Using the Dashboard

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Managing Windows with Exposé

As you use Tiger, you'll find that way too often you've buried yourself in windows. Although you can minimize and maximize windows to find what you want, this is not an efficient way to deal with the clutter.

Apple recognized this and introduced a feature in 10.3 called Exposé. Rather than rearrange your workspace to find a specific window, Exposé temporarily rearranges all your windows so that you can see them simultaneously and find what you want. After you've located the window you want, you can select it by positioning your mouse over the top of it and clicking, shown in Figure 1.42. All the onscreen windows return to their original positions with the chosen window on top.

Figure 1.42. Itty-bitty windows, everywhere….

What makes Exposé unique is that it does not change your working environment (your windows stay exactly where they are), and it allows you to choose a window based on its content as well as its title (minimized windows are often too small to recognize the content).

In addition to quickly locating windows, Exposé can be used to hide all active windows so that you can see your desktop, and then make them instantly reappear. This is useful for dragging and dropping icons that would normally be obscured from the desktop into your active applications.

To configure Exposé, open the Dashboard & Exposé & System Preferences pane shown in Figure 1.43.

Figure 1.43. Use Exposé to manage your window clutter.

At the top of the Exposé pane, choose whether the Exposé effect will be activated by moving the mouse into any of the four screen corners. Moving the mouse into a corner starts Exposé; moving back into the corner returns the windows to normal. There are three separate Exposé effects from which to choose:

  • All Windows Shrinks all onscreen windows to locate a specific one.

  • Application Windows Shrinks all the current application's windows to find a window within your chosen program.

  • Desktop Moves all windows temporarily off screen to access the desktop.

Setting a screen corner to - removes any action previously attached to that corner.


Because Exposé, the Tiger Dashboard, and Screensavers can be activated by placing your mouse in a screen corner, you'll notice that you can configure screensaver and Dashboard corners in Exposé.

At the bottom of the Exposé pane, you can choose keyboard shortcuts for each of the Exposé modes and Dashboard, eliminating the need to mouse across the screen. Holding down Shift, Control, Option, or Command when choosing a keyboard shortcut sets a modifier key that must also be held down to activate the Exposé mode.


When using Exposé in All Windows or Application Windows modes, pressing the Tab key cycles through each active application's windows. This is an extremely useful feature if you have dozens of open windows and working through them all in the All Windows mode proves to be a bit overwhelming.

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    Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed
    Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed
    ISBN: 0672327465
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 251 © 2008-2017.
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