Using the Application Windows Feature (Expose) On a Mac

With Application Windows, also called Exposé, you can see all of the windows in use by an app and switch to one. You can also switch to recently-opened documents, or switch to a window in another app entirely.

Comments: 12 Responses to “Using the Application Windows Feature (Expose) On a Mac”

    Robert Rutledge
    7 days ago

    Lovely concept but it sure doesn’t work in Apple Mail. If I have two new messages in the works I still have to the menu bar window menu to switch to the one I want. Expose only shows the message viewer in one frame and the new message I have used most recently in the other frame. Am I missing something?

    7 days ago

    Robert: Definitely works with multiple Mail composition windows. Maybe you have one of those minimized?

    Ger
    7 days ago

    It’s also a handy option for “hot windows”.

    Razvan Mihai
    6 days ago

    Gary: Thanks for the well-explained tips. I often find myself in the scenario where I have an application window opened in desktop 1 (Safari, for example) and a Notes window opened in, let’s say, desktop 6. What would be the easiest way to bring the most recent open window of a given app (Notes in our example) into the current desktop (desktop 1 in our example)?

    6 days ago

    Razvan: You could Click and hold the icon in the Dock, then select Options, Assign To, This Desktop. It will pull the window to the current Desktop.

    Robert Rutledge
    6 days ago

    Yes, Expose works in Mail but NOT if multiple new messages are created in Tabs (which was what was happening in my case). That setting is in System Preferences/General/Prefer Tabs:. Thanks for making me dig deeper. Happy camper now.

    6 days ago

    Robert: Oh, yes. Tabs are within the window. Expose is about windows.

    Razvan Mihai
    6 days ago

    Gary: Thanks a lot! Tried your suggestion and found that once the app is brought into the current desktop, the extra step of unassigning the app from the desktop is needed. Otherwise, the app will open on that particular desktop going forward. I wish this task could be as quick as Command-Option-Tab, but MacOS seems to be application-focused instead of project-focused.

    6 days ago

    Razvan: You can always enter Mission Control and then drag and drop the window to the desktop space you want.

    Razvan Mihai
    6 days ago

    Gary: Indeed! But this requires the extra steps of knowing the desktop number you are working on (I swipe up and down with 3 fingers), then moving to the target application with Command-Tap, and ultimately dragging the app with the mouse into the desktop of choice. I find the whole process counter-intuitive. I will give your original suggestion a go. Your tip has the advantage of bringing all the open windows of a given app into the working desktop if this is the intention. Thanks a lot!

    nick
    4 days ago

    Gary: I’ve been using Mission Control, which shows windows from all open applications, and those from multiple documents with an app (ex Pages). Is there an important difference between Exposè and Mission Control that I’m missing? thx

    4 days ago

    nick: “App Expose” shows you windows from one app at a time. Mission Control shows you all windows on the current desktop space, across all apps.

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