Exposé Hidden Secrets: Keyboard Controls

Tips and TricksWhile you may be a big fan of Exposé, sometimes there may be some functions you wish were enabled. Whether you use a button on your mouse, power corners, or a key on your keyboard, it still could be a bit more functional. One thing that many people wish for in Exposé is keyboard controls, but they actually do exist.

The reason they are hard to find, is that there isn’t a place where you can remap the keys, so many people don’t notice them. Lucky enough, these tips are sometimes featured on Mac sites, so people can find out about them. Once you start Exposé, your two options are: show all windows, or show all windows within a certain application. Whichever one you choose, hit Tab, and you can change which application is showing it’s windows. Now, you can use the arrow keys to cycle through. When you are done, hit enter or space to choose that window. If you decided that you didn’t want to open Exposé, hit escape to go with the window you had chosen at the start. With these tricks, you may find that Exposé becomes much more useful. For a list of all the available controls, see below.

Exposé Controls:

¢ F9 – Show windows for all apps
¢ F10 – Show windows for one app
¢ Tab – Cycle through applications and their windows
¢ Shift-Tab – Go to the previous application
¢ Arrow Keys – Move between windows in Exposé
¢ Spacebar or Enter – Bring selected window to the front
¢ Esc – Leave Exposé, ignoring window selection

I hope this comes in handy and you’ve find new life in Exposé.


15 Responses to “Exposé Hidden Secrets: Keyboard Controls”

  1. Marvin Sum on June 10th, 2007 9:57 am

    Expose is cool, but as a more demanding user, I find it faster to just click on the icons in the dock to bring up the associated application.

    F10 – Show windows for one app is really useful though.

  2. Rory on June 10th, 2007 2:35 pm

    >>I find it faster to just click on the icons in the dock to bring up the associated application

    I prefer Command-Tab so I’m not having to mouse to the dock everytime I want to jump to an open app.

  3. Taras Brizitsky on June 10th, 2007 3:18 pm

    Thanks! I didn’t know about some of this functionality before :)

  4. Ex2bot on June 10th, 2007 4:14 pm

    Another important keypress F11 clears all windows to show the Desktop. I think I use that one most of all.


  5. Dakota on June 10th, 2007 5:53 pm

    >>The reason they are hard to find, is that there isn't a place where you can remap the keys

    Actually, in Tiger you can remap or completely disable the Expose keys. In System Preferences, under the Dashboard and Expose control panel, you can change the control keys and corners, or just disable them all.

  6. mcdave.net » links for 2007-06-11 on June 11th, 2007 2:22 am

    [...] Exposé Hidden Secrets: Keyboard Controls | MacApper (tags: mac macosx tips) [...]

  7. Mason on June 11th, 2007 9:12 am

    By holding down the ‘shift’ key with the F9 or F10 key, you can achieve a cool slow motion effect.

  8. ayayay on August 26th, 2007 12:36 pm

    I’ve never understood the enthusiasm for that “cool slow motion effect.” Major waste of some coder’s time. They should have saved that key combination for something useful.

  9. Ryan P on October 31st, 2007 2:16 am

    Can somebody please tell me how to flip through a set of
    windows in os 10.4.10
    in my old version i should just hold down the apple and the § key (the key next to z) and it should flip, but with this new version that shortcut dont work anymore.

    please help

  10. Dan on December 14th, 2007 6:20 am

    To cycle through the windows in the current frontmost application, use Cmd-` (Backtick, to right of left-hand shift key). This can also be remapped back to Cmd-§ in System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Keyboard Navigation

  11. Ryan P on December 14th, 2007 6:30 am

    Thanks it works perfectly!

  12. rapunga on August 4th, 2008 11:07 pm

    i already new this lying shit so u queers stop playin around say sumen different OR ELSE

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