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I can open Spotlight with Command + Spacebar. That's nice, and I can search for the program I want in the foreground, but sometimes the application doesn't come to the foreground. Is there some series of keystrokes I can use to bring an application to foreground?

Sometimes visually searching for it in Mission Control is too hard when you have 10+ applications running. I'd rather just type.

Spotlight generally works, but if you have more than one open application window it doesn't quite work. Is there a way to put names on windows and then open them by name?

  • Why do you think you need to run multiple copies of the same app? The OS will consider them essentially 'the same thing' & you cannot differentiate using this method. – Tetsujin May 23 at 18:23
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Is there a way to put names on windows and then open them by name?

No, there is no built-in mechanism in macOS to assign names to different windows of an app and access it by names.

Spotlight generally works, but if you have more than one open application window it doesn't quite work.

When using Spotlight to search and launch an already running app, the window will be shown in the foreground in the following cases:

  1. There's only a single open app window.

  2. The app window(s) are not minimized, but hidden using the keyboard shortcut Command + H.

    If the app is hidden while none of the window is minimized, invoking app name will show all of them.

  3. If the app window(s) are minimized, only one of them is shown in the foreground.

    The other open and minimized windows can be brought to foreground using either one of the following methods:

    • Right click on the Dock icon for the app and select the window. The minimized windows are shown with a leading ◆ icon in the context menu.

    • Bring the app to foreground normally using Spotlight. Now use the Application Windows Hot Corner action to see just the app windows, maximized or minimized in a Mission Control like view.

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Here are two keyboard shortcuts to keep mind for navigating apps and their windows:

  1. Use CommandTab to bring up the App Switcher and continue pressing Tab to move left to right in the list, or press the Shift key too in conjunction with CommandTab to move from right to left.

  2. Once the target app is selected and comes forward, use Command` to go through the app's windows. Use the Shift key too in conjunction with Command` to move backwards through the app's windows.


Note that the ` (Grave Accent) key on a US English keyboard is usually paired with the ~ (tilde) key.

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    the grave accent is also known as a backtick tmk – Alexander Mills May 23 at 22:23
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    @Alexander Mills, Yes, I forgot that and was going by what came up in Character Viewer (Emoji & Symbols). – user3439894 May 23 at 22:28
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    I'd like to add that using Command + Backtick, you can not switch to a window that's minimized. – Nimesh Neema May 24 at 11:19
  • @Nimesh Neema, Yes this is true. BTW This answer is meant to be more informational the and not necessarily resolve all aspects of the question. – user3439894 May 24 at 17:17

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