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  1. #1
    Taskbar behavior

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2010
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    Question Taskbar behavior
    Hi there,

    I'm a member of a music-band and one of our instruments is keyboard. To save you all from the technical details, I'd like to explain an issue we're facing. I hope someone around here can help us with this very inconvenient issue.

    We used to have Propellerhead Reason on a Windows-machine for our synths in our band. For man reasons we'd like to switch to Mac. So we'd like to end up with 2 Mac mini's instead of 2 PC's.

    So we tested the setup and it was very satisfying. We're convinced about the new setup. however, there's one big downside which does force us to stick with Windows pc's

    In Windows, each open window becomes visible in the taskbar. Allowing you to switch very quick between open applications/windows.
    Since we use these pc's during a live set, we absolutely need that feature. However, within OSX the behavior of the taskbar is different. Only applications wich are minimized go into the taskbar/dock...
    It's difficult to explain, but minimizing the windows every single time is not an option. We do have multiple windows open simultaneously and we need to be able to switch very quickly between them.
    In Windows it's as simple of selecting the proper window in the taskbar and it becomes active on the foreground...

    Is there a way to have this very same behavior in OSX as well? I've been looking in the settings but I can 't find anything. Maybe there's some external application which can provide this?

    Many many thanks in advance for useful tips!

    Kind regards,

    DiMMaX

  2. #2
    Taskbar behavior
    vansmith's Avatar
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    You can use the following key combinations to switch between open windows/programs:

    Command + Tab = switch between programs.
    Command + ` = switch between windows for a particular program.

    Does that meet your needs?
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  3. #3
    Taskbar behavior
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiMMaX View Post
    ... Is there a way to have this very same behavior in OSX as well?
    No. Mac OS and Windows are different. I have to believe that this is by design.

    You could try using Spaces. You'll find that in System Preferences > Expose and Spaces. Usually the F8 key is the default to activate Spaces, but you can change that. Make sure Enable Spaces is checked. Notice the various ways you can switch between spaces at the bottom. Notice that you can click the + or - buttons to add rows or columns. The default is, as you'll see, 4 spaces, but you can have more, or as few as two. Set up your various windows in separate spaces. You can also assign an application to a Space, and you can open two windows in the same application, invoke Spaces, and drag one to another space.

    Now experiment with the many ways to switch. I always hit F8 then click the space I want to go to. You might find other ways that work better for you. I also have a Spaces icon in my Menu Bar. You can click that and then select a number, and the screen will "move" that space into view. Try it and let us know what you think of it as a way to address your needs.

  4. #4
    Taskbar behavior

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2010
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    2
    First of all: thank you both to take the time to answer on my post.
    However, none of the provided alternatives does meet my requirements..

    Let me illustrate what exactly is needed:

    During a rehearsal (or a live performance for that matter) we do have about 10 times the same application open (Propellerhead Reason) So that means 10 instances of the same application. Even when minimized to the dock, the icons showed are all the same.
    In Windows the icon used in the taskbar is also the same, but it has the name of the window on it. This way it's very easy to see the correct icon in one blink of an eye and select the right one. Which is very crucial during the performance!

    Using spaces as suggested is thus not a solution. We really need to be able to quickly select the right instance of Propellerhead Reason...

    Same goes for the command+tab combination. It shows the open applications but when you have multiple instances of the same application open, you don't see it.

    Any other suggestions?

  5. #5
    Taskbar behavior
    cradom's Avatar
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    try using Expose` - the name of the window shows under each window and can set up a mouse button to use it.

  6. #6
    Taskbar behavior
    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
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    You didn't read the post very well
    CMD+TAB is all open application
    CMD+` is all applications of the SAME TYPE
    Or you could use application expose
    Mac 101: Exposť
    F10 will bring up all windows of the same type as well - a very easy way to find windows (you can enable or disable the F10 key in system preferences -> keyboard -> keyboard shortcuts)
    If you have a laptop or a magic mouse you could get better touch tool and set application expose to a gesture. I have it set to 4 finger swipe up (Regular expose is 4 finger swipe down)
    Great Tools For Your Mac By Andreas Hegenberg BetterTouchTool & SecondBar

    If you really like your taskbar - you can click/hold on the icon of the program to bring up application expose as well - but this to me takes longer.

    Application expose, just like expose will have the name at the bottom.

  7. #7
    Taskbar behavior
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiMMaX View Post
    First of all: thank you both to take the time to answer on my post.
    However, none of the provided alternatives does meet my requirements..

    Let me illustrate what exactly is needed:

    During a rehearsal (or a live performance for that matter) we do have about 10 times the same application open (Propellerhead Reason) So that means 10 instances of the same application. Even when minimized to the dock, the icons showed are all the same. ...

    Using spaces as suggested is thus not a solution. We really need to be able to quickly select the right instance of Propellerhead Reason...

    Same goes for the command+tab combination. It shows the open applications but when you have multiple instances of the same application open, you don't see it.

    Any other suggestions?
    You know better, just trying to help. Have you used Spaces at all for anything else?

    I still think Spaces could work. If you have time to process, "Oh, this one is Benny, that's the one I need. Oh, now I need Popcorn, there it is..." Then you certainly have time to select the right one when you can see it displayed in miniature, or from a list numbered 1-12. Using the latter approach would lend itself to the Menu Bar method. Pick the correct number... Benny=4, Popcorn=8 etc. That way you don't have to invoke all spaces, which might be a problem. In other words, you know them by number, not by name.

    But, there is some setup time required each session. That's a drawback to my idea.

    You know, there used to be a third party app that mimics the taskbar. Try a search engine and see if it's still out there, and up to date.

  8. #8
    Taskbar behavior

    Member Since
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    If you control-click (or secondary click) on an application in the dock with multiple windows open, you will see a list of those window.

  9. #9
    Taskbar behavior
    Oneironaut's Avatar
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    Feb 23, 2009
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    DiMMax...

    To access all open windows within one application, you have a couple of options. You can use Exposť to reveal all the open windows. Maybe someone can tell you how to get it to reveal just the windows of a particular application, but even just having all windows visible is at LEAST as quick as clicking on a Windows task bar. When you activate Exposť, all your open windows will fan out in a customizable arrangement from which you can choose whichever one you want. For instance, if you have ten Reason windows open and you hit Exposť, all ten windows will immediately fan out in a grid across your screen. You can then just click on the one you want, or drag them to arrange them into any order you want.

    That would be the fastest way. In fact, this is essentially the same as using Windows task bar in the sense that one click reveals all open windows, it's just that OS X reveals them as clickable images and not just a list.

    You can have it as simple as a few windows like this:




    Or have oodles of windows open like this:





    As long as you arrange the windows you need in the order that's quickest for you, I don't see how this is any slower than switching with Windows task bar.

    This is much faster than using Spaces, though it can be done using that too.

    You can also use Command+` (that is, press the Command key and the ` key at the same time) to cycle between all the open windows of a single application. You will have to CYCLE through the open windows so you don't have as much control as when you use Exposť. Remember, Command+Tab cycles through open applications, and Command+` cycles through all open windows of the currently active application.

    I think the biggest mistake is trying to use the Dock like Windows task bar, because it's not the same thing at ALL, nor is it meant to be used the same way.

  10. #10
    Taskbar behavior

    Member Since
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    And doesn't the app have a Window menu?

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