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Let's say I have applications A and B running, with windows A1, A2, B1, B2. On Windows, I can switch to B1, then A1, and see the two side by side. On Mac (Snow Leopard), when I switch to A1, it also brings A2 to the front - frequently obscuring B1.

This is pretty annoying: often I'm trying to do something like enter shell commands while reading off a web page - but all the other shell windows also come to the front, so I can't see the web page.

Is there any way to change this?

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The same behavior can be observed when you have two monitors with B1 in front of A2 on monitor 1 and A1 on monitor 2. If you are focused on A1 and B1, switch spaces on monitor 2, then switch back to the space with A1 on focus; the result will be that A2 will be moved to the top on monitor 2. Very annoying IMO. – FGreg Nov 4 '15 at 18:48

That definitely isn't standard OSX behavior. Are you switching to A1 via just clicking on the window? If so, it should be just like Windows (it sure is on my computer). Same with using exposé. Are you hitting the app icon in the dock or some other method of swapping windows?

Edit: Is there any program or way to make Mac OS X's ⌘-tab behave like Windows' alt-tab? points to Witch and Optimal Layout, which do just what you want. They're both paid apps, though.

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Using Cmd-Tab (like Alt-Tab on Windows). – Steve Bennett Jan 31 '13 at 23:03
Ah, yep, command-tab switches between applications in OSX (like clicking on application icons in the dock). I'll edit accordingly. – Marcus Chan Feb 1 '13 at 1:26

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