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Thread: working between open files

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
    working between open files
    Hi I am a new Mac Air user. If I have 2 mails open along with 2 pages files open on my desktop, how do I browse between these files? Pushing 3 fingers up on the track pad only shows file groups - say mail group and pages group.

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    The Republic of Neptune
    The command you want to use can be found in the System Preferences, under Keyboard, then Shortcuts. It is titled "Move focus to active or next window". See my screen cap below:


    By default, the keyboard combo is CONTROL-F4. If your function keys are working as media control keys, then you'd have to use CONTROL-fn-F4 to make that key work as a function key. You can change the default to whatever key combo you like, so long as it's not in use otherwise.

    If you want to use a gesture on your trackpad, you are going to need 3rd party software to facilitate this. BetterTouchTool is pretty popular and will let you add and customize trackpad gestures to your liking. In your case, you'll need to set a new Global gesture, then assign a "Custom Keyboard Shortcut" to it, which would be CONTROL-F4 (unless you modify that in the keyboard prefs). In my example below, I chose to use Four Finger Swipe Up:


    I had to disable that shortcut option in the Keyboard preferences first; set the shortcut in BTT; then re-enable it in Keyboard preferences. Before doing so, when I attempted to input the commands, it would instead switch windows on me. You may also need to disable all the trackpad gesture options in System Preferences and let BTT take over completely so they don't conflict.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
    Hey, thanks for your answer a month earlier. I was new to Mac so I did follow your advise and navigate but I guess it was too complex for me. I later created 4 desktops and got into a habit of opening safari in one, mail in the other and so on for pages, numbers and / iPhoto / sketch, what ever it was that i was working on. I did spend more time looking at the preferences and trying out each new thing and when i dint need to look at a window for some time, click the yellow minus and get it to the dock.
    As a new user, I found voice over used too much brain resources that i did not have. I learnt to use the single , double and so on unto 4 fingers to navigate. Pushing up 4 fingers i use now only if i have forgotten whats open where although its rare.
    I learnt that control right / left arrow will swipe between desktops. I never use the full screen mode (don't have to) so i don't get confused.
    Thanks again for getting me started off.

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