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I'm very new to Macs, but am very comfy in Linux. I've liked the ability on Linux to have multiple workspaces, so I can have my work windows open in one, and personal email open in another. On Linux, when you have things in multiple workspaces, alt-tabbing through open windows only shows you the apps that are open in the specific workspace you're in. This makes perfect sense to me - when I'm in my work workspace, I only want to see my work apps.

When I try this on the Mac, though, it shows all open apps in every workspace. Is there any way to make the Mac work the same way Linux (at least Ubuntu) does?

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As a slight aside you may enjoy the answers on this question: Tricks and usages of Spaces – Ian C. Mar 14 '11 at 14:43
@Ian - thanks! I had no idea there was an Apple SE site. – EmmyS Mar 14 '11 at 15:00
up vote 5 down vote accepted

On a newer Mac, if you

  • press F3 or FN+F9, this shows you all the windows of your current workspace only
  • press FN+F10. this shows you all the windows of your active application

A more powerful application switcher is Witch, the trial is free and the full version is $14 (but it's a great app!):

Witch is fully Spaces-aware—it can see all windows in all Spaces1, as long as you're running Mac OS X 10.6 or newer. Witch can also display Space number badges, so you can see exactly where each window resides.

It should be able to switch through windows of your current workspace only, if properly configured.

Witch's Spaces support is automatically enabled as well, but it can be easily disabled in Witch's Preferences.

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Thanks, Witch sounds interesting but I can't install anything on this - it's a work computer. F3 works; I'm just used to alt-tab. Guess I'll need to start training myself to use a different command to flip through windows. – EmmyS Mar 14 '11 at 16:54
Yeah, OS X takes a while to get used to. If you prefer another method, you could go to System Preferences - Exposé and Spaces - Exposé. There's a setting for active corners, so when you move your mouse into one of the corners, you can assign the same shortcut as F3 or FN+F10. – slhck Mar 14 '11 at 17:27

ctrl + fn + f4 will switch between windows in the current workspace. Not the most comfortable hand movement but it works.

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nice! do you know if it's possible to remap the keyboard shortcut? – thias May 5 '13 at 13:17
Haven't tried, but I think you can. Look at this:… – Hugh M Halford-Thompson May 6 '13 at 0:13

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