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This chapter is from the book

Mac OS X to the Max: Controlling Running Applications

Exposé and Spaces enable you to control which applications and windows you view on the desktop and use. Mac OS X also provides many ways to control open applications, including these:

  • You can switch among open applications by clicking the icon of the open application that you want to switch on the Dock. If you're using Spaces and the application is bound to a space, you move into that space.
  • You can move among open applications using the tab.jpg-Tab or Shift-tab.jpg-Tab keys. When you press these keys, the Application Switcher menu, which is a list of the currently open applications, appears (see Figure 12.8). The active application is always located on the far left edge of the menu. You can move into a different application by pressing the tab.jpg-Tab or Shift-tab.jpg-Tab keys until the application you want is selected, or you can click an application on the Application Switcher menu to move into it. If you select an application that is bound to a space, you'll move into that space as well.

    Figure 12.8 The Application Switcher menu appears when you press the tab.jpg-Tab or Shift-tab.jpg-Tab keys.

  • Use Exposé (press F9) to show all open windows and click a window in the application you want to switch to.
  • Move into a space where an application has been assigned; if the application is open, you'll be able to use it immediately. If not, you'll have to launch it.
  • Hide applications quickly by either pressing tab.jpg-H or choosing Application, Hide where Application is the name of the active application.
  • Quit an open application by opening the application's Dock icon and selecting Quit on the pop-up menu.
  • There are several ways to force a hung application to quit. Press Option-Command-Esc to open the Force Quit Applications window, select the application you want to quit, and click Force Quit (see Figure 12.9). (If an application is hung, its name appears in red in the Force Quit Applications window and "Not Responding" is shown next to the application's name.) Open the Activity Monitor application (Applications/Utilities); select the application (process) you want to quit; and select View, Quit Process (or press Option-tab.jpg-Q). You can also use the Unix kill command in the Terminal application along with the process number of the application you want to force to quit. Yet another way is to choose the Apple menu and then Force Quit; this also opens the Force Quit Applications window.

Figure 12.9 You can force an application to quit by opening the Force Quit Applications window, selecting the application you want to quit, and clicking Force Quit.

To learn more about using Unix commands, see Chapter 14, "Unix: Working with the Command Line," p. 297.

To learn more about the Activity Monitor, see "Using the Activity Monitor to Understand and Manage Processes," p. 961.

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