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Quick window management tips for hiding running apps in OS X

Quick window management tips for hiding running apps in OS X

Knowing your way around a few keyboard shortcuts will surely boost your productivity in Mac OS X. That’s certainly the case with these tips which focus on hiding windows in a hurry.

The first and most common way to hide a running application on a Mac is by right-clicking on the program’s icon in the Dock and selecting “Hide” from the menu. Or, if you prefer keyboards over mice, you can press Command+H. Poof! The currently active application is hidden from view even though it’s still open.

But what if you wanted to do the exact opposite? That is, keep the currently active program visible and hide everything else that might be clogging up your screen. As it turns out, there’s an easy way to do this too. Simply right-click on the app icon you want to keep and hold down the Option key. Now instead of seeing “Hide” in the menu, the choice to “Hide Others” is available. As you might expect, the keyboard shortcut for this action is Command+Option+H.

The final trick I’d like to share on this topic takes quickness to the next level, especially for people who like to use an equal mix of mouse and keyboard. Say you’ve got a group of windows open — Mail, Safari, iCal, and iTunes for example. You’re done reading your Mail and want to hide the window for now. Rather than pressing Command+H, try holding Option while clicking on the next app (Safari) you’d like to work with. Mail instantly disappears and Safari is now your currently selected program. While Command+H would have hidden Mail just the same, you wouldn’t have had control over which open application was selected next. It could have been Safari, iCal, or iTunes depending on which one was most recently used. It’s not a major breakthrough, but it’s the little things like this that help speed up overall efficiency.

3 Comments Have Been Posted (Leave Your Response)

wee haha
I always forget I can do CMD H to hide an application. I need to burn it into my memory.

I’m going to use that from now on.

Brilliant. I use cmd-h all the time. But I like ‘option-click the next app’ much better! Thanks.