General Question

flo's avatar

What do you use the Alt + Tab for?

Asked by flo (7727 points ) March 28th, 2014

What can it be used it for other what is not mentioned here
for example?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I seriously use this every day at work. I am a senior business analyst.

I alt-tab between the business requirement, the functional specification, the test plan, finally the application under review, then back to my test plan to make sure they are all tautologous.

flo's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Okay. If x is out of order use Alt +tab. Is there anything that comes to mind?

bolwerk's avatar

Don’t forget Alt+Shift+Tab. It switches windows too, goes the other way (from left to right) along the running task list.

rojo's avatar

to flip back and forth between the internet and my solitaire game. Or, when at work, between whatever Office program I am in and my solitaire game.

flo's avatar

Thanks @bolwerk and @rojo

By the way I tried to have the word “windows” in the tags segment of my OP, not “Windows”, it keeps capitalizing the W.

bolwerk's avatar

@flo: read up on tmux if you aren’t using Windows. I think it works on Mac. It makes terminals much more fun.

flo's avatar

I’m using Windows, @bolwerk

hearkat's avatar

Alt+Tab (Command+Tab on Macs) cycles through open Applications – not windows. So if you have multiple windows open in your browser, Alt+Tab doesn’t cycle through those – it only takes you to the window you last used in that Application. On a Mac, Command+`~ (backtick/grave and tilde key) will cycle you through the windows of the application you are using – we’re not sure if this keyboard shortcut also works on Windows.

bolwerk's avatar

@hearkat: I think Windows Alt+Tab only cares about taskbar instances, whether one application or not. Having, say, two separate firefox windows open is still technically running one application (and one process), but should display as two discrete taskbar instances. In contrast, I think Chrome will combine multiple discrete Chrome processes into a single window, if desired.

For Firefox anyway, cycling between browser tabs can be done in a few ways. Alt+# [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] switches to the tab. Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn go left and right, respectively. Pretty sure that works on Windows too, but I use GNU/Linux.

hearkat's avatar

@bolwerk – That is may well be true. I used Windows XP at work until I got a new Win 7 machine about 9 months ago. I’m still getting used to the difference in the way it functions. I apologize for assuming that the shortcut still works the same as it did in XP.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I use alt tab all the time, it’s especially handy for when playing video games since they are full screened. Recently I went to hit alt+tab and accidentally hit windows button+tab and discovered it does the same as alt+tab but with windowed pictures of everything(like linux).

@bolwerk It’s Ctrl+ (1,2,3,4…..) Ctrl+tab and ctrl+shift+tab will also flip through tabs in firefox and chrome, I find this a bit easier than using page up and down since I can easily hit both buttons with my left hand.

XOIIO's avatar

If I am going to use alt tab I usually do windows key and tab.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@XOIIO I’ve found windows key+tab doesn’t always work properly with switching back and forth between games and the desktop or web browser. Not really sure why this is though.

bolwerk's avatar

@hearkat: Been a while since I used XP (probably four years now), but I don’t think it has changed.

@El_Cadejo: I use Firefox in Linux primarily these days, so maybe it’s different, but selecting the tab number on here uses Alt. This corresponds with other Linux applications. Multi-tabbed X terminal emulators usually use Alt plus tab number, and so do multi-windowed terminal programs (which actually conflicts with the first one when you using both at the same time).

I know about Ctrl+Tab, but actually find hitting those keys with one hand kind of cumbersome. I have medium-large hands. But I only mentioned PgUp/PgDown because I thought that was the official documentation, not because I prefer it. I hit Ctrl+PgUp one with one hand too – my right hand. It’s more comfortable.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
flo's avatar

So, Alt + tab has nothing to do with printing?

bolwerk's avatar

@flo: not that I know of.

flo's avatar

I think it is more useful than what it is known for.

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