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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pro Tips from a blogger wearing pants-Use Command + Tab to switch between open Mac programs and something similar for Windows users, too

It has come to my attention that some of you don’t know how to move between open programs on either the Mac or Windows. So I’m going to teach you how to do this.

The two people I taught this to have already paid for your lesson by either cooking me dinner or buying lunch and dessert. Thumbs up to Ernie’s Taco House in North Hollywood! 

To get to the topic, if you want to switch between open programs on your Mac or Windows machines, do this:


On a Mac, hold down the Command/Apple key with your left thumb and use your forefinger on the Tab key to bring up the following screen:


Display in Middle of Mac Screen


Successive taps of your forefinger while keeping your thumb depressing the Command key move the focus to each program’s icon moving rightward. 

Hold down the Shift key in addition to the Command and Tab key and the focus moves left-ward. 

For Windows 95 through 8, hold down the Alt key with your left thumb and press the Tab key with your forefinger. 

Alt PLUS Tab  Windows



You will see the same bar in the middle of your screen as you would with OS X.

I took these Mac screenshots with OS X’s utility Grab. You’ll find it in the Utilities folder within Applications. It’s been there since 10.1 at least. I used the Timed Screenshot.   

For Windows, I used the multi-function IrfanView utility. Your homework assignment is to Google “Irfanview” and see how many hits you get. Trust me, for a Windows user it’s indispensable. And it’s FREE! Even if you’re a Mac user who runs Windows XP under Virtual Box, you should check this out. It’s that great a program.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog










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