How to activate Expose from within the Application Switcher in Snow Leopard

Fri, Oct 2, 2009


Expose was completely revamped in Snow Leopard, and one of its more nifty features is that you can now activate Expose from within the Application Switcher.  Here’s how.

As you probably already know, you can activate the Application Switcher simply by pressing Command-Tab.  This will bring up a slim horizontal window that contains icons from all of your active apps.  In previous versions of OS X, users were limited to using the tab key (or the left and right arrow keys) to navigate through whatever app they wanted to switch into.  But now in Snow Leopard, users can now activate Expose by pressing the down arrow whenever the application of their choice is highlighted. This will subsequently bring up all of the apps’ open windows in Expose.  (Remember: keep the command key pressed down)  The end result is essentially the same as if you clicked on the apps icon from the dock.

When Expose is launched from the application switcher, you can then switch between all of the open windows using the arrow keys.  When you find the window you’re looking for, simply press return, and wallah!, you’re right where you want to be.

Now if you’re scrolling through the application switcher looking for a specific app window, but accidentally activate expose in the wrong app, all you need to do to get back to the application switcher is to press tab (the command key should still be pressed down) and you’ll be taken right back to the switcher and can proceed from there.

I took the liberty to create EdibleApple’s first ever screencast to give you guys a glimpse of what the functionality looks like.  I don’t go through all the steps in detail, but it should be enough to get you started and see what the feature is all about.  And before you watch, be warned that I use the word “Boom” in the video, a’la Steve Jobs – I guess that’s what happens when you’ve seen too many Apple keynotes.  It’s admittedly lame, but what can ya do.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Rob Says:

    Once expose is activated, command + ~ cycles you thro’ each open app in the expose mode.

  2. Leland Says:

    Or, once Exposé’d (is that grammatically correct? 😉 ), hitting Tab or ` will cycle between applications in All Application Windows mode. Then, use the arrow keys to highlight the window you want, and hit Return to bring it to the front.

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