We published an article called “Cool new enhancements to Exposé in Mac OS X Snow Leopard” a couple weeks ago thinking that was all the feature had to offer, but it turns out that’s not the case. There are even more nifty tricks to learn!
As mentioned in the previous post on this topic, 10.6 Snow Leopard integrates Exposé into the Dock. All one has to do is click and hold an active application’s icon to instantly view thumbnails of all that program’s open windows. Simple enough, right? Once you’ve mastered that technique, let’s take it a step further by selecting additional apps to display at the same time.
To give you a working example, open up a couple windows in Safari, a Finder window, and a TextEdit window. Click and hold the Safari icon to display all of its open windows in Exposé. Now Command-click the Finder icon in the Dock, and then do the same for TextEdit. Notice how those apps are now displayed in Exposé too, along with Safari? You can even exclude or hide currently-shown applications in Exposé by pressing Command+Option and clicking on the Dock icon. This kind of flexibility is a great example of Apple’s attention to detail.
Next, we’re going to touch on yet another new way to start Exposé in 10.6. Most people know that pressing Command+Tab brings up the application switcher, which can cycle through open applications. While this feature is still there in Snow Leopard, it has been given some more power. Press Command+Tab to bring up the application switcher and keep Command held down. Keep it held while you press Tab to highlight a program of your choice, such as Pages. Now press the up or down arrow on your keyboard and let Command go. All of the open windows in that application are now shown in Exposé. From here you can continue to press Tab to cycle through all of your active apps within Exposé.
Alright, so now let’s say you activate Exposé one of the traditional ways, like a keyboard shortcut or active screen corner. There are a ton of windows all over the place and you want to organize them in some way. Well, that’s easy now in Snow Leopard. Simply press Command+1 to sort windows alphabetically or Command+2 to sort windows by application. Everything will shift across the screen and into place. And if that’s still not enough for you, there’s also the ability to select a window thumbnail by name. For example, typing “even” would highlight this window because its title is “Even more ways…” in your internet browser. A Finder window currently showing your Documents folder would be highlighted by typing “doc”. And if you really want to go mouse-less, all you have to do is press Enter/Return once your chosen window is selected. No clicks needed.