

  8. [...] play a quick round or two while doing other things. Since it plays in full screen, you can use the Command+Tab application switcher to switch around to other applications, the game is lightweight enough that it’s not a drag [...]

  9. [...] is a great feature of Mac OS X, although I tend to use the Command+Tab application switcher for switching between [...]

  10. [...] here’s a nice post on the various ways to navigate with Application Switcher (cmd-tab): Secrets of the Command-Tab Mac Application Switcher | OS X [...]

  11. [...] Command+Tab application switcher gets a lot use by many Mac OS X power users, and by default it will include the Finder in the apps [...]

  12. [...] Did you know you can navigate around the iPad using only a keyboard, without touching the screen at all? It’s part of iOS Accessibility options, and using keyboard navigation makes the iPad feel a lot more like a traditional computer, even sharing some of the keyboard shortcuts that Macs have to do things like the ever useful Command+Tab app switcher. [...]

Leave a Reply


Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates