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After 4 years of being a Mac user, there is only one thing that I still miss from the Windows world, and that is being able to switch with a single keystroke between all open windows in the computer.

What is the best app or utility, free or not, for accomplishing that?

I've used Witch, but I never was completely satisfied with it: it's a bit slow and the switcher UI is not very pretty.

Do you know any alternative?

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When is Witch slow? I've just started using it. –  J. Pablo Fernández Sep 30 '10 at 8:52
    
What about Exposé's F9 function? –  andersmoldin Apr 24 '11 at 2:37

8 Answers 8

up vote 9 down vote accepted

An app I developed, Optimal Layout (14$), gives you keyboard commands to quickly switch and re-organize windows.

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That's just exactly what I was looking for. Thanks both for answering and for making the app. I'm currently evaluating it. I hope you'll have me as a new customer soon. –  Sergio Acosta Sep 29 '10 at 20:25
1  
Optimal Layout is nice, I tried it, but I didn’t buy it because I already had my “muscle memory” tied to using the OS X shortcuts (which I’ve changed) and the Window placement handled by SizeUp. But it’s a very promising app! –  Martín Marconcini Sep 30 '10 at 10:00

I'm guessing you're already aware, but for those searching the web there's always Ctrl+F4. No visual feedback, but it does switch between all windows for all apps (that are not hidden) with one command. Of course it's instant and so it doesn't reorder the list like ⌘+Tab does. I also got tired of Witch, but I decided that most of the time ⌘+` is all I need.

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[⌘] + [`] "is all I need" - indeed! –  a darren Jan 9 at 14:19
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The visual feedback is important for me and doesn't exist in ⌘+`. –  kilaka May 15 at 12:41
    
And Cmd + ` doesn't work across multiple spaces. –  GregB Jul 22 at 19:39

Hyperswitch is free and works well. It also looks nice:

enter image description here

http://bahoom.com/hyperswitch

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2  
Well, after 4 years comes an answer that solves exactly my original question. No more, no less. I hope this goes out of beta soon. thanks!, I will try it for a couple of weeks and if it works as advertised I could even mark it as the accepted answer. –  Sergio Acosta Apr 15 at 1:21
1  
Finally the solution! –  Lumi Jun 8 at 8:40
    
I started using this beta. So far, so good. The only missing feature from the Windows implementation is the desktop composition where all windows are hidden, except for the window that is selected in the alt-tab menu. –  GregB Jul 22 at 19:50

For those who don't know it, Ctrl+F4, Ctl+`, ... can be remapped in: SystemPreferences=>Keyboard=>Keyboard Shortcuts=>Keyboard & Text Input

http://i.stack.imgur.com/CvV3k.png

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3  
I'll add, since some might not already know, that Ctrl-F4 can be used to switch between all open windows when "Enable access for assistive devices" is turned on in Universal Access. –  NReilingh Apr 1 '12 at 4:14

Command + Tab, combined with Ctrl + `. Works great.

Let me explain:

  • Command + Tab : Switch between different applications.
  • Ctrl + ` : Cycle between all open windows of the application you're focused on. (For example, if you have four Finder windows open, you can press Ctrl + ` to move between the four windows.)

If this and other keyboard shortcuts seems to be broken, you probably have another keyboard-layout then US, The shortcuts actually aren't to the ` key but rather the key that would have ` on a US keyboard, to find what key this is on your layout, open the "keyboard viewer" and switch your layout to US, take notice on where the ` key is located, swich back to your normal layout and you can now use this button to switch windows.

On a swedish keyboard ` is the button next to 1 (§) on the small/laptop keyboard, and the key next to z (<) on the full size keyboard.

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Thanks for your answer. I know about both shortcuts, but I'm specifically looking for a single keyboard shortcut solution to switch between all open windows. –  Sergio Acosta Sep 29 '10 at 18:45
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+1. Although for me, Command + ` seems to work rather than Ctrl + `. –  gary Mar 12 '11 at 10:46
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Too bad Apple didn't think about keyboards where the ` key is not near the TAB key, and worse, where you need a modifier key to select it :-( –  Rabarberski Aug 5 '11 at 9:23
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@Rabarberski Well at least in finnish locale (where the ` key is not near tab) the cycle-within-app shortcut instead uses the < key which is near the tab. –  Ilari Kajaste Apr 3 '13 at 11:03
    
Command + ` work for me. –  weston May 29 at 15:47

Senebier seems to be a good alternative to witch and it's free. http://www.bicoid.com/app/senebier/index.html

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contexts for mac is an app currently in beta that seems to be a competitor to Witch. As a long-time non-mac user looking for more intuitive window switching , I have a good first impression of this app. It allows for switching between all the windows you have open, using your keyboard or your mouse. http://contextsformac.com/

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Could you add a link so we can get it and can you explain what it does –  Mark Dec 20 '13 at 11:50
  1. Quicksilver (or spotlight). You summon the App you are interested on, say Safari.
  2. Using Mission Control's Show application windows (you can assign a shortcut to this using the keyboard icon on the system preferences)
  3. Once all the application windows are being shown, you can type (there's no text field, you will just have to start typing) the title of the window you care. After a couple of keystrokes, your window will be selected.

At the beginning you'll be slow but as time goes by, you'll become pretty fast.

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