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Six handy tips for your Mac's application switcher

Did you know you can do more than quickly switch between open apps using the application switcher in OS X? I sure didn’t.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The application switch built into OS X makes it super easy -- and fast -- to switch between applications currently open and running on your Mac. To use it, you simply press hold in the Command key, while pressing Tab to scroll through the app icons. When you release Command on an app's icon, the respective app is displayed.

Our own Matt Elliot had previously covered how to go left in the app switcher, but as it turns out, there's actually a few more tricks to the seemingly vanilla application switcher.

As pointed out by TUAW, by combining an extra button with the standard Command-Tab combo, some handy tasks can be completed. Here's the list outlined by TUAW:

  • Command-Tab: Will move you forward through the open apps.
  • Command-Shift-Tab: Will move you backward through the open apps.
  • Command-Tab-Q: Will close the app selected in the switcher.
  • Command-Tab-H: Will hide the app selected in the switcher.
  • Command-Tab-1: Will show the open windows of the app selected in the switcher.
  • Drag Finder document to Command-Tab: Start to drag a document in Finder, hit Command-Tab to launch the application switcher and drag the doc to the appropriate app in the switcher.

My favorite on the above list is the ability to quit an app. Admittedly, armed with this knowledge, it's possible to get carried away and close out all open apps.