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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Can't easily switch between applications?


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tula_girl

 
Member Since: Jul 19, 2010
Location: Toronto
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Hi - I bought my Mac about a year ago and I've really been struggling to use it. I'm used to wintel and office so I was surprised the Mac was hard to use. Now I realize there's a problem after seeing someone else using their Mac!

When I use Finder to select a Word document, Word opens automatically. However, the document doesn't open. In order to view it, I have to click on the Word title bar and then File, Save As... When I do that, the document appears. I can then work with the document.

If I want to cut and paste between another application (Excel etc.) into Word, I have to do the same thing. I click on the Excel icon from the bottom of the screen (menu bar), and then when the Excel title bar shows, I click File, Save As.... to open a spreadsheet. I cut or copy, then click Word, and have to click File, Save As... to pull up the current document and paste the selection.

This is a frigging hassle, I'm so frustrated. I am sure I'm doing something stupid here or I've set it up improperly.

Has anyone else had this problem and can you help me?
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Alt + Tab to switch between open applications. Expose and Spaces.

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hughvane

 
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Something's not right there. Save As should not be used to enable viewing of a file. But just to clear up some terminology:
1. 2x-click a document to open it with its parent application. It *should* display the open page almost straight away. Even using the method you've outlined, ie. go to File .... etc, the document(s) most recently used/viewed should show at the base of the File menu. You simply scroll down and select the one you want.
2. Toggling between open applications, eg. Word & Excel. CR's told you about using keystrokes, but it should read Command-Tab . Use that when you want to copy-paste between open documents.

If the problems continue, we can look at further remedial actions, eg. repair permissions. It would seem that something's messed about with the way the MSOffice apps are working.

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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tula_girl View Post
When I use Finder to select a Word document, Word opens automatically. However, the document doesn't open. In order to view it, I have to click on the Word title bar and then File, Save As... When I do that, the document appears. I can then work with the document.
When you do that, you should see a Save Dialog Box!

Perhaps your Word plist file is corrupt.

What happens if you log in under a different user account? If you don't have two, you can create one in System Preferences > Accounts
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tula_girl

 
Member Since: Jul 19, 2010
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Wow, thanks for all the ideas and support everyone.

I didn't know about Command + tab, that's good to know, thanks.

However it still doesn't work. I can tab between applications now, but when I go to word for example from Safari where I am now:

1. The Safari window remains active.
2. The Word title bar is displayed at the top of the screen.
3. I lose focus on the Safari window, but since it's the only window I can see, as soon as I click, I'm back to Safari again.
4. If I click on the Word title bar, nothing happens. I can click on Window to see how many Word documents I have open.
5. The only way to open one of the Word documents that are loaded is to click File, Save As...

It doesn't seem to be a Word thing. From the Safari window again, I can Command + tab over to iTunes and Firefox - those windows seem to work okay. But I can't get to open documents in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or iPhoto. And if I go to iTunes and click on the window, I have trouble getting back to Safari. To get back to Safari, the only thing that works is to click twice on the bottom menu bar, and then click twice again.

Any other ideas?
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hughvane

 
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Okay, time to talk hardware. Please post your Mac specs and MacOS version in your profile, it helps us to help you better.

There appears too to be some serious issues with the Finder and Permissions. Do you have OnyX Titanium's Software • Download? Use the version appropriate to your OS version to repair permissions and run maintenance scripts. Reboot your Mac, and then go through the various software processes outlined in your Post #5.

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tula_girl

 
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Hi - thanks Hughvane for these ideas.

I've added as much as I can to my profile - not sure where to find the answers on what kind of Mac it is and how much RAM I have.

I downloaded Onyx Maintenance 1.2.7 and ran it. It came back with a message, "Startup volume ok", and then I rebooted it.

Unfortunately, it still doesn't work. Nothing can compel Word to open when there is a document in the window - except File, Save As... No amount of clicking on the icon will allow me to view the open document.

Same for Excel.

Any other thoughts?
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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tula_girl View Post
any other thoughts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomacsh View Post
what happens if you log in under a different user account? If you don't have two, you can create one in system preferences > accounts
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tula_girl

 
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Thanks for that! The new test account works PERFECTLY.

I created a new test account and a couple of sample Word and Excel documents. Now I can be in Safari, then click on a Word document from the desktop, and it opens! Same with Excel, and I can click back and forth with ease.

So is there a way to copy all of my files from my regular account to the new test one? Or something else I can do to my regular account to make it work?

Thanks for the idea, this seems to have solved all of my problems.



Tula
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chas_m

 
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Well, no, the problem is only half-solved.

You need to figure out what is causing your "old" account to not work properly.
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tula_girl

 
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Well you're right, it's not solved. But it is so nice not to have to click File, Save As... to see the documents.

So - to fix my account, can I delete it and recreate it? I think my regular account is the admin account - so are there rules about that?

Or, could I move my files to use with a new account and make the new account the admin role?
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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
You need to figure out what is causing your "old" account to not work properly.
Well, not necessarily. But, if you have some ideas....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tula_girl View Post
So - to fix my account, can I delete it and recreate it?
No! Don't do it in that order. That would not be fixing or repairing it anyway. It would be abandoning it, and your Documents!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tula_girl View Post
Or, could I move my files to use with a new account and make the new account the admin role?
Yes. That's a viable approach. Then you can delete the old one. Keep it until you're sure everything you need is in the new one. Unless chas_m or someone else has the magic bullet, do that. Read about how in the Accounts article in Mac Help (from the Help Menu). If you have questions then. post 'em.

The problem in trying to figure out what is hosed in the old account is that you don't have any clues about where to look. You can spin your wheels for a long time if you don't get lucky.
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@tula_girl Just a few more questions that might point us in the right direction to fixing your problem. It might be possible to fix the problem without creating a new account.

1. Are the Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, etc) the only programs giving you problems?
2. Forgive me if I missed it but which version of Office are we dealing with here?

If it is only Microsoft Office programs that are causing problems then the issue might be caused by either corrupt preference files or some other settings issue within Office.

Hey guys I don't use this feature often enough to know for sure so correct me please. Would Office behave that way if "Hide" had been chosen at some point while the program was open in the Dock?

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