Thoughts. If all you really want to do is bring specific apps foreward, alt-tab is a mess when your working with multiple things. You just got me thinking, and I use it to get out of full screen only.
Instead I use the taskbar, and various batches with the toolbars. one click , that same click could be a single key, not even a key combo.
First, some programs will only run 1 instance of itself ever, Running the program again, will bring that 1 foreward. For those programs, thier shortcut or ShortKey would bring it foreward. how about arranging 4 programs ShortKeys on something like F5 F6 F7 F8 ?
The programs that will run a second instance via thier shortcut, just need a simple batch instead. A batch that just brings them foreward, or runs them which brings them foreward, like a Single instance program would do.
If it is there bring it foreward, if not run it for the first time, using Process Viewer tiny program. . CaveMan style, "me want program, me push button" :-)
pv.exe -q Photoshop.exe >nul
if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto Process_NotFound
pv.exe -q -a Photoshop.exe >nul <---- bring it foreward
start /B "PHOTO START" "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS2\Photoshop.exe"
If you know what programs exactally beforehand your going to be running, the PV.exe can just be invoked to bring a program foreward, without a run. Same thing a Shortcut button and shortcut key that ran this Process Viewer to ONLY bring that item foreward. For me there are too many programs for keys, so I use toobars.
Off Topic things:
Toggle program batch ,For those times I never understood why an On Switch for a program shouldnt turn it off too.
pv.exe -q -c SHOWCALC.exe >nul <-- try and stop it
if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto Process_NotFound <-- if it couldnt stop it
start /B "SHOWCALC START" "C:\desk\SHOWCALC.exe"
These batches are trimmed down verisons , because I always apply sounds also. The shorts are set to minimise the cmd window or I use runinv (invisable) to batch without a window.