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I am wondering if there is anything similar to the effect of All windows of Expose of Mac OSX. That is, with a system level hotkey, all of the open windows shrink with their current views to fit the screen. It would be great if this is also open-source. Or could someone please suggest how to start to develop such an application, any direction, techniques to be used, etc.?

Thanks a lot.

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migrated from May 18 '11 at 12:15

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Aero Peek, it is built into Windows. – Hans Passant May 17 '11 at 19:32

Right-click the taskbar and select Tile?

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@Neil, thanks. But this is such a bad idea. I had to re-size every window to its original size one by one. Ideally, I would like to have something programmatically do this. – Qiang Li May 16 '11 at 23:38
Right-click the taskbar and select Undo Tile? – Neil May 17 '11 at 23:09

If you want to develop something like this your self you need to do the following:

  • Call EnumWindows to enumerate top level windows. You probably only want to work with those windows that are visible.
  • For each window make a copy of its current position and state, for example with GetWindowPlacement.
  • Work out how much space you've got on the screen.
  • Come up with some algorithm for arranging your windows.
  • Call SetWindowPos to arrange your windows so that they can all be seen.
  • Restore the windows to their original positions which you remembered, if the user requests to do so with a hot key.

This probably isn't quite the same as Exposé but it's probably hard to do so from the outside. Such a tool probably needs help from the inside of the window manager.

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@David, +1 and thank you. – Qiang Li May 18 '11 at 0:11
Why reinvent the wheel here? What's wrong with Aero Peek? – Cody Gray May 18 '11 at 12:07
@Cody I could not agree more – David Heffernan May 20 '11 at 12:49

Hold Win+Tab to cycle? Win+D? Hold alt, tap Tab and then click the program you want?

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I've found an application named Switcher. It seems to be inspired by Exposé. It requires Windows Aero to be turned on, so that means it will only run with Vista/7. It did not run well on my old laptop, but the graphics card is "Vista capable", so it's probably my fault.

The Microsoft IntelliMouse software also includes something inspired by Exposé and maps it to MOUSE3. It does not require Windows Aero, so it should run on XP as well as Vista and 7. This one runs better than Switcher did on my machine. I found both of these programs to be poor compared to Exposé though.

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