I have a number of open windows that belong to the same program (preview). I would like to easily and quickly flick between these open windows, but I have found this frustratingly difficult to do using Mission Control. It's fine for windows that are grouped separately, but when they are grouped together it becomes much more difficult to select a window. I know there's a keyboard shortcut to cycle between windows, but It would be nice to have them more clearly displayed in Mission Control. There's the five finger open hand swipe gesture that can be used to spread out the windows a bit, however, I find that it doesn't separate the windows sufficiently, and the gesture is temperamental in itself.

Are there any modifications, work arounds, selection commands or anything that could make window selection easier?

Examples of grouping:

This is mission control with separately grouped windows. Selecting an individual window or window group is easy. Clear display of separate windows

A single pdf is difficult to select with grouped preview windows. Windows grouped together becomes a charlie foxtrot

The five finger swipe doesn't separate the windows clearly. It is still difficult to select an individual pdf when many instances are open. Still not not clear enough using five finger swipe

2 Answers 2


If you're in the app where the document is, you can use App Exposé to show just the windows of the current app, nicely spread out on the screen. I've got App Exposé set to a four finger swipe down, but I'm not sure that it's the default. You can find the settings in System Preferences -> Trackpad -> More Gestures (or similar if you've got a Magic Mouse, I would guess).

You can also press F10 to trigger App Exposé.

Three Safari Windows in App Exposé

  • Oh, I should have mentioned this is mountain lion 10.8; Mission control has replaced expose. I've solved it now anyway, turns out there is an option in mission control settings to turn off grouping behaviour. I should have just checked there in the first place :/
    – eltommo
    Jun 14, 2013 at 6:26
  • 2
    @eltommo I'm on Mountain Lion as well, App Exposé is most certainly there. Check your settings for gestures and keyboard shortcuts...:)
    – Lizzan
    Jun 14, 2013 at 7:26
  • Ah, yes you're right. I was reading about mission control here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_Control_(OS_X) and it says it was formely known as exposé, but I guess that App Exposé was reffering to something slighly different again. Thanks for the help, App Exposé work nicely!
    – eltommo
    Jun 14, 2013 at 8:05

I just answered my own question. There's an option in mission control settings to group by window which can be unchecked. It loses the advantages of grouping the windows together, but at least I can select my windows easily now.

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