October 31, 2013 2 min read
We often find ourselves in front of our machines with many applications running at the same time. If you need to switch apps quickly, sometimes it can be frustrating to try and navigate through your dock bar to find what you need. Your dock likely contains icons for many programs you frequently use, a few icons Apple requires in the dock that cannot be removed, and will also store icons for any program that is currently open, even if you haven't added that program to the dock for easy access. If you're running a lot of applications, your dock can very quickly become large and cluttered.
Command Tab- A quick way to get your apps under control without having to search through your entire dock is to hold down the Command key, then press the Tab key. This will open up the "mini-dock," or Application Switcher, with only your active apps, and now you can move through your open applications more quickly than trying to navigate your full dock.
There are two ways to navigate through the mini-dock while holding Command + Tab on this screen:
Navigate by Mouse - you can simply use your mouse to scroll through the mini-dock and hover over the correct icon to select the app you want, then either release the Command button or click the app icon to pull it up.
Navigate by Keyboard - you can continue to hold the Command key and press the Tab key to move through the list. When you've selected the app you want, simply let go of the Command key and you will switch to that app. You can also navigate back and forth through the mini-dock using your left and right arrow key - helpful if you need to back up a few icons to select your desired app, because using the tab key will only tab forward through the list.
You can also quickly manage your apps from this screen. While hovering on a particular app, either with your mouse or by selecting it with the Tab key, you can hit “Q” to quit without having to actually switch to that app. You can also hit “H” to quickly minimize the app and declutter your screen without having to switch to the app, minimize, and then move forward.
Keep reading for more handy iMac tips and tricks!