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How to background a window? - Mac Applications & Software

This is a silly little question that neither the Help stuff nor google seems to answer ... On other unixoid systems with X-windows, a very handy technique for finding a window that's buried somewhere in that jjumbled pile of windows is to "background" windows until the one you're looking for appears. With most window managers, this is done with a middle-button click on the border, though sometimes it is other things like CTL-middle. I haven't found any way to do this on OSX. You can move and/or close windows until you uncover the one you want, but this isn't nearly ...

  1. #1

    Default How to background a window?

    This is a silly little question that neither the Help stuff
    nor google seems to answer ...

    On other unixoid systems with X-windows, a very handy technique
    for finding a window that's buried somewhere in that jjumbled
    pile of windows is to "background" windows until the one you're
    looking for appears. With most window managers, this is done
    with a middle-button click on the border, though sometimes it
    is other things like CTL-middle.

    I haven't found any way to do this on OSX. You can move and/or
    close windows until you uncover the one you want, but this isn't
    nearly as nice, since you destroy the layout.

    Is there some magic set of key presses that works on OSX to
    lower a window to the bottom of the stack?

    (And is it doented somewhere that I should know about. ;-)


    John Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to background a window?

    Tom Harrington <no.spam.dammit.net> wrote: 
     [/ref]
     
     

    If your window is owned by another application, Apple-H will hide all the
    windows of the front most application. If you actually have the
    application of interest in the foreground, Apple-Opt-H will usually hide
    all the other applications (or just use the application menu->Hide
    Others).

    As for Tom's remarks - I love Expose, and I think you will too ;)
    --
    *--------------------------------------------------------*
    | ^Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool^ |
    | Heath Raftery, HRSoftWorks _\|/_ |
    *______________________________________m_('.')_m__ _______*
    Heath Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to background a window?

    Tom Harrington wrote:
     
    >
    > command-`
    >
    > But it only affects windows owned by the front application. For fancier
    > handling of this, wait for 10.3.[/ref]

    It took me a while to puzzle out what this was doing. I think
    I've got it, and it's something almost entirely different from
    what I was asking about.

    What CMD-` seems to be doing is cycling among the windows of the
    "current" app. And it doesn't do this by lowering windows; it
    raises a new window to the top.

    It never raises any window not belonging to the current app.

    So it totally fails at what I was trying to do. Thus, with the
    screen full of 2*N windows, of which N belong to the browser,
    what CMD-` does is repeatedly raise different browser windows
    to the top. What I was trying to do is lower windows until one
    that's buried gets uncovered. This never, ever happens with CMD-`;
    all I get is the same cycle of browser windows, and they always bury
    the window that I'm looking for.

    So CMD-` is pretty much the exact opposite of what I was asking
    about.

    Maybe the MAC windows stuff can't do what I was trying to do.
    I suspect this is true, because I've been unable to find any
    mention of anything even vaguely like it in any of the docs
    that I've read so far.


    John Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to background a window?

    In article <bio940$p5j$news.rcn.net>,
    John Chambers <com> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > command-`
    > >
    > > But it only affects windows owned by the front application. For fancier
    > > handling of this, wait for 10.3.[/ref]
    >
    > It took me a while to puzzle out what this was doing. I think
    > I've got it, and it's something almost entirely different from
    > what I was asking about.
    >
    > What CMD-` seems to be doing is cycling among the windows of the
    > "current" app. And it doesn't do this by lowering windows; it
    > raises a new window to the top.
    >
    > It never raises any window not belonging to the current app.[/ref]

    True. And in fact almost exactly what I said in the quote above.
     

    Well, you asked about a "...technique for finding a window that's buried
    somewhere in that jjumbled pile of windows". Command-` does this, with
    the limitation that I noted that it only affects the current
    application. The fact that it raises windows rather than lowering them
    seemed a minor detail, given the question you actually asked.
     

    Like I said, wait for 10.3. Currently command-` within an app and
    command-tab to switch apps is as good as it gets.

    --
    Tom "Tom" Harrington
    Macaroni, Automated System Maintenance for Mac OS X.
    Version 1.4: Best cleanup yet, gets files other tools miss.
    See http://www.atomicbird.com/
    Tom Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to background a window?

     

    In that case, try adding shift to the cmd-` combination... It reverses
    the order (just as cmd-shift-tab goes back one app switched by cmd-tab).
     

    Best thing to do is wait for 10.3 to arrive. I haven't played with it
    but most people seem to really love the way Exposť handles huge amounts
    of windows (see http://www.apple.com/macosx/panther/expose.html for
    details). Basicly because we are now running an OpenGL-desktop your
    videocard can just scale those windows down nice and fast (through
    Quartz Extreme) and Apple is finding new ideas to use this technique.

    Jaco Guest

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