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Mac OS Tip:
Application Switcher


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Application Switcher

You can have many programs running at the same time. The way that you see which ones are running and easily switch between them is to use the Application Switcher. You will find this at the far right end of the menu bar.

The icon you see there is the icon of the active application (program). When you click on that icon a menu will drop down with the applications which are currently running. The checkmark indicates which application is active and the diamond indicates the programs which are asking for attention. In this case I have got new mail waiting which I haven't looked at yet. You can switch to another application by highlighting the one you want and releasing the mouse button.


You can also turn the Application Switcher into a floating palette so that you can more easily switch between applications. Open the Switcher and click and drag past the bottom of the menu box. Once you see the outline moving with your pointer, the box has been "torn off". Let go of the mouse button.




The floating palette will appear with just icons. You can move it to any part of the screen you would like by clicking on the edge of the palette and draging to the position you want it . You can also resize the palette to include the application names. Place your cursor on the right edge of the palette until the cursor changes as below. Click and drag to the right and expand the palette as you like.



Now the expand box will toggle between these two sizes.





You can make the palette horizontal by holding down the option and shift keys while clicking the expand box.

You can also change the size of the icons by holding down the option key while clicking the expand box.

You can switch applications with the keyboard shortcut cmd+Tab. This will allow you to cycle through your open applications.

You can drag documents onto an application in the Application switcher menu to open them in the application you choose, if they are compatible.

You can opt-click on an application in the Application Switcher to hide the current application when switching to the next.  

You can watch a movie to see the Application Switcher in action.



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